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What to Expect When You're Expecting (working with DK)

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
Hello all -- long time lurker here and I'm so excited to finally have something to post about! I just started the process of reaching out to David Klass to design my engagement ring. My bf has already purchased the diamond (a 2.7 carat elongated cushion) and after lots of hemming and hawing (and hours spent on Pricescope on my part) we decided to go with David Klass to create the ring. The community has been so helpful and educational, I was hoping you all wouldn't mind helping me along my journey as well. I have no experience whatsoever with this process, but I've read @sledge's thread cover to cover (and a number of other DK threads), so I'm hoping I have some idea of what to expect. I reached out to DK on Friday and he responded on Monday. We went back and forth a bit about inspiration pics, metals and certain details and he said he would put together the "drawings." I assume that means CADs, or does he mean something else? I work in an industry where 5 minute email responses are (unfortunately) the norm so I am trying to recalibrate, temper my expectations, be thoughtful and considerate, and exercise patience, but I know that some PS-ers have mentioned that DK gets super busy so sometimes follow up is necessary and encouraged. Does anyone who has gone through this before know when I should be hearing back or receive the drawings, or when it might be appropriate / reasonable to follow up?
 

Matthews1127

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
4,878
Hello all -- long time lurker here and I'm so excited to finally have something to post about! I just started the process of reaching out to David Klass to design my engagement ring. My bf has already purchased the diamond (a 2.7 carat elongated cushion) and after lots of hemming and hawing (and hours spent on Pricescope on my part) we decided to go with David Klass to create the ring. The community has been so helpful and educational, I was hoping you all wouldn't mind helping me along my journey as well. I have no experience whatsoever with this process, but I've read @sledge's thread cover to cover (and a number of other DK threads), so I'm hoping I have some idea of what to expect. I reached out to DK on Friday and he responded on Monday. We went back and forth a bit about inspiration pics, metals and certain details and he said he would put together the "drawings." I assume that means CADs, or does he mean something else? I work in an industry where 5 minute email responses are (unfortunately) the norm so I am trying to recalibrate, temper my expectations, be thoughtful and considerate, and exercise patience, but I know that some PS-ers have mentioned that DK gets super busy so sometimes follow up is necessary and encouraged. Does anyone who has gone through this before know when I should be hearing back or receive the drawings, or when it might be appropriate / reasonable to follow up?
Following.
I don’t have first-hand experience, but I’m interested in working with him, in the future....
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,849
I've always received CADs vs. any other type of picture. It would usually take 3-4 days for Amy to get back to me but I dont think
you can base your timeline on mine because not really sure how busy (or not busy) they are due to corona. I know its hard to wait.
Do you have any pictures you can post of your inspirations? I'm hoping as someone new to custom design that you are not going for
something too complicated.
 

Starfacet

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,001
Hello all -- long time lurker here and I'm so excited to finally have something to post about! I just started the process of reaching out to David Klass to design my engagement ring. My bf has already purchased the diamond (a 2.7 carat elongated cushion) and after lots of hemming and hawing (and hours spent on Pricescope on my part) we decided to go with David Klass to create the ring. The community has been so helpful and educational, I was hoping you all wouldn't mind helping me along my journey as well. I have no experience whatsoever with this process, but I've read @sledge's thread cover to cover (and a number of other DK threads), so I'm hoping I have some idea of what to expect. I reached out to DK on Friday and he responded on Monday. We went back and forth a bit about inspiration pics, metals and certain details and he said he would put together the "drawings." I assume that means CADs, or does he mean something else? I work in an industry where 5 minute email responses are (unfortunately) the norm so I am trying to recalibrate, temper my expectations, be thoughtful and considerate, and exercise patience, but I know that some PS-ers have mentioned that DK gets super busy so sometimes follow up is necessary and encouraged. Does anyone who has gone through this before know when I should be hearing back or receive the drawings, or when it might be appropriate / reasonable to follow up?
Hi, welcome!! Yes, CADs are "drawings." I've always had a hard time reading them, but they at least give you an idea. The finished product looks much better. LOL. I say email David any time you're feeling uncomfortable about the wait times. He'll usually respond with a progress report. Good luck on your project! Feel free to post your CADs and photos of the diamond here. And photos of the finished product with hand shots of course!

