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What has been YOUR experience with Leon Mege?

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
Hi everyone,

I've been doing some intense research into the perfect setting for a cushion I purchased from BGD a few months ago. Narrowing down what my girlfriend likes has been a challenge to say the least. But we have agreed on the following specs:

-Double claw prongs
-Cathedral shank
-Fishtail or micro pave

We had originally considered a halo, but she feels it might be too delicate to take care of. The setting that has really won her heart over is this one by Leon Mege:

https://leonmege.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view=productdetails&virtuemart_product_id=889&virtuemart_category_id=23&Itemid=332

I did email Leon in regards to an estimate, and so far things have moved along well. However I have read both good and bad about Leon's personality on the forum and wanted to ask if he is really that difficult to work with? Does his craftsmanship really live up to the expectation? What negatives and positives have you encountered during your interactions? Quite frankly I'm terrified of the whole situation!

Thank you in advance!
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,535
Beautiful setting!

I worked with Leon once and I am thrilled with the outcome. Leon has a great bench and a very high standard of craftmanship.
As I live in Europe I have spoken with him on the phone twice. He has a great sense of humour, has a strong personality and is a good listener.

During the process I did not encounter any problems. And yet, his diamond concierge was very very pushy in selling the center stone. All emails were correct and professional but the excellent customer service that other US vendor that I worked with have is missing.

Also, I would not recommend working with him if you want to micromanage the process. It works best if you love his aesthetic eye and are able to choose an inspiration setting (like the one you have chosen) and add the specs that are are important to you (pave all the way around or not, a surprise stone or not, color of the surprise stone, single or double claws, height of the setting...). His settings are relatively low, but if you ask he will be willing to set the stone at medium height. I decided to stick with his recommendations as I love his eye for dimensions.

He will not make a drawings or progress pics, so you should be able to let it go and let him and his bench do the work.

He also recommends to not wear any wedding bands next to some of his engagement rings (especially if they have pave in the profile), but you can discuss that with him.

If it clicks you will be fine.

_31330.jpg

_31331.jpg
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
Acinom|1442389116|3928321 said:
Beautiful setting!

I worked with Leon once and I am thrilled with the outcome. Leon has a great bench and a very high standard of craftmanship.
As I live in Europe I have spoken with him on the phone twice. He has a great sense of humour, has a strong personality and is a good listener.

During the process I did not encounter any problems. And yet, his diamond concierge was very very pushy in selling the center stone. All emails were correct and professional but the excellent customer service that other US vendor that I worked with have is missing.

Also, I would not recommend working with him if you want to micromanage the process. It works best if you love his aesthetic eye and are able to choose an inspiration setting (like the one you have chosen) and add the specs that are are important to you (pave all the way around or not, a surprise stone or not, color of the surprise stone, single or double claws, height of the setting...). His settings are relatively low, but if you ask he will be willing to set the stone at medium height. I decided to stick with his recommendations as I love his eye for dimensions.

He will not make a drawings or progress pics, so you should be able to let it go and let him and his bench do the work.

He also recommends to not wear any wedding bands next to some of his engagement rings (especially if they have pave in the profile), but you can discuss that with him.

If it clicks you will be fine.

Thank you for the informative reply Acinom! I did also run into a wall with their diamond concierge, they tried to convice me to purchase one of their antique cushions, offering to buy ours in exchange. I appreciate all of the general tips, I'm not a person that will interject myself to make sudden changes or request modifications late into the process. The lack of progress information might be an issue though, I do like to see the work as it's coming along. The quote he gave me was a little high, so I've also contacted Steven Kirsch, Victor Canera, and BGD. Hopefully something works out!
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,535
You're welcome!

Victor is a dream to work with. I have worked with him 4 times in total. He will also not share progress pics but he has an amazing turnaround time and patiently answers all your questions.

It could also be helpful to contact Brilliantly Engaged (cad/cast as well as handforged work) and Pricescope darling David Klass: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-us-your-david-klass-bling.196654/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-us-your-david-klass-bling.196654/[/URL]
David does amazing casted work for a great price.

If you have enough budget I would recommend working with Victor though.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
58,547
I have had Leon make a solitaire setting for me with no problems as it was a simple setting that he makes a lot. He set the stone too low, though, and I never really liked the ring.

I will tell you, though, people have had problems with those thin pave shanks either losing stones or going out of round. I would recommend 2mm for the shank (absolute minimum of 1.8mm). Other master pave ring makers will not make shanks as thin as Leon because they may not be durable. All pave rings must be treated with TLC. I would choose Victor Canera or Steven Kirsch over Leon.

