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The Mighty Leon Mege

sebas

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
159
I've read great things about Leon Mege and recently had a beautiful e-ring made by him. I recently read some very harsh reviews on yelp and wedding wire. What's up with that? I understand some people may have issues with personality (I found him charming), but the quality of his work? Pave diamonds falling off?

http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/leon-mege-new-york/82c7d7bb42fb66b4.html

http://www.yelp.com/biz/leon-mege-inc-new-york-4

If these reviews are indeed wrong as I suspect, I hope others review his good work.
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
I've never worked with Leon so I can't attest to to his work, or his character but there have been several PSers that have had issues with their rings by Leon as well. I think he went through a bad spell, or had a new inexperienced bench person perhaps? Anyway, IIRC he refused to make repairs to a ring that had obvious craftsmanship issues. I also believe there has also been some issues with communication...people requesting a certain setting height only to find that he completely ignored their request.

That said, there are many PSers that have had happy experiences and have very beautiful rings from Leon. Though I think he has very beautiful designs, I've never considered him for a project because it seems that you never really know which Leon you are going to get...charming Leon, or 'No soup for you!' Leon. For me, there are just too many exceptional benches out there with many many happy clients to take the risk with Leon.

I'm sure that your ring is stunning though! Leon truly has a wonderful eye! I'd love to see photos of your ring! :love:

ETA I hadn't read the reviews that you linked before I posted so I wanted to add that I do feel bad for vendors when people don't understand the risks of a specific design. Even the best done pave will likely have pave fall out over time, it's the nature of pave. So I do think it's unfair to fault a vendor when the client fails to research or understand the risks. The specific instances that I mention above though were due to craftsmanship and not any fault of the owners.
 

nyquestioner

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
101
We also recently had a ring made by Leon, and are absolutely thrilled. Our ring was a completely custom design, not based on anything on his website, and we felt that in addition to getting what we were saying, Leon really understood our point of view conceptually and was engaged with us to improve our ideas. It was really enjoyable to work cooperatively to come up with something that met our practical criteria and was still really beautiful (will post in SMTB soon). He was extremely accommodating and flexible as well.

Although we immediately liked him from our first interview because he seemed the most engaged and interested in our project and right away started coming up with ideas, before we decided to go with him, we tried to read as many of the negative threads as possible about him vs the other vendors we were considering here on pricescope to see if there were any red flags or things we should be careful about. I learned about the pitfalls of each vendor and what I learned about Leon was that

1) Leon likes to make low-set rings. This is perfect for me (I both love the look and wear gloves a lot at work) so no problem, but if it's not perfect for you, you have to be extremely specific about ring height.

2) In general, if you want something specific that's not how he normally does things, it must be laid out _in detail_ in the work order, because everything's done as per the work order. And I'm not talking about the front side where he basically just sketches the concept, but the back side where he ticks those boxes and writes down exactly how many millimeters everything should be. You need to go over that work order carefully to make sure there are no miscommunications. There was a thread a while ago where someone was extremely upset, among other things, about her halo having an airline, and Leon kept saying it was in the work order. She posted the front side of the work order on here but not the back where airline/no airline would be checked. Leon will not fix "problems" that are in the work order. On the other hand, if the ring is made with something deviating from the work order, it seems there will be no problem to have it changed at his expense right away (see Charmypoo's thread on this).

3) I think one of the things that happens on pricescope is that Leon has been around a relatively long time. I noticed at first there were almost all positive threads, and then a few negative ones. Leon has made many, many more rings than Steven or Victor, so it is normal that he will have more customers with issues by this point, even if the vast majority of his customers are thrilled. I notice that as Victor starts to become very popular on here, there have been a few negative experience threads popping up about him as well. I'm sure he is also excellent, as evidenced by his many positive threads, but no one is perfect all of the time, and it is helpful for people to post their concerns, especially communication concerns, so that others can learn how to communicated better with each particular vendor later. And on yelp, I think angry customers (who are often more ill-informed than on this forum) are just more motivated to post. You should post a positive review!
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,864
You're joking right?!