Oh, and BTW, I love the title of your thread!! :lol:
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
Thank you everyone for the super quick responses! I will definitely keep the 3-4 day timeline in mind and maybe add a day to that and sit on my hands. Last thing I want to do is be a pest! I will definitely follow up with photos of the CADs (once received) and see if I can try and get a decent photo of the diamond while it's just sitting in one of those blue boxes from Blue Nile. And of course -- glamour and hand shots when the time comes!!!

For now, below are the inspiration pics I sent to DK. I'm hoping this isn't considered super complicated but I'm a total newbie around these parts so wouldn't be surprised if something that looks "simple" to me is actually quite complicated! Of course any thoughts, critiques, or advice is more than appreciated!

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 3.47.01 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 3.47.23 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 3.47.50 PM.png
 

syd33

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
167
His responses are sometimes a day or a few days and sometimes longer. I don’t think there is a “norm”. Also, not sure where you are located, but he is in California so if you are in a different time zone like I am, then you have to factor that in as well. He has typically emailed me around 9-10 PM EST
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
His responses are sometimes a day or a few days and sometimes longer. I don’t think there is a “norm”. Also, not sure where you are located, but he is in California so if you are in a different time zone like I am, then you have to factor that in as well. He has typically emailed me around 9-10 PM EST
Wonderful. Thank you for the info! I am actually in LA so thankfully the time zone thing might not be an issue. Just want to make sure I don't walk into the process with unrealistic expectations is all, so very much appreciate your response!
 

Slick1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
2,266
His responses are sometimes a day or a few days and sometimes longer. I don’t think there is a “norm”. Also, not sure where you are located, but he is in California so if you are in a different time zone like I am, then you have to factor that in as well. He has typically emailed me around 9-10 PM EST
I’ve used him many times and echo this 100%. If time is of essence, I know that sometimes he can work with that but Coronavirus may change that.
I am waiting for CADs now and it does seem like a longer than usual wait. I assume because David and Amy are working from home. I shipped my stones to his home address last week.
You’ll hear back and you could also send a friendly reminder.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
21,849
Pretty stone! And no, your design is not complicated!

Sledge's design was complicated but he was pretty technical and wanted an exact copy of another ring (basically new exactly what he wanted).
He was able to pull it off to perfection. Some people, new to CADs, want to combine parts and pieces into an intricate design and dont really
know what they want. That's when it gets hard. You should be fine.
 

liaerfbv

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
1,289
I've done many projects with DK and honestly timeline varies. Sometimes I've had CADs from him in a few days, and sometimes it's been as long as 2 weeks. I suggest you really temper your expectations to a longer time frame due to covid, because there's no telling how many benches are actively working, etc. Generally my projects with him are around 6 weeks start to finish -- but I always mentally prepare for 10 weeks so I'm not disappointed.
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
Thanks very much everyone for your feedback on timing! I will definitely do my best to temper my expectations and be reasonable given current circumstances. To scratch the itch, perhaps some of y'all wouldn't mind providing some feedback on my conversation with David (or maybe I'm talking to Amy, I'm actually not sure yet!) about metals and the shank?

As you can see in my inspiration pics, I love the look of the "Whisper Thin" by Ring Concierge, but have read enough on here to know that many believe that the shank on that setting in particular is precariously thin. When I reached out to DK, I asked what he thought would be the recommended width for a band. I'm less concerned about how thin the band actually is but I would like to do the best I can to achieve the "floating" look without being, for lack of a better word, stupid, about it. He recommended for a pave shank that we go with 1.9mm. He agreed to go lower but said he couldn't guarantee I wouldn't have issues with durability, so I let him know I would rather sacrifice vision than structural integrity. Do you think at 1.9mm that I can still have that delicate "floating" look?

