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Reality check on engagement ring drawing

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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Regarding the suggestion of involving her more, and the solitaire setting, without delving into the details, I do think it will suit her the most and the setting which she would prefer. The beauty of the approach is that she can completely scrap my idea and do something completely different if she doesn't like it, because I will only be presenting the idea, and not the finished product. No money goes to waste. Only thing wasted will be my time and effort in coming up with the design (reinventing the wheel, as it seems). I'd like to involve her, but not to the extent that she draws from scratch and I just sit back and do nothing. I do have some comfort about the solitaire.

As for the shop, they've made a reasonable name for themselves locally over the past 15 years. Their work product images on their website appear decent to me. I'd be happy to PM (if that's available, I don't actually see the messaging option) their details to anyone here who would like to take a look. Just don't want to post it publicly here, as this thread wasn't intended to name and shame anyone. I would of course appreciate any of your experienced views.

It seems you are quite specific about prongs. I am guessing that you haven't seen an exact example of what you want with the jeweler that you are working with because if you did, you sure wouldn't need to go through this CAD nightmare. (Personally, I hate CADs cause they are a terrible representation of the final product. CADs usually do NOT show claw prongs. You just tell a jeweler that you want delicate claw prongs and they make it that way after the casting is done. Get it?)

Anyway, @Cerulean linked some pictures of settings by Victor Canera, and he does amazing work, hand-forged platinum pieces that have the most delicate prong work ever. IMHO, given how nitpicky you are, you just need to find a jeweler that has ALREADY made a setting with the prongs you like that meets your standards and point to a picture (real life, not CAD) and say "I want that".

I am not trying to offend you by saying nitpicky. Many of us on PS are. I am. I'll own that. That's why you need a vendor who already does what you want. Then you won't need to micromanage in fear of them not meeting your standard. I'm a perfectionist, so I need someone who is already perfect for my standards.

What are pictures of what you think are beautifully well done rings? Can you post 5 of them here and specify exactly what you like about the setting? I will share pictures of what I think are beautifully well done pieces.

Victor's thread: Lots posted here. I suggest going through it to examine prongs and other details.

Steven Kirsch also does beautiful, delicate rounded prongs.

I have had rings made by both these vendors so I can personally attest to the quality of their work.

And don't worry, they aren't cheap. You can easily pay $2K-$3K for a solitaire. Victor probably won't set your stone because you didn't buy it from him, but you can ask him because he does make exceptions. Steven does set outside stones. You would need to ship it to him in New York.

The really good artisans probably won't want to work with someone who specifies down to the fraction of a millimeter what to do where. And that's because they don't need your advice/input. They may ask you how wide you want the shank to be, what "kind" of prongs you want, claw v. tab v. rounded. Do you want your stone set low, high, medium? Do you want a donut or not? But that artisan will make the setting in the most flattering proportions to your stone. That's what you are trying to achieve with those 50 pictures and 2 hours of consulting for a basic solitaire. The really good ones already do that.

What country are you in? Maybe some PSers have some recommendations of good artisans. But honestly, at this point, you and your potential vendor are not a good match. Cater breakfast or lunch to their store and thank them for their time. But don't force the situation. It will cause more heartache and stress for all, when it doesn't turn out the way you want. They need to scrap it and redo it for you. You end up taking up more of their time and manpower, and you feel angry/guilty for it not being right but then still want it to be done right. You're not doing any one any favors by sticking it out.

If you share your vendor's details, we can tell you better whether your expectations are reasonable for the store you are working with. It's not a "name and shame". LOTS of vendors cannot do beautifully executed prongs. I would say with confidence that 80% of all vendors cannot do prongs the way that Victor and Steven do, so it's not some huge shame on the vendor.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Edit: so it seems like the majority would probably find the ring above much better than say the one below:

To answer your question regarding the two rings you posted, the answer is yes. The solitaire with a donut is probably preferable to the first design you shared on page 1, because the donut allows a different ring to touch the e-ring and not slam into protruding prongs. Also you need to consider how high the donut will be because if you decide on wearing a band next to the e-ring, will any diamonds on the band end up having contact with the prongs of the e-ring. However, if you are wearing the e-ring as a standalone, then you won't need to worry about the impact of stacking.