I'm thrilled you had a great experience with LM but to actually post and assume that other reviews are false because Leon maybe a PITA to deal with sometimes? You realize this is a consumer forum right?

My first thought that came to mind was Boom's ring on the CS forum who had huge issues with her LM ring and customer service. Paid thousands to get a ring she didn't ask for and didn't love. From my understanding nothing was done by LM to correct it.

Next thought was I have seen 2 LM rings in person. Both have issues with pave and the shank deforming (is this the correct word?).

Do I think LM is horrible blah blah blah- absolteuly not. I think he does beautiful work and makes lovely pieces. Does he hit it out of the ballpark all the time- nope. Would I use him- no, not after some of the issues I have seen with his work and how he handles it. But that is just me. Obviously he has done thousands of rings with no issues. What I care about is how he handles the one with issues.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
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27,307
The title made me laugh out loud - I hope that was the intent :bigsmile:

If not... goodness! He's just a jeweller. A very talented jeweller who definitely has a certain mystique here on PS, but... starry eyed worship of his Might is perhaps a bit much ::)

ETA: I think he has an eye for design and a talent for truly creating "art you can wear" that few other (independent boutique) jewellers could hope to match - Mike R. and MC2 are the only ones that come to mind.
 

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
I can only post based on my personal experience with Leon.

I found him to be witty, charming, and very generous with his time in communicating with me. When my ring arrived, it was flawless. And the centerstone was loose. I called him immediately, he asked me to take it to my local bench jeweler to examine and see what the issue was. He called my jeweler (who had no idea what the problem was or how to fix it), discussed it with him, and facilitated its overnight return. The stone was re-secured and mailed again in less than 2 hours (I was on a time limit)! When it arrived a second time, it was nice and tight. :))

A mere 2 months later, like a tipsy idiot, I celebrated my beloved Saints' Superbowl victory by banging on a table. My ring was knocked ever so slightly out of round. Fearing the loss of melee, I had it checked over by a local bench, who let me know everything was still 100% secure and it was among the best craftsmanship they had ever seen.

So for me, LM delivered a great quality product, had excellent customer service for the aspect that wasn't absolutely perfect at first, and really made the experience enjoyable. :))

I know other people have not had the same pleasant experience though. :blackeye:
 

Boom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
394
nyquestioner|1363091287|3402778 said:
2) In general, if you want something specific that's not how he normally does things, it must be laid out _in detail_ in the work order, because everything's done as per the work order. And I'm not talking about the front side where he basically just sketches the concept, but the back side where he ticks those boxes and writes down exactly how many millimeters everything should be. You need to go over that work order carefully to make sure there are no miscommunications. There was a thread a while ago where someone was extremely upset, among other things, about her halo having an airline, and Leon kept saying it was in the work order. She posted the front side of the work order on here but not the back where airline/no airline would be checked. Leon will not fix "problems" that are in the work order. On the other hand, if the ring is made with something deviating from the work order, it seems there will be no problem to have it changed at his expense right away (see Charmypoo's thread on this).

I believe you are referring to my experience.
I would like to make some clarifications.
First, Leon did not say that having an airline was in the work order. There was not a word about the airline in the work order so he would not have said that.

Second, please don't assume that our work orders are the same. Mine was just 2 pages and the second page was purely the T&Cs and no boxes to check.

I don't appreciate the insinuation that I was trying to hide something by not posting the second page of my work order.