On metals, he also recommended that I go with his mix of 14k white gold for very thin shanks. I originally thought I wanted platinum for its durability and low maintenance qualities but he mentioned that he thought his wg was stronger than platinum and better suited for a thin shank. He also mentioned that it didn't need to be re-plated over time due to the palladium mix. I've seen some historical discussion on this on PS but has that held true for anyone who has had a DK WG piece for a while? Has anyone regret going with the WG? It just seems counterintuitive to not choose platinum if you can afford it, but I want to trust David and his advice. Thoughts?
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,167
DW and I have also done a lot of projects with DK. It's usually David's business partner Amy Phillips who handles the day to day design process. IMHO Amy is the organisational genius that keeps everything running smoothly at DKJ. How she keeps track of all the projects they've got going on is just amazing. David and Amy share the same email address, so most often our replies have come from Amy, but David chimes in every now and again, particularly if the subject is about the stone being set.

Their replies to your emails will be short and to the point, don't expect any pleasantries or small talk, they don't have time for that. It seems a bit strange at first, but you get used to it. If you ever go into the store you'll find they are the kindest, most personable people you could ever hope to meet. They'll treat you like royalty, and give you as much time and attention as you need.

I've found that replies to my emails can be anywhere from next day to a couple of weeks. How busy their CAD group is does have an impact, but the most important driver is how difficult it is for them to answer your question. If they have to go consult with one of their bench jewelers on how what you are asking for can best be done, then that can take a longer time. For quickest response you have to make your desired changes to their CAD easy to understand. I've found the best way is to print out the CAD, and then mark the changes on the CAD showing exactly what you want. Then scan the marked up CAD and email it back to Amy.

If you are new to CADs look first at the 3D view in the top right corner to get a sense of the overall look of the piece. Then examine the plan, front, and side elevation views for the dimensional details.
 

liaerfbv

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
1,289
1.9 is plenty thin for pave and you wouldn't want to go any smaller. Trust the jeweler who is making your ring and remember you chose him for his expertise and know nothing about the mechanics and structural integrity of metalwork. The Whisper Thin is stupidly unsound, I have watched all their stories about their "proprietary method" of making the metal strong enough to be that thin without issue --- however I would like to point out RC has been in business making those thin rings for about 10 hot minutes, so IMO they aren't really in a position to be able to guarantee the longevity of that craftsmanship.

I also favor plat over wg, but his wg is particularly nice (and very shiny without being plated). I've never used it for pave, but he stands behind his work 100% and I'm SURE if you ever had any problems with it, he would replace your ring.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,651
Beautiful diamond and ring setting. It will be gorgeous! I usually wait a week before following up. I currently have a project with him and things are taking longer due to covid, in part due to closures elsewhere (NYC diamond district) and some vendors making shipping runs once a week instead of daily.
 

Moonie

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
159
Your cushion is lovely!! I have chatted with DK and Amy in the past on my engagement ring (I'm also expecting ;)) but decided to go with Mark Broumand (also in LA). However, my exchanges with them were really lovely and when they got busy they let me know that I might be waiting longer than expected (about a week is what they told me).

Wanted to chime in and say that I've talked to both DK and MB about Ring Concierge's settings and they both agreed that it's much too thin to be structurally sound, as echoed by everyone here. I believe for a non-pave tri-wire ring, both DK and MB said they would be willing to go to 1.6mm which I think it's plenty thin.
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
@alittlelight @prs @liaerfbv @kgizo @Moonie thank you so much for the responses! I will definitely heed David and Amy's advice and stick with at least 1.9mm for pave. I had also dropped by MB in DTLA prior to the stay at home order being put in place. His shop is so pretty and the staff are wonderful! I can't wait to update you all once I receive the CADs, but of course, I am being patient!!! :twirl:
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
Hi everyone! I'm back and I have CADs!!!! David sent the below image with the following notes:

  1. The setter will hand carve the placements for all the diamonds so very little metal will show.
  2. He will also cut down and carve the prongs to dainty claws like the Ring Concierge design.
  3. The ring will be all platinum or 14k/18k white gold, ignore the colors.
  4. The ring shank with be 1.7mm - 1.8mm wide finished.

