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Thin is In: A Vendor’s Dilemma - by Dave Atlas

coati

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Thin ring shanks, thin bracelets, thin earring friction nuts...When is thin too thin?

Dave Atlas discusses the thin jewelry trend.
Thin is In: A Vendor’s Dilemma

Great addition-thanks Dave!
 

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yssie

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Very glad to see the contents of both your and Kenny's old threads make it into article form Dave, I definitely agree that this is very important information for potential buyers to have.

I hope we see the end of this trend soon.
 

shihtzulover

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Wonderful article! :appl:

Unfortunately, I absolutely love the thinner jewelry, just because I myself am really petite (and feel that bulkier pieces overwhelm me), and also because I feel that they make the diamonds look larger and just 'pop' more.

On the other hand, I have seen some rings (and other jewelry) that are gorgeous, but that make me cringe because they just look way too thin, and like they might break at any given moment.
 

AprilBaby

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I wish more people would pay attention to your advice! I think there will be LOTS of resets 7-10 years down the road.
 

Modified Brilliant

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Thin is in...is truly a dilemma for everyone.

One must evaluate lifestyle, occupation, and past history of jewelry wearability
and then decide whether "thin" is YOUR best choice.

I remember in the 80's when mountings sold by mass merchants were thin so that rings could sell at promotional
price points "$99.00." Most of those rings did not survive into the 90's.

A timely article. Thanks for writing it Dave.
 

Cehrabehra

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AprilBaby|1302727813|2895282 said:
I wish more people would pay attention to your advice! I think there will be LOTS of resets 7-10 years down the road.

Most of the people who like thin bands have trendy styles and there's a good chance they'll be resetting long before that anyway :razz:
 

oldminer

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For a preson who believes their engagement ring should be part of the current fashion a less durable style may be perfectly satisfactory. That is an excellent point. My experience is that the vast majority of people getting engagement rings want them to last a very long time, be fashionable over an extended period of time (like forever), and have an ever building emotional attachment to the ring and what it means to them. My own belief is that thinking anything is truly permanent is just as silly as thinking that you have to wear an engagement ring that is currently the hot trend of today. A path of moderation is most likely to please the majority of engagement ring owners. But, to each their own. No problem.

What people don't want is constant trouble with stones falling out and rings bending even while their ring is "in fashion". That is what I am addressing here as the main issue.
 

denverappraiser

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I think a lot of this trend is also being driven by the desire to own something 'different'. Part of the reason you don't see a lot of antique and vintage pieces with lacy thin wires set with micropave 'ideal' cuts is that the tools and supplies to do it weren't available as recently as a decade ago. CAD/CAM and the new casting equipment have made micropave, or at least a facsimile of it, FAR faster and easier to do. The tooling at the cutting houses has them producing perfectly matched and fantastic stones in the half and quarter point range that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Mom and Grandma didn’t have that ring because Grandma’s jeweler simply couldn’t provide it. For people who want the newest and the greatest, this is an attractive attribute. It’s rather like the fact that 200 years ago, the very best painters were ones who produced works that looked as much as possible like a photograph. The advent of photography didn’t make their work obsolete or make that talent any easier to accomplish, but it did change what people wanted. Photorealism in oil isn’t all that revered a skill any more while talent with photoshop to make images of those models look even skinnier than they are seems to be in constant demand.

I agree with you. 'Because they can' isn't always a pursuasive reason to do something and it's important to weigh the tradeoffs. Thanks for the excellent article.
 

cardinal74

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My future fiance and I both feel strongly that the recent trend in thinning bands has crossed the point of "delicate" and inching toward the range of "flimsy". I'm in the process of work with a local company to design her e-ring, and a thicker band (not thick, just not thin) was a point that I stressed.

Everybody loves the Stephen Kirsch rings on this forum, it seems.

Consider this ring:

http://www.timelessluxury.net/cr-021.htm

To me, the ring lacks balance. You've got this very nice sized diamond, made even larger by the halo....and then you've got this miniscule band! It screams top-heavy and fragile.

I'm sure many feel completely different than me, but that's my opinion.
 

Sparkly_Not_Gaudy

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cardinal74|1304512832|2911927 said:
Consider this ring:

http://www.timelessluxury.net/cr-021.htm

To me, the ring lacks balance. You've got this very nice sized diamond, made even larger by the halo....and then you've got this miniscule band! It screams top-heavy and fragile.