Here is the most recent thread:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/advice-needed-re-remaking-leon-mege-pave-halo-setting.215815/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/advice-needed-re-remaking-leon-mege-pave-halo-setting.215815/[/URL]
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
Acinom|1442426126|3928488 said:
You're welcome!

Victor is a dream to work with. I have worked with him 4 times in total. He will also not share progress pics but he has an amazing turnaround time and patiently answers all your questions.

It could also be helpful to contact Brilliantly Engaged (cad/cast as well as handforged work) and Pricescope darling David Klass: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-us-your-david-klass-bling.196654/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-us-your-david-klass-bling.196654/[/URL]
David does amazing casted work for a great price.

If you have enough budget I would recommend working with Victor though.

I have seen works from all three vendors here on Pricescope and I admire Victor's the most. He did reply with a quote for a custom setting and it is higher than Leon's, but given all of the amazing reviews for anything from solitaires to halo's I might just cave and go with Victor.

Steven's was the least expensive of the three, however I did encounter Tourmaline's thread from a couple of years ago, so I'm not sure how I feel about him yet.

Thank you for recommending Brilliantly Engaged, I will send them an email and see what they can do. Still waiting on BGD at the moment, I have seen a few custom settings from them that have been beautiful.

Being new to this whole custom design/hand forged dimension of ring shopping has me more than a little intimidated. We have talked extensively about whether or not she plans to upgrade and so far the answer is no. She would like to keep the stone we both chose together, and so I'd like for the setting to be something she will enjoy for years to come and not get bored of (hence, my leaning towards Victor).
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
diamondseeker2006|1442446822|3928628 said:
I have had Leon make a solitaire setting for me with no problems as it was a simple setting that he makes a lot. He set the stone too low, though, and I never really liked the ring.

I will tell you, though, people have had problems with those thin pave shanks either losing stones or going out of round. I would recommend 2mm for the shank (absolute minimum of 1.8mm). Other master pave ring makers will not make shanks as thin as Leon because they may not be durable. All pave rings must be treated with TLC. I would choose Victor Canera or Steven Kirsch over Leon.

Here is the most recent thread:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/advice-needed-re-remaking-leon-mege-pave-halo-setting.215815/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/advice-needed-re-remaking-leon-mege-pave-halo-setting.215815/[/URL]

Thank you for the reply diamondseeker2006! I'm not too much of a fan of thin settings, but she seems to have a preference for them. I've been reading up on the different types of pave, and have found that bright cut or channel set might be our best option instead of the micro pave. I have set the limit on width at 2 mm, nothing less than that. She mentioned the Felicity setting by Vatche that was only 1.65 mm - that was frightening! :errrr:

If it weren't for the stretch in budget, I would be calling Victor Canera ASAP, I will have to sleep on it further and decide if it is worth the price tag.
 

anne_h

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
1,046
Victor was wonderful to work with on my ring. We went 1.8 mm for the shank. We also did a pave halo. It has held up incredibly well. And I do bump it around regularly.

I have had people in the industry get more excited about the quality of the setting than the center stone. I'm not joking! lol

Highly recommend Victor if your budget allows.

Anne
 

UrsTx

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
697
Acinom|1442389116|3928321 said:
Beautiful setting!

I worked with Leon once and I am thrilled with the outcome. Leon has a great bench and a very high standard of craftmanship.
As I live in Europe I have spoken with him on the phone twice. He has a great sense of humour, has a strong personality and is a good listener.

During the process I did not encounter any problems. And yet, his diamond concierge was very very pushy in selling the center stone. All emails were correct and professional but the excellent customer service that other US vendor that I worked with have is missing.

Also, I would not recommend working with him if you want to micromanage the process. It works best if you love his aesthetic eye and are able to choose an inspiration setting (like the one you have chosen) and add the specs that are are important to you (pave all the way around or not, a surprise stone or not, color of the surprise stone, single or double claws, height of the setting...). His settings are relatively low, but if you ask he will be willing to set the stone at medium height. I decided to stick with his recommendations as I love his eye for dimensions.

He will not make a drawings or progress pics, so you should be able to let it go and let him and his bench do the work.

He also recommends to not wear any wedding bands next to some of his engagement rings (especially if they have pave in the profile), but you can discuss that with him.

If it clicks you will be fine.

I agree with everything Acinom (it just clicked that that's Monica spelled backwards - duh! All this time I wondered about the meaning of that alias :wall: ).