I have put this experience behind me and have suggested Leon as an option to friends looking for nice settings. If they are comfortable with him and can be very clear and specific about what they want, I think they would be happy with Leon's work.
 

nyquestioner

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
101
Boom, I read your thread very carefully when we were deciding on a vendor and found it very helpful to learn about your communication problems with Leon. I did not mean to imply that you were hiding anything. Rather, when I saw Leon's (current) work order, in which the second page has many small check boxes for every possibility such as stone height: []as low as possible, []low, []medium, []high, and halo []airline, []no airline, it occurred to me that since you live abroad, it was possible that Leon filled out this part the work order over the phone according to Harriet's ring, and you didn't realize he had checked airline (this does not excuse the other issues you raise in your thread). It made me go over the work order with a fine-tooth comb, which is all I was suggesting for future clients, since we know that if something is explicitly stated in the work order, Leon will stand by it and fix it if it is done wrong. Since, as you mention, the work order was less detailed back then, perhaps he actually changed it in response to all the communication concerns you raised, which seems to be a very beneficial change.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,676
I absolutely love his work, but you couldn't pay me to have him make a setting...just too risky in my eyes. It's great when it works out, but not so great when he doesn't do what you wanted.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
58,547
I had a ring made by him with no problems, and I have met him and he was very nice. BUT, there have been structural issues with some rings and therefore I no longer feel comfortable recommending him. I know of zero complaints about structural issues with Victor and probably not Steven, either. So I recommend them for pave.
 

sebas

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
159
Thanks for all the responses.

Yes... Mighty was meant to be humorous :naughty:

I understand what people are saying about pave. Pave is delicate and has to be cared for and sometimes it can loose a diamond.

As for the height of the centerstone... I can see how that would be a preference and one would have to specify if different from what he usually he does. I like really low set stones too.

Sounds like a lot of what was mentioned above was personality and miscommunications, not so much for quality with the exception of a few people mentioning structural integrity... could you elaborate? Does this have to do with the ultra thin 1.5mm bands? I imagine that anyone (Victor or anybody else) who goes this thin may suffer from structural integrity because there isn't enough material for strength.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
27,307
sebas|1363139293|3403464 said:
Thanks for all the responses.

Yes... Mighty was meant to be humorous

I hear people's comments about pave. Pave is delicate and has to be cared for and sometimes it can loose a diamond.

Sounds like a lot of what was mentioned above was personality and miscommunications, not so much for quality with the exception of a few people mentioning structural integrity... could you elaborate? Does this have to do with the ultra thin 1.5mm bands? I imagine that anyone (Victor or anybody else) who goes this thin may suffer from structural integrity because there isn't enough material for strength.


Yes, any super delicate pave piece is going to be, well, delicate - doesn't matter who makes it.
Some jewellers will refuse to make pieces they feel aren't structurally sound for daily wear even if a customer requests such a thing specifically, some won't. And of course different jewellers define "structurally sound for daily wear" differently...
 

bgray

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,963
LM is a very talented bench jeweler but he is also a massive egomaniac. Years ago, he made a ring for me and it was not as specified. Getting some of the items corrected was an absolute nightmare. It had been documented exactly but it was still a nightmare and it cost me almost $4000 more than stated. He also tried to say the stone wasnt that good causing some serious problems with the vendor who supplied the stone--he clearly wanted to get into the stone business to become more profitable. I tried to do business with him again several years later-he wouldnt put anything specific in writing about the stones I wanted yet he wanted a large deposit. I just never went forward as it was too big a risk. I tried one more time and he clearly was enormously spiteful about the earlier communication with several emails from him attempting to play mind games. (I wont get into the details) So--I just let it go. I think he is a bit of a sociopath and misogynist. Just my two cents. He likes customers who adore him and let him be the alpha dog. He is also better with men. I will say he is enormously talented but that isnt enough. Further he doesnt do much of the work anymore.
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,864
sebas|1363139293|3403464 said:
Thanks for all the responses.

Yes... Mighty was meant to be humorous :naughty:

I understand what people are saying about pave. Pave is delicate and has to be cared for and sometimes it can loose a diamond.

As for the height of the centerstone... I can see how that would be a preference and one would have to specify if different from what he usually he does. I like really low set stones too.