I'm sure many feel completely different than me, but that's my opinion.
Completely agree. I see some that appear to be beyond fragile and it looks like poor workmanship to see it so off balance. I like 'substantial' and this trend for the waif look is something I hope ends SOON!
 

justincaseme

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So what's the thinnest ring I can buy while still getting something relatively sturdy? I'm looking at Platinum, if that makes a difference.
 

kenny

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justincaseme|1311298087|2974223 said:
So what's the thinnest ring I can buy while still getting something relatively sturdy? I'm looking at Platinum, if that makes a difference.
Define "relatively sturdy".
You can't.
These are not black and white things.
They are continuous graduations from weak to strong, safe to unsafe, just like the stresses that people may inadvertently subject a ring to.

Thicker is stronger.
Thinner is less strong.

Even a 4mm wide ring can be crushed by certain actions.

Personally, if someone held a gun against my head and forced me to pick a minimum size, I might pick double the thinest ring I've noticed.
I've noticed 1.5mm so I'd never go under 3mm.
If there are no diamonds eating up the metal of the ring perhaps 2.5mm.

Any number that anyone picks will upset women with thinner rings.
It's a lose lose thing.
 

Rockdiamond

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Guns get people in trouble all the time....if someone is putting a gun to your head, doubtful they want to discuss minimum shank thickness.... :naughty:

Seriously...
Here's an aspect maybe not considered before.
I agree 1.5mm may be too small- but not by a lot. And not in all cases.
We've had very good results with shanks of 1.75mm and larger.
Let's say a shank is 1.75mm. What are the concerns?
Bending- When sized correctly to the wearer's finger, a ring of this thickness may by less likely than a 4mm ring to be in a position to get bent. I wear a 3mm- and I'm extremely rough on it- never bent yet ( knock wood)
I recently got a much thicker ring ( about 7mm), to be worn on special occasions.
I don't think a bus running over this thing would bend it.
But that's actually an issue. First- as I already mentioned- the thinner ring is far less cumbersome. Second- if there was some sort of trauma, I might want the ring to collapse.
I'll give you the fact that there would also be times you would not want the ring to collapse. Kind of like air bags. Sometimes you want them to go off, sometimes you need them not to.
My point is thick or thin, you have potential issues.

Stone loss: This is caused by many different factors- probably number one is quality of setting.
A close number two is rings that have diamonds in the shank, and get adjusted for size.
If a stone is knocked out due to knocking the ring into something- stones falling out might have no bearing on the thickness of the shank. That is to say, a stone might also have fallen out of a thicker ring if it experienced trauma.

If we eliminate those two factors- that is to say, a high quality ring, made to size, I believe 1.75mm is just fine.
We actually guarantee our rings against micro pave stone loss- and have sold many rings with 1.75mm shanks, so I would know if there was a problem.
By all means, stones fall out occasionally- and sometimes do get knocked out.
This again, is not dependent on a thick shank.

I forgot Wear: true, over time a 1.75mm shank will become to thin, and need to be replaced.
However if we're talking platinum, and high quality rings with a 1.75mm shank, that's going to be a fairly long period of time, with daily wear- how long....20 years?
if a person is very rough on jewelry it will be less- but then so would a thicker ring have a shorter life span if someone is rough on jewelry.

Bottom line- if the ring is well made, relatively thin shanks ( 1.75mm+) can be just fine
 

TristanC

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cardinal74|1304512832|2911927 said:
To me, the ring lacks balance... It screams top-heavy and fragile.
But Barbie's been around for Ages!
 

LaraOnline

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One aspect that has not been discussed is the perpendicular height - do you 'get' me? - I mean the height that the super-skinny rings stand off the finger.

This conversation reminds me of a discussion I had with my jeweller when my solitaire (no pave) was being made. I wanted him to shave a bit off the edges, ('make it thinner') and he was quite peturbed about it. He kept saying 'This is the classic proportions! This is just right! A lovely ring that will last forever!'.

I thought he was talking about the style factor...but undoubedly longevity was on his mind.

I'm happy to say my rings shows no noticeable signs of wear, even after being worn every day for several years. It is approx 2.5mm wide. But...it does have a knife edge.
 

yssie

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LaraOnline|1326197133|3099241 said:
One aspect that has not been discussed is the perpendicular height - do you 'get' me? - I mean the height that the super-skinny rings stand off the finger.

Will protect against compression, does nothing against torque to twist though.