I/We bought one of LM's antique cushions in a simple solitaire (the 1.6mm thin Princesa) and received it in July. I loooove my ring! And the double claw prongs are so much more dainty than in the photos but strong and well made. I also like that it's set low, that's how I like my rings.

Since I only had a solitaire, I left Leon and his team alone to do all the work.

Leon himself was nice to me on the phone during the whole process, was readily available to talk or called me back within minutes, or answered my emails quickly.

His prices are high but the quality is there too.

As far as issues with my ring, I've only worn it for two months now but have had no issues.

I would buy from LM again but also like VC's creations too.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,788
My observation is people that purchase stones from Leon as well as settings get 5 star service people who don't can get anything from Leon. I've had a bad run in with Leon so would probably suggest especially if they are already trying to sell you a stone despite the fact you already have one, try Victor or Steven who used to work for Leon and can pretty much create anything Leon can. Victor's pave is the best IMHO of the three. I've also rarely seen people coming back with destroyed settings (due to them being too thin or the durability of the metal compromised) from Victor or Steven either.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
58,547
I am glad you are considering Victor (and 2mm!)! It is so interesting how the high price of the three varies! I think Victor is worth it, though, especially if she hopes for this to be her forever ring!

Just FYI, I don't think BG's rings are handforged. I think they are cast which does reduce the cost.
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
anne_h|1442456859|3928669 said:
Victor was wonderful to work with on my ring. We went 1.8 mm for the shank. We also did a pave halo. It has held up incredibly well. And I do bump it around regularly.

I have had people in the industry get more excited about the quality of the setting than the center stone. I'm not joking! lol

Highly recommend Victor if your budget allows.

Anne

Thank you for the input on durability Anne H, it has been one of my concerns, and I keep rethinking the decision of pave or just having a plain band with the accent stones. Victor does seem to get all the brownie points around here!
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
UrsTx|1442457847|3928674 said:
Acinom|1442389116|3928321 said:
Beautiful setting!

I worked with Leon once and I am thrilled with the outcome. Leon has a great bench and a very high standard of craftmanship.
As I live in Europe I have spoken with him on the phone twice. He has a great sense of humour, has a strong personality and is a good listener.

During the process I did not encounter any problems. And yet, his diamond concierge was very very pushy in selling the center stone. All emails were correct and professional but the excellent customer service that other US vendor that I worked with have is missing.

Also, I would not recommend working with him if you want to micromanage the process. It works best if you love his aesthetic eye and are able to choose an inspiration setting (like the one you have chosen) and add the specs that are are important to you (pave all the way around or not, a surprise stone or not, color of the surprise stone, single or double claws, height of the setting...). His settings are relatively low, but if you ask he will be willing to set the stone at medium height. I decided to stick with his recommendations as I love his eye for dimensions.

He will not make a drawings or progress pics, so you should be able to let it go and let him and his bench do the work.

He also recommends to not wear any wedding bands next to some of his engagement rings (especially if they have pave in the profile), but you can discuss that with him.

If it clicks you will be fine.

I agree with everything Acinom (it just clicked that that's Monica spelled backwards - duh! All this time I wondered about the meaning of that alias :wall: ).

I/We bought one of LM's antique cushions in a simple solitaire (the 1.6mm thin Princesa) and received it in July. I loooove my ring! And the double claw prongs are so much more dainty than in the photos but strong and well made. I also like that it's set low, that's how I like my rings.

Since I only had a solitaire, I left Leon and his team alone to do all the work.

Leon himself was nice to me on the phone during the whole process, was readily available to talk or called me back within minutes, or answered my emails quickly.

His prices are high but the quality is there too.

As far as issues with my ring, I've only worn it for two months now but have had no issues.

I would buy from LM again but also like VC's creations too.

Thanks for the information on Leon's work UrsTx! The way he's able to create those delicate claw prongs is really what caught my attention (next to the nature of the pave). He's just very intimidating.
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
arkieb1|1442461808|3928693 said:
My observation is people that purchase stones from Leon as well as settings get 5 star service people who don't can get anything from Leon. I've had a bad run in with Leon so would probably suggest especially if they are already trying to sell you a stone despite the fact you already have one, try Victor or Steven who used to work for Leon and can pretty much create anything Leon can. Victor's pave is the best IMHO of the three. I've also rarely seen people coming back with destroyed settings (due to them being too thin or the durability of the metal compromised) from Victor or Steven either.

Thank you for your input arkieb1, everything I've read so far about how Leon treats customers has been on a sliding scale of good, bad, and horrible. I was not aware that Steven used to work for Leon, so that may also be a plus in considering his work!
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
diamondseeker2006|1442464365|3928713 said:
I am glad you are considering Victor (and 2mm!)! It is so interesting how the high price of the three varies! I think Victor is worth it, though, especially if she hopes for this to be her forever ring!