Sounds like a lot of what was mentioned above was personality and miscommunications, not so much for quality with the exception of a few people mentioning structural integrity... could you elaborate? Does this have to do with the ultra thin 1.5mm bands? I imagine that anyone (Victor or anybody else) who goes this thin may suffer from structural integrity because there isn't enough material for strength.


I have seen 2 rings in person by him with issues. The first one started missing pave in 2 places within the week of the wearer getting it. The pave also wasn't uniform around the whole halo. You can tell it didn't come out all the way to the edge- just looked sloopy. Very surprizing. 2nd ring- they loved it and LM until the split shank broke- literally. LM wouldn't fix saying it was the wearer's fault. Regardless it broke at the joint/ shank/base and was still pretty new. He didn't offer to fix and they ended up having such a bad experience they completed scraped the ring and went with a Ritani I believe. The whole experience was very upsetting for them (and I felt responsbility for pointing them to LM from PS). They saved for a long time for that ring and to just let it go was a big deal....that is how upset they were about it.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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A past member here had her 3 ct diamond in a Leon solitaire with no pave whatsoever. She posted on here showing how her basket or prongs detached from the shank. Another person posted here with about the same problem. They may have been made too thin. But that is the expert jeweler's job to make a ring that is structurally sound and will last 50 or more years (or indefinitely in the case of platinum).
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,676
bgray|1363155910|3403686 said:
LM is a very talented bench jeweler but he is also a massive egomaniac. Years ago, he made a ring for me and it was not as specified. Getting some of the items corrected was an absolute nightmare. It had been documented exactly but it was still a nightmare and it cost me almost $4000 more than stated. He also tried to say the stone wasnt that good causing some serious problems with the vendor who supplied the stone--he clearly wanted to get into the stone business to become more profitable. I tried to do business with him again several years later-he wouldnt put anything specific in writing about the stones I wanted yet he wanted a large deposit. I just never went forward as it was too big a risk. I tried one more time and he clearly was enormously spiteful about the earlier communication with several emails from him attempting to play mind games. (I wont get into the details) So--I just let it go. I think he is a bit of a sociopath and misogynist. Just my two cents. He likes customers who adore him and let him be the alpha dog. He is also better with men. I will say he is enormously talented but that isnt enough. Further he doesnt do much of the work anymore.

So sorry for your bad experience, bgray.

It's just not worth it to go through all this for a piece of jewelry, so I stay away.
 

sebas

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
159
Wow! Those sounds like some serious structural issues. I am really sorry to hear that happened to anyone. I guess with any halo/basket you have to be careful not to bang it against something causing it to detach. Obviously if it just sat in the case nothing would ever happen. Did the users say if they hit their ring on something? I imagine that some users expect that a ring should be able to withstand some impact.

Anyway, if Leon wouldn't fix it for free (and there may or may not be good reason), would he at least fix it at some cost and, if so, wouldn't the ring insurance cover this cost?
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
sebas|1363325185|3405396 said:
Wow! Those sounds like some serious structural issues. I am really sorry to hear that happened to anyone. I guess with any halo/basket you have to be careful not to bang it against something causing it to detach. Obviously if it just sat in the case nothing would ever happen. Did the users say if they hit their ring on something? I imagine that some users expect that a ring should be able to withstand some impact.

Anyway, if Leon wouldn't fix it for free (and there may or may not be good reason), would he at least fix it at some cost and, if so, wouldn't the ring insurance cover this cost?



I've read about some experiences where he was very helpful and willing to repair damage or other issues that clients had and others where he completely distanced himself from the situation and refused to assist in any way. There was a poster who had LM design a ring for her and when she received it, it was the wrong shank style, LM was gracious and apologetic and made her a new ring. Then other times, such as the examples above where he refused to do anything at all. That's the problem with Leon in my opinion, you just don't know which personality you are going to get. Obviously he works well with some and less so with others.