Better than nothing, better still to either
A) stop trying to argue with facts and choose a sturdier piece - cast or handforged all metals have limits, or
B) fully understand and accept the risks you're taking by choosing a thinner design. Charmy for example makes deliberated choices for aesthetic, and understands what she's gaining and losing, I can respect her informed decisions.

Either way realistically thin is still in, and in = $$$, so the onus is on the customer to do his/her homework.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I wonder if 2mm is considered safe for a plain shank? I think that is what my mother's plat. rings are and they have lasted for over 50 years.
 

Lula

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cardinal74|1304512832|2911927 said:
My future fiance and I both feel strongly that the recent trend in thinning bands has crossed the point of "delicate" and inching toward the range of "flimsy". I'm in the process of work with a local company to design her e-ring, and a thicker band (not thick, just not thin) was a point that I stressed.

Everybody loves the Stephen Kirsch rings on this forum, it seems.

Consider this ring:

http://www.timelessluxury.net/cr-021.htm

To me, the ring lacks balance. You've got this very nice sized diamond, made even larger by the halo....and then you've got this miniscule band! It screams top-heavy and fragile.

I'm sure many feel completely different than me, but that's my opinion.
Top-heavy and fragile. Yup, that's the look these days. I don't get it either, but I'm with yssie -- as long as the buyer is making an educated choice, and agrees to take proper care with the ring, and can find a jeweler willing to make it, then it's an educated choice. The lower-cost versions of these skinny rings do look very cheap and flimsy.

Great article, Dave. Thank you.
 

TheDuchess

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[Top-heavy and fragile. Yup, that's the look these days. I don't get it either, but I'm with yssie -- as long as the buyer is making an educated choice, and agrees to take proper care with the ring, and can find a jeweler willing to make it, then it's an educated choice. The lower-cost versions of these skinny rings do look very cheap and flimsy.


I agree - but an educated buyer looking over all the options will fare better than one who walks into a typical mall and buys the thinnest ring possible because they fell in love with the look. That mass-produced ring is going to spin on the finger (being top heavy) constantly and quite possibly the owner won't be able to afford to reset it.
 

Lula

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TheDuchess|1326220934|3099553 said:
[Top-heavy and fragile. Yup, that's the look these days. I don't get it either, but I'm with yssie -- as long as the buyer is making an educated choice, and agrees to take proper care with the ring, and can find a jeweler willing to make it, then it's an educated choice. The lower-cost versions of these skinny rings do look very cheap and flimsy.


I agree - but an educated buyer looking over all the options will fare better than one who walks into a typical mall and buys the thinnest ring possible because they fell in love with the look. That mass-produced ring is going to spin on the finger (being top heavy) constantly and quite possibly the owner won't be able to afford to reset it.
Ditto. This trend is not a trend that translates well into the lower-cost price points. And those are the buyers that sadly will not be educated about the risks before purchase.
 

partgypsy

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I also cringe when I see those super thin pave bands. The thing to remember if you wear a ring over years, it will wear down. Just look at any of your mom or grandmother engagement rings. After decades the metal is worn so thin at the bottom it needs to be replaced. And if it is pave or thing filigree work, you can't easily repair the wear or weakness.

I want to wear my rings for decades and decades. My anniversary ring is 4mm at the top tapering to around 3 mm solid and substantial 18K gold at the bottom. My wedding band is 2.5 mm solid gold. I like the fact there is extra metal as a safety margin so even if some is worn away it still wearable.
 

Laila619

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I agree that some settings and bands today are just way too thin. However, I thought reshanking a ring wasn't too terribly difficult though. I have my grandmother's wedding set from the early 1950s, and it's worn paper thin at the bottom. My jeweler told me he could fix it up no problem.
 

PipersMom

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Has anybody here on PS had problems with their thin, pave ring shanks? Any regrets? I know this style is in right now, but I wonder how well they hold up in real life.
 

distracts

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PipersMom|1347368950|3265903 said:
Has anybody here on PS had problems with their thin, pave ring shanks? Any regrets? I know this style is in right now, but I wonder how well they hold up in real life.
If you search for "pave damage" and related things, you'll get a lot of threads with that question and answers and people posting their problems. Basically, though, it depends on the quality of the workmanship and how you wear it. If you are getting a thin pave ring, go with a craftsman or brand with proven reliability, and then baby the ring.
 

missk8

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I am not part of this trend. I like THICK bands. I want to feel my jewelry! :D
 
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