There are practical considerations that you should discuss with your SO as you design this ring. Will it protrude too much? Would she prefer it to be set much lower? Would she prefer a bezel to protect the stone? Does she like 4 rather than 6 prongs? You can show her all the pictures you collected and your hours of analysis prior to even approaching a jeweler. Since you're about to tie the knot, I'm sure already knows that you care about making her happy.
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
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If you spent two hours at a car dealership looking at cars that didn’t have the color carpet you wanted, or a moon roof or a turbo engine, and didn’t buy it, would you really buy a car from them because you felt guilty?
 

Lookinagain

Brilliant_Rock
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The beauty of the approach is that she can completely scrap my idea and do something completely different if she doesn't like it, because I will only be presenting the idea, and not the finished product. No money goes to waste.

Wait a minute. So what you are doing is NOT having the ring actually made. You are asking the jeweler to do the design and give you the drawing/CAD. Then you are showing it to your SO and if she doesn't like it, she can scrap it? So if she doesn't like it, and wants something else, then what? Will you still stay with the same jeweler? I just don't understand your approach at all. All this twisting and turning to get a drawing that she may not like at all??? Show her the solitaire settings you seem to like and let her show you the pieces and parts that she likes (if any), and THEN have a jeweler (agree it should be a different one) do a drawing with what she likes. I assumed, as I think others did, that you were actually having the ring made before giving it to her. You are spending way too much time and agony over this and no offense, but if you have told the jeweler what you are doing, no wonder they aren't all that concerned about what drawings they give you. They probably expect that it will be changed by her anyway. There is no beauty in this approach.

I hope I've not misinterpreted how you are going about this. Forgive me if I am. Footnote. They are still charging too much if the end game is a fairly straightforward solitaire.
 

adlgel

Shiny_Rock
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200
I'm trying to go for a simple design which also contains detailed design elements.

I don't think the prong changes you are asking for the jeweler to make constitute detailed design elements. Or at least they do not constitute design elements that anyone will notice (as opposed to say engraving on the shank, a more intricate basket style or having stones set into the shank, etc.). If the fact that you know that these changes were specifically requested by you means something and is worth the custom upcharge, that is certainly your choice.

But I agree with everyone else saying that you are spending a lot of money and mental energy and will still end up with a presentation setting.
 

gemmygemgem

Rough_Rock
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Thanks for the replies. I think theyre all on a similar tune, speaking a consistent message. I think I'll need to really let all of this digest. Starting from what was a reality check of the drawing, evolving to a questioning of the actual store, is a little overwhelming.

I'm now more aware than ever that I'm probably overthinking the design. That said, just wanted to put it out there that I had thought about the changes from the standpoint of improved of visibility of the stone, surfaces to reflect light into the stone, and personal preferences. Certainly not making changes for the sake of making them. I've posted key pics of inspiration in post #11 on page 1 here. They're only a very small portion showing essentially 1 key one, with a pic each of a couple of others.

I'll take a look at Victor Canera and Steven Kirsch. I'm in Hong Kong, so sending the stone all the way to NY sounds costly. Anyone with recommendations in this city would also be nice. Also attached image of the store's URL which anyone interested can search and take a look (and which I'd appreciate, as I didn't find the work products displayed in the physical workshop all that bad, so I'm not sure if friend's image got them off the wrong foot).

Looking back at the image I shared of friend's ring, I realise it was taken before the final settlement of payment. There's a possibility it was the unfinished product (with stones loosely set for showing the look only?). Don't know... I admit I don't have Yue experience to tell the quality of a piece of jewellery. I do see the wonky setting of the pave and non-parallel lines around the bridge... and the shank being a bit blemished... the margin of allowance in each field can be very different so I'm still learning the ropes for jewellery.