I mentioned in my first post that pave is delicate and that it's common to lose a stone at some point, but as delicate as many designs are, they are made to be worn and should hold up to a certain amount of abuse. Banging the ring against a table or door knob could result in damage, however for as delicate as some rings appear, they are built from some super duty materials and are more rugged than you 'd think. A basket should not separate from the shank with a simple bump, otherwise our rings would become unwearable and as you said have to sit in a box somewhere.

Yes, insurance in these cases would likely cover the ring, but I'd be extremely upset if there was a structural problem with my newly designed ring and the vendor refused to take responsibility for it, forcing me to go through my insurance company and risk my premiums increasing. I have insurance to protect against my own stupidity, not the stupidity of a vendor.
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
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I recently asked him to quote me on some pave work, his response was arrogant and just plain weird. I told him clearly in the request that I had a center stone I was going to use and needed him to supply the ring and pave. He never quoted the job, just told me in arrogant terms that it was too bad I did not buy the center stone from him and gave me a "next time" story. I promptly deleted his post and moved on. Feel sorry for the people who have had bad work from him, someone even had to take him to court and whip his butt in court.

Sebas, I wish you good luck and good health in the wearing of your new ring, I think it may be too early to tell about quality of product, let's hope all remains good with your ring. Best of luck.
 

sebas

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
159
Thanks! In defense of Leon, he treated me extremely well and answered all my questions and gave great suggestions in a direct but respectful manner. I also provided him with my center stone and he was really patient while I waited to find the right one. I don't know... I really like him. I think it doesn't hurt for anyone starting an interaction with him to throw him some compliments. Anyone who is passionate and working hard would like to receive some acknowledgement of their work. As for the structure of the ring, time will tell. She already knocked into something and is still just as good as ever. But I guess I really should get that ring insurance just to be on the safe side. :)
 

anne_h

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 13, 2005
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1,046
I have not worked with him.

IMO, where there's smoke there's fire, and I had seen a lot of weird reviews, so I just stayed away. I worked with Victor Canera and his service was great. The ring itself is extremely well made (IMO and according to others I've shown it to in the industry). A few of them have even been more excited about the setting than the stone! Boo! lol

At the time, Victor told me he does refuse to execute designs he believes will be structurally inferior. For my ring we ended up going 1.8mm for the pave shank because I want the ring to last for generations. I've had it almost two years so far and bang it regularly (doh) and it's holding up beautifully.

Anne
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
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7,950
I know there have been a few people here who haven't been happy with Leon's service or workmanship. I had a ring made by him several years ago with three sided pave. I am not particularly gentle with my ring and haven't had a single problem with it. Now, since I have said that though I will probably have pave jumping out of all sides of it. I love the work of a few designers I have seen on PS but for the three sided pave with milgrain, Leon is my favorite. I am also a fan of his bubble pave which I have in my ring. I haven't seen anyone else do that.
 

CharmyPoo

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Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
My Leon e-ring is built like a rock and is in brand new condition after daily wear for 2 years. Another jeweler recently asked me to look at the ring and he was shocked that it has been worn daily for 2 years because of the exceptional condition it is in. My husband's wedding band is fantastic and I really doubt there are many others who can build a flexible ring like that. In fact, most jewelers outright refused the job because they didn't know how to do it. Both my e-ring and my husband's wedding band are now frequently available for sale on micropave.com.

Here are my Leon translation of common complaints of what he says. I have heard it all personally and not bothered.

Leon Says: "Your diamond is small."
Leon Means: "Your diamond is too small for the design you want."

Leon Says: "I don't like the diamond."
Leon Means: "I never like diamonds. I fancy large exotic gemstones."

Leon Says: "Your diamond is yellow."
Lean Means: "Your diamond is more suitable for yellow gold."

Leon Says: "Just do a pave solitaire (or tapered French cut or Halo)."
Lean Means: "For e-rings, you shouldn't go too fancy or elaborate. Stick with classic, tried and true designs."
 
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