60269-quad-1.jpg

I have a few questions for you all (and of course would love any and all opinions / advice / tips / feedback). My plan is eventually to just draw any annotations or notes straight on the CAD using my iPad.
  1. Will the diamonds on the basket really show when looking straight down at the diamond as is shown in the CAD here? I'd prefer that they not be visible in a top down view but I'm not sure if that's a quirk of the CAD and if that's worth mentioning to David.
  2. I think I would like the parts of the basket that are vertical (sorry I don't know the technical term) to be more "swoopy," the place where it meets the "hidden halo" appears a bit sharp right now, whereas I would like a bit more of a gentle flow. Do you all see that too?
  3. Do you think the diamonds on the shank will irritate my fingers or feel "scratchy" where they're placed, or is this typical placement for a pave band?
  4. Would love some feedback on the donut as well. I don't really care if my bands sit flush (I quite like the look of a small gap), but I'd like to eventually get a band like this one: http://instagr.am/p/B8y-DOglVNl/ . Do you think that would pair okay? Should I be concerned about a ring like that eating into the prongs or causing any other types of structural issues later down the line?
Thank you in advance for any thoughts. All are very much appreciated!!!
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
Hi all - just bumping this one more time in hopes of getting some feedback on the CAD. I went back to David with a few notes but would appreciate any and all feedback / notes / thoughts in case I am missing something. =)2
 

Diamondbug

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
631
I am not a CAD expert by any means but DK has made a couple things for me and I trust him. At 1.7mm to 1.8mm it is delicate but if he says its ok, I would go with it since that is the look that you want. I like the way the pave basket around the stone looks.. it is very classic look but a swoopy line would be more romantic, artistic feel?I would ask DK to have a CAD of one with swoopy basket and see which you prefer.
I had a pave ring and band and it didn't bother me but everyone is different of course. I do want to mention that my ring was platinum at 2mm and it would bent out of shape but that is the nature of platinum. I only use 18k now because I am very hard on my rings... even though I only wear it out. That was not a DK ring. Can't wait to see your ring... so fun!!
 

CHRISTY-DANIELLE

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
1,641
Thanks very much everyone for your feedback on timing! I will definitely do my best to temper my expectations and be reasonable given current circumstances. To scratch the itch, perhaps some of y'all wouldn't mind providing some feedback on my conversation with David (or maybe I'm talking to Amy, I'm actually not sure yet!) about metals and the shank?

As you can see in my inspiration pics, I love the look of the "Whisper Thin" by Ring Concierge, but have read enough on here to know that many believe that the shank on that setting in particular is precariously thin. When I reached out to DK, I asked what he thought would be the recommended width for a band. I'm less concerned about how thin the band actually is but I would like to do the best I can to achieve the "floating" look without being, for lack of a better word, stupid, about it. He recommended for a pave shank that we go with 1.9mm. He agreed to go lower but said he couldn't guarantee I wouldn't have issues with durability, so I let him know I would rather sacrifice vision than structural integrity. Do you think at 1.9mm that I can still have that delicate "floating" look?

On metals, he also recommended that I go with his mix of 14k white gold for very thin shanks. I originally thought I wanted platinum for its durability and low maintenance qualities but he mentioned that he thought his wg was stronger than platinum and better suited for a thin shank. He also mentioned that it didn't need to be re-plated over time due to the palladium mix. I've seen some historical discussion on this on PS but has that held true for anyone who has had a DK WG piece for a while? Has anyone regret going with the WG? It just seems counterintuitive to not choose platinum if you can afford it, but I want to trust David and his advice. Thoughts?
My very first DK ring was done in his 14k palladium wg. Since then I've discovered I'm a platinum gal. His wg is very white, very shiny and never needs plating. I just like the slightly grayer platinum and am addicted to the heavier weight of platinum, just feels more substantial and special---to me. Side by side pics of 2 DK rings below, the one on left is platinum (e-ring), right is his 14k wg. You can't go wrong with either. 20200603_164823.jpg
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
I am not a CAD expert by any means but DK has made a couple things for me and I trust him. At 1.7mm to 1.8mm it is delicate but if he says its ok, I would go with it since that is the look that you want. I like the way the pave basket around the stone looks.. it is very classic look but a swoopy line would be more romantic, artistic feel?I would ask DK to have a CAD of one with swoopy basket and see which you prefer.
I had a pave ring and band and it didn't bother me but everyone is different of course. I do want to mention that my ring was platinum at 2mm and it would bent out of shape but that is the nature of platinum. I only use 18k now because I am very hard on my rings... even though I only wear it out. That was not a DK ring. Can't wait to see your ring... so fun!!
Thank you!!! David specifically came back with those measurements and suggested his 14k mix for the best durability. I have asked him to do the more "swoopy" basket. I'm looking forward to the next CAD!
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28
My very first DK ring was done in his 14k palladium wg. Since then I've discovered I'm a platinum gal. His wg is very white, very shiny and never needs plating. I just like the slightly grayer platinum and am addicted to the heavier weight of platinum, just feels more substantial and special---to me. Side by side pics of 2 DK rings below, the one on left is platinum (e-ring), right is his 14k wg. You can't go wrong with either. 20200603_164823.jpg
Thank you!!! This side by side comparison is so helpful!!!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,418
  1. Will the diamonds on the basket really show when looking straight down at the diamond as is shown in the CAD here? I'd prefer that they not be visible in a top down view but I'm not sure if that's a quirk of the CAD and if that's worth mentioning to David.