Just FYI, I don't think BG's rings are handforged. I think they are cast which does reduce the cost.

I find it quite interesting how each of them composed a quote price for the setting. Leon demanded a copy of the invoice for our diamond before sending us a final estimate, Steven and Victor only required the online forms. Not too sure how the value of our diamond has an impact on the setting price :confused:

Thank you for the reminder about BGD's custom process, I do know they use CADs and casting. Since I bought the stone from them I had originally planned on getting a setting through them as well, and then of course I saw all of the beautiful hand forged pieces on the forum.

I do want to make her happy, and she has mentioned on several occasions that she's more than willing to help out with the cost of the setting if I find it overwhelming. However I do see that as unfair to her, seeing as it's meant to be something special from ME to her.
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
Messages
12,656
I chose Victor b/c when I met him in person, and saw his work IRL, I was sold. For me, it was between him and SingleStone.

Victor in my case, had the lowest price. The estimate from Leon was definitely higher, and Steven never returned my email or phone call. At first when Leon thought I wanted to source the stone through them, they were very responsive. When I told them I just wanted the setting, I didn't receive much communication, and it came slower. Not sure if one was the cause of another.

Victor is very easy to work with and extremely professional and responsive. He is about as opposite from pushy as you can get. I've read some people think of him as being distant or uninterested. To me, he's not the kind of guy that talks cause he likes the sound of his own voice, or to try to convince you his way is the only way or the "right" way. He will tell you if he doesn't think some thing will work or be safe structurally. That was my experience.

I'm just waiting to start another project with him. I also have his CAC on my dream list...
 

egemnoel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
138
Leon is a great guy. Your not paying for his personality but the masterpiece he produces. Just let him get on with it and don't try and manage him. Top guy and ever piece he has done for me my wife has been delighted.
 

autumngems

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
2,615
I did not have a good experience when I contacted Leon about a setting, very rude because the diamond wa snot from him.

I had a custom ring made by Brian Gavin and he did an awesome job, it's the ring in my pic.
 

BAS2348

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
63
Thank you for the wonderful advice and responses everyone. We have ultimately agreed to invest in Victor Canera's work, it will take some time to save up enough for the setting but based on the pieces I have seen throughout the forum and the reviews about his workmanship and ethics, it will all be worthwhile in the end. I will be back when the ring has been completed!
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
I have never worked with him but if I was getting a ring I would go with him. I don't know what it is but think it is curvature, but he has a sense of style I don't see with the other pave ring makers. I have read all the posts about him but would still choose him and give him full control over the design because his eye is better than mine or anyone elses. I have seen many write disappointed that he will not work with them after something cropped up, that tells me they still want his design. Others are great too but his stands out somehow for me.
 

camomof4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2015
Messages
64
I worked with Leon for my engagement ring and wedding band several years ago (about 10). I did not purchase a stone from him. He made both rings exactly to my specifications and they were both gorgeous. I had no problems working with him and he was always kind and responsive to my inquiries (and has been in the years since, as well).

As you can see on another thread, I did have an issue with the thin (2mm), three-sided pave shank on my engagement ring going out of round. However, I do not think this had anything to do with his workmanship. I chose the most delicate of settings which turned out not to be a wise choice for my lifestyle (4 kids - but who knew back then!?). My (high quality) local jeweler looked at it and confirmed the quality of the piece; he and Leon both said this is a common problem with thin pave bands and if I had the warping problem addressed earlier the damage probably wouldn't have been so extensive.

My wedding band, also by Leon and also pave, is a thicker twist style pave band (one-sided) and it's perfect despite being worn for 10 years on my right hand.

Everything he does is gorgeous. Just choose a design wisely!

PS - I have also spoken with Victor Canera about a project and he was responsive, friendly and fantastic.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
58,547
BAS2348|1442508165|3928846 said:
Thank you for the wonderful advice and responses everyone. We have ultimately agreed to invest in Victor Canera's work, it will take some time to save up enough for the setting but based on the pieces I have seen throughout the forum and the reviews about his workmanship and ethics, it will all be worthwhile in the end. I will be back when the ring has been completed!

Excellent! In all honesty, I understand your feelings about you paying the entire amount for the setting. But as a female, I would have no problem chipping in to get my dream setting sooner!!! After all, many married couples share finances, and no one would need to know that little fact except the two of you!
 