Thank you all

7E1F044E-003D-4766-B8DD-BBE48CB91D99.jpeg
 

Lookinagain

Brilliant_Rock
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OP, please don't be depressed or downhearted about this. We are all just trying to help as well as keep you from spending more than necessary for your design. And also trying to keep your level of angst down about the setting design. I have no idea what this would cost in Hong Kong and that may well change some perspectives. I'm guessing others who are following this thread know much more about that. But I do think most of the recommendations are spot on and you are right to want to digest them. After you do, you can go forward knowing that you have been given various recommendations and that whatever choice you make is an educated one. That is really all that matters. You and of course, your SO, are the ones who need to be happy. Not us. Please keep us posted.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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That said, just wanted to put it out there that I had thought about the changes from the standpoint of improved of visibility of the stone, surfaces to reflect light into the stone, and personal preferences.
If the diamond is well cut, light should be coming in from the top, and reflecting back out, so it shouldn't need any help from the bottom. I get the impulse to do that but it's not necessary.

I'm in Hong Kong, so sending the stone all the way to NY sounds costly. Anyone with recommendations in this city would also be nice.
I'd do a search in the forum for Hong Kong or start a thread asking for HK jewelers in the title. I think we have some forum regulars who live there.

Looking back at the image I shared of friend's ring, I realise it was taken before the final settlement of payment. There's a possibility it was the unfinished product (with stones loosely set for showing the look only?). Don't know... I admit I don't have Yue experience to tell the quality of a piece of jewellery. I do see the wonky setting of the pave and non-parallel lines around the bridge... and the shank being a bit blemished... the margin of allowance in each field can be very different so I'm still learning the ropes for jewellery.
The pave is already set so we can tell it's the final ring. That is the quality of pave you will get at most jewelers. But PSers are pickier. I wouldn't say it's horrible - it's the overall design that gives me pause more than the craftsmanship - but it's just average. And that combined with that particular design leads me to worry about durability. And if the work is just average, you don't want to be paying so much for a simple solitaire. (Unless prices in HK for jewelry are vastly higher than in the US - but I don't think they are.)
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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11,457
Thanks for the replies. I think theyre all on a similar tune, speaking a consistent message. I think I'll need to really let all of this digest. Starting from what was a reality check of the drawing, evolving to a questioning of the actual store, is a little overwhelming.

I'm now more aware than ever that I'm probably overthinking the design. That said, just wanted to put it out there that I had thought about the changes from the standpoint of improved of visibility of the stone, surfaces to reflect light into the stone, and personal preferences. Certainly not making changes for the sake of making them. I've posted key pics of inspiration in post #11 on page 1 here. They're only a very small portion showing essentially 1 key one, with a pic each of a couple of others.

I'll take a look at Victor Canera and Steven Kirsch. I'm in Hong Kong, so sending the stone all the way to NY sounds costly. Anyone with recommendations in this city would also be nice. Also attached image of the store's URL which anyone interested can search and take a look (and which I'd appreciate, as I didn't find the work products displayed in the physical workshop all that bad, so I'm not sure if friend's image got them off the wrong foot).

Looking back at the image I shared of friend's ring, I realise it was taken before the final settlement of payment. There's a possibility it was the unfinished product (with stones loosely set for showing the look only?). Don't know... I admit I don't have Yue experience to tell the quality of a piece of jewellery. I do see the wonky setting of the pave and non-parallel lines around the bridge... and the shank being a bit blemished... the margin of allowance in each field can be very different so I'm still learning the ropes for jewellery.

Thank you all

7E1F044E-003D-4766-B8DD-BBE48CB91D99.jpeg

Ok, so this is very helpful. I've vacationed in HK numerous times, and from the generic jewelry stores I've seen, I'm talking about the big chains, neither the diamonds nor the settings impress me. Ryder Diamonds does not seem to be one of those stores.
I have seen the IG stories by Ryder Diamonds. I think (entirely my guess based on their IG posts and stories) that they market themselves as a higher end jeweler, and I would probably agree with that, in comparison to 90% of the jewelry stores in HK, excluding Harry Winston (not sure if there is one in HK, but probably there is, and VCA). I can totally see them charging what they asked, because there aren't many jewelers in HK that will spend the time and listen to you for 1.5-2 hours and go through 50 photos with you. Other jewelers will probably just nod and tell you not to worry, and wish you were already gone. So if want to be mostly sure that you will get the product you want, you probably have the highest chance of getting it here.