  1. I 100% think any question you have is worth mentioning. There is some shrinkage, but it’s best mentioning to him you do not want to see them. I had a design I wanted to see the peeking out, it was visible in the CAD, but because of shrinkage it was not visible at all in finished product.


    [*]I think I would like the parts of the basket that are vertical (sorry I don't know the technical term) to be more "swoopy," the place where it meets the "hidden halo" appears a bit sharp right now, whereas I would like a bit more of a gentle flow. Do you all see that too?
    While I think you will get a good reply by asking for something a bit softer/swoopier, I think it’s clearer communication if you can find and show them picture examples of real rings that have the look you desire of the swoopy and a picture of a real ring (google images) that shows a sharper angle you wish to stay away from.

    Since you are local to DK, if you feel you might be a bit picky how the metal may look- ask to see if there’s some way for you to see metal examples of his platinums he uses and the never needs plating white gold he uses, for you to choose from. After you get info on what would be better structurally for your design and lifestyle of course-
    There’s no right or wrong aesthetically, just personal tastes. I think I’m in the minority here who did not enjoy at all the look of the never needs plating white gold alloy.
 

bibliotheque_

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
28


  1. I 100% think any question you have is worth mentioning. There is some shrinkage, but it’s best mentioning to him you do not want to see them. I had a design I wanted to see the peeking out, it was visible in the CAD, but because of shrinkage it was not visible at all in finished product.




    While I think you will get a good reply by asking for something a bit softer/swoopier, I think it’s clearer communication if you can find and show them picture examples of real rings that have the look you desire of the swoopy and a picture of a real ring (google images) that shows a sharper angle you wish to stay away from.

    Since you are local to DK, if you feel you might be a bit picky how the metal may look- ask to see if there’s some way for you to see metal examples of his platinums he uses and the never needs plating white gold he uses, for you to choose from. After you get info on what would be better structurally for your design and lifestyle of course-
    There’s no right or wrong aesthetically, just personal tastes. I think I’m in the minority here who did not enjoy at all the look of the never needs plating white gold alloy.
Thank you! The photos are a great idea. I will follow up with him now with examples of what I do and don't want. As for the metals, that is a great idea. I will ask him for at least photo examples to try and determine what's best for me. I think I like the idea of something glossier and shinier per previous responses but don't really know.

On lifestyle, I've seen a lot on PS about how lifestyle should impact your metal choice. While David recommended 14K for a delicate / thin setting, indicating it would be sturdier, I'm not sure what it means to have the right lifestyle for platinum or white gold. I like to think I'm quite light on my hands, but it's not clear to me what exactly is light enough. I work at a desk typing most days and don't really do much in the way of hard work with my hands other than loading the dishwasher and laundry (but I don't really wear jewelry for those tasks). I take off all my jewelry as soon as I get home from work (at least when we used to go into offices), except for my Love bracelet. Is this lifestyle conducive to platinum?
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,418
I think sometimes you just don’t know exactly how hard you are on thin delicate rings until you find out by wearing them and if they bend or not.
Steering wheel, opening doors, walking a dog that pulls on the leash, heavy bags- things like that.
Maybe lifestyle wasn’t the right word for me to use.
 
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