Alouette

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
14
My experience with LM was excellent from beginning to end. I love my stone and my ring is simplicity and elegance unsurpassed by any other I have seen.

I just don't want to stand by while the same people always chime in that he is horrible. He isn't.

Alouette
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
12,656
Alouette|1442629069|3929396 said:
My experience with LM was excellent from beginning to end. I love my stone and my ring is simplicity and elegance unsurpassed by any other I have seen.

I just don't want to stand by while the same people always chime in that he is horrible. He isn't.

Alouette

Alouette, I am happy you chimed in to share your experience. I'm happy he wasn't horrible to you. However, other people may not have had the same experience as you and should (and was asked to) share that experience.
 

springerspaniel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,320
I worked with LM twice and VC once and would highly recommend either one of them. Both were very responsive to phone calls and emails. For LM, I wanted styles very similar to ones he had on his website, and I did not have modifications to request. He definitely has a great sense of humor. As others have suggested, I let him do his thing, as he has a wonderful eye for design and proportion. Both pieces are spectacular. VC was a darling to work with--he wanted to try out a new design (the Art Deco Trilogy with the bullet and baguette side stones) and I am very happy with it!
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
7,950
I worked with Leon and had no problems with him either. I love my ring. It is three sided pave and it has gone slightly our of round and the top edge of the milgrain is a little bent in places. I have not lost a single tiny stone. I plan to send it to him and see if it can be repaired. I am hesitant because I really don't want to have it reset. At times I have thought about something a little sturdier, but the truth is, to me, his worth is breathtaking and I haven't regretted having him make my ring. I think it is wonderful to own one of his pieces.

It is true that Victor Canera's work is lovely, and quite possibly on par with Leon's pave, but it doesn't speak to me like Leon's. There is a fluidity to even Leon's metal work that I adore. When I have seen posted here one of the rings that have the graduated french cut sides, I can pick out Leon's immediately. There is a subtle curve to it that I really find appealing. Those are the things that would make me want to have a ring made by him.

I agree with what others have said. You have to let him take it and run with it to a certain degree. You can, however, have a pretty detailed contract stating exactly what you want. There is no micro managing him. You wait for it to be done without getting much information about the process. I was ok with that, because I love his pave. To me, it is second to none.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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33,440
LLJsmom|1442633799|3929406 said:
Alouette|1442629069|3929396 said:
My experience with LM was excellent from beginning to end. I love my stone and my ring is simplicity and elegance unsurpassed by any other I have seen.

I just don't want to stand by while the same people always chime in that he is horrible. He isn't.

Alouette

Alouette, I am happy you chimed in to share your experience. I'm happy he wasn't horrible to you. However, other people may not have had the same experience as you and should (and was asked to) share that experience.

It's not just about LM being okay or not.
It's about the clients.

Clients vary.
Some have personalities and expectations that clash with Leon Mege, others mesh well with him.

In my words, (based on what I've read over and over for ten years) if you don't step on this diva's toes all will go well.
I have no doubt he is capable of doing superlative work.
But after how horribly he's treated many of the women here I'd never give Leon Mege a dime.

Please don't decide whether to give him business based only on this thread.
PS is a place where many people only say nice things (Mom taught me if you can't say anything nice ...)
That's great, but it leaves an incomplete picture when a poster is asking for info about a vendor.
Do a search here to learn what this man has done.
Or, maybe someone has a link to some of Leon's 'finest' :lol: moments.
 

nyquestioner

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
101
It's good to have a thread to collate the whole range of experiences so that people can make an informed decision about a vendor.
For my part, I had an excellent experience with Leon. We brought our own stones, which was not an issue in the least (they were family stones). He created a design (not related to anything previously seen on his website) based on the needs of my stones. The smaller ones needed to be protected, and the proportions needed to be evened out. As well, he took my lifestyle into account when creating the design, asking some good questions about how I use my hands at work and where I expected to wear the ring. We also had an enjoyable philosophical discussion about the purpose and value of diamonds.

He definitely has strong aesthetic opinions which he expresses forcefully. He told us that if we disagreed, he was amenable to making the ring differently, but I think when you choose someone like Leon, you have to trust his aesthetic sense or not use him at all. For example, if I was a person who didn't want my stone set as low as possible, I would be more hesitant to use him, because asking him to change that would generally change the curves and proportions of the ring, and you might not get the unique beauty that you associate with his rings.

Related to that, I think that Leon often gets compared to some ringmakers who are expert craftsmen. I would classify Leon as more of an artist. There's a difference that has nothing to do with casting or handforging or any method or tier of craftmanship and that's why I think ringmakers are not interchangeable.
 
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