I checked out the website and I can see from the pics that they can do delicate claw prongs. All you need to do is choose the standard Tiffany style six prong shown on their website and ask them to do delicate claw prongs, and you're done.
This is the standard Tiffany six prong
1623996740189.png

with these prongs:

1623996781339.png
These are delicate claw prongs that look well done. Just point at this picture and say you want the prongs on your standard Tiffany six prong to have the shape of these claw prongs. A softened knife edge shank, a specific width for the shank, and a donut of a certain height should be easy. (While you talking to you SO, you may want to discuss what kind of wedding band, how high it will be, so you can have the donut a certain height to accommodate wearing a wedding band flush. Of if she likes a gap, then the height of the donut doesn't matter.)

How your specific desires that will translate to a CAD, I don't know. I can share pics of my CAD that was done in the US by CBI. Look at how ugly and hideous the renderings are. But the setting turned out very well. The prongs aren't as nice as my Canera and Kirsch settings, but quite nice. But clearly, you can see the prongs are not the scary looking tab prongs in my CAD.

1623997333454.png

1623997374895.png

And then here is the final product.

1623997417504.png


1623997433769.png

One way to ensure your needs are met, I would ask that your specific preferences be written into the work order. Just talk to the designer and confirm that it is structurally possible and nothing compromises the integrity of ring. I honestly don't think it's that complicated.

The settings look very nice. We should have been provided these pictures in the first place. A lot of angst would have been saved. If they are really producing the settings that I see on their site, you should have nothing to worry about.

I am sure you have checked out a ton of their IG posts. They can do nice claw prongs, like this one below.



I do see some scary sharp angular squared off tab ones, but just specify in your work order the delicate claw prongs, you should be just fine.

And as I'm thinking about it, can I assume you've seen pieces that they've made in real life that have lovely delicate claw prongs, like ones you like? If you have, and it's just a matter of tweaking the details, then I think you can do that with them. How all of it will translate to a CAD, I just don't know. When I was working with CBI, I just had to trust they would do what they said they were, and ignore the ugly CAD. If I was in your shoes, and shipping off my stone to the US is not practical or feasible, and I was stuck in HK with the jewelry stores there, and I saw pieces that Ryder did that featured the quality that I met my standards, I would take a chance and go with them. Maybe you should ask them what happens if there are things you don't like and need fixed, just so you know whether they will work with you until you are happy.

Also, admittedly, I do think you are a bit overly concerned and tend toward micromanaging, given that now I have seen the quality of the work they do. Maybe it's just an issue because you are not accustomed to working with CADs, or they do crappy CADs. I don't know. But their work seems more than decent on a number of pieces and I would take a chance.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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OP, you seem very sweet. And particular. I’m reminded of myself, shopping for my boyfriend’s big birthday gift last year. I’m no musician, but was eyeballs deep in the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum, dithering over D-28s with Indian rosewood vs Brazillian rosewood. Come to find out he doesn’t even like a dreadnought...

I guess my point is: you have the rest of your lives together to surprise her with jewelry!
 

evergreen

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
636
It sounds like you want to preserve the relationship with the jeweler, and have your "voice" in the piece as well. Why not ask for their usual, inexpensive presentation solitaire, and then when your intended says yes, talk to her about how this setting is an intermediate step and so-and-so are the things you'd change about the current ring, and let her wear it for a bit so she can understand what she might change about it? Could be, "I love this setting, it's perfect!" through "I totally see what you mean, these prongs could be more refined..." to "oh my word I HATE PRONGS, can we please design a bezel solitaire together?"

I received my diamond in a presentation solitaire and it was perfect for me because I could wear it right away while planning what kind of final setting best fit my needs.
 

Tourmaline

Ideal_Rock
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2,145
I didn’t read your whole post, but I read some the the comments and agree that they are giving you the difficult customer price. I also think they are showing you a standard manufactured solitaire that they are going to order for $200.
 

gemmygemgem

Rough_Rock
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Thanks for the responses. Thanks in particular @LLJsmom for looking through the website, and sharing photos of your CAD process and end result! I guess it'd vary between the program used, but I feel like your CAD program at least rendered the ring with much more detail (dimensions, shape, and mock effect of the gloss) than what I posted in the first post.

I'll probably fall silent a bit here as I ponder. Appreciate all the input. If anyone else has anything to say (about the CAD, the website, or anything else), please feel free.

I don't know if the jeweller is charging a difficult customer price or simply doing lucrative business, but I would query what sort of bespoke jeweller they are if they find a customer who does their research on what they want, feeds them with specific design instructions and simply expects a high standard output to be a difficult customer.

On a side note, my ASET scope and various other tools from D Atlas just arrived :) will have some fun playing around, reading in and keeping me distracted for a while.
 

Lucy-In-The-Sky

Rough_Rock
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Here's a thought about having the diamond set in a basic/simple presentation solitaire, then working with your fiancée to design a ring. Afterwards, you could re-use the presentation solitaire and have it set with a gemstone, so she could keep it for sentimental reasons.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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I don't know if the jeweller is charging a difficult customer price or simply doing lucrative business, but I would query what sort of bespoke jeweller they are if they find a customer who does their research on what they want, feeds them with specific design instructions and simply expects a high standard output to be a difficult customer.

On a side note, my ASET scope and various other tools from D Atlas just arrived :) will have some fun playing around, reading in and keeping me distracted for a whiles

Unfortunately that's most jewelers. Most businesspeople, really. The vast majority of customers aren't too detail-oriented or picky, so when those of us who ARE come along, most would rather not deal with us.

Have fun with your ASET scope!
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Unfortunately that's most jewelers. Most businesspeople, really. The vast majority of customers aren't too detail-oriented or picky, so when those of us who ARE come along, most would rather not deal with us.

Have fun with your ASET scope!

And I could say with a fair amount of certainty that the jeweler probably has not dealt with a Pricescoper before. We can be a rather particular bunch, and as @distracts says, many would rather not deal with us. Since you're not feeling 100% about Ryder right now, maybe you should try some mom and pop shops. I know there are a ton of them in HK. And I'm sure you have family and friends that can recommend someone they trust. Although I'm almost positive that the old school shops won't dig into the detail of the pictures you want to provide or provide detailed CADs, it doesn't hurt to at least ask and do your due diligence.

I just did a google search under:
high end jewelry stores in hong kong

And a good number came up. If you need to see more places before you can commit, you could just pick 4 or 5 and just show up at the store to talk to them, look at their pieces, and see how they work.

Let us know how it goes.
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for the responses. Thanks in particular @LLJsmom for looking through the website, and sharing photos of your CAD process and end result! I guess it'd vary between the program used, but I feel like your CAD program at least rendered the ring with much more detail (dimensions, shape, and mock effect of the gloss) than what I posted in the first post.

I'll probably fall silent a bit here as I ponder. Appreciate all the input. If anyone else has anything to say (about the CAD, the website, or anything else), please feel free.

I don't know if the jeweller is charging a difficult customer price or simply doing lucrative business, but I would query what sort of bespoke jeweller they are if they find a customer who does their research on what they want, feeds them with specific design instructions and simply expects a high standard output to be a difficult customer.

On a side note, my ASET scope and various other tools from D Atlas just arrived :) will have some fun playing around, reading in and keeping me distracted for a while.

Best of luck as you decide the best course of action. You are being incredibly thoughtful and as other posters said we are PARTICULAR compared to most. Im sure you will come to some conclusion that will make you happy.

Enjoy playing with the ASET!
 
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