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what to look for in micropave?

asschergirl27

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
30
Hi all - I am looking at a micropave setting to reset my e-ring and I am wondering what is important when buying micropave? I want it to be really sparkly and feel very uninformed while shopping around. Everything looks sparkly under the store lights! If you could help me with what to look for, I'd appreciate it!
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
Here is an article by Leon Mege that details micropave, so I'd start by reading it when you have time.
http://artofplatinum.com/vault/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=143&Itemid=8

For me, the skill of the person doing the setting is really what will make or break a pave piece. With pave, you usually get what you pay for so if it's cheap it is probably not manufactured well and will lead to lots of stones falling out or other issues. Pave rings can be cast, handmade or a hybrid of both. Really the best way to educate yourself is to go to a jewelry store that carries many designers and study how they are made. There are different styles of pave so one style might appeal to you over another. I'd look at Ritani, tacori, Jack Kelege, daniel k and any other pave ring designer you can get a hold of. I will tell you that I prefer a pave ring to have has little metal as possible so no large beads holding the stones in and the beads/prongs need to be symmetrical.
 

ruby59

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
3,553
I can say from experience that if you are looking for the pave to be very sparkly, make sure they are at least 1 point each. Ritani, while very well made, unfortunately uses 1/2 point melee for their pave. I did not realize that melee under a point give off more of a shimmer than the fiery sparkle I was hoping for.
 

Victor Canera

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
207
Ruby59, there are lots of different pave techniques available these days to choose from depending on the design, shape of the metal. It's possible to even mix some techniques of pave together. In general you should look for consistency and clean beading around the stones. The beads can actually be different shape (usually round shaped) as well but they should be sharp, symmetrical and nicely formed . The beading on really good pave has an almost unbelievable quality to it where you think how a person not a machine created the beads and almost starts to look like a texture. The diamonds should be tight together but on some pave types like European 4 bead (think pave on watches), the stones have to be spaced further apart to allow 4 beads between each stone. Some pave can be milgrained like bright cut while others can't.
As mentioned, some vendors choose to cast pieces with the beads already on a wax. This is a very low quality and price point targeted pave called pre-set. Pieces like this usually have deformed beads and lots of imperfections on the metal around the beading. On the positive side it offers pave to people that might not have been able to afford it and helps large manufacturers produce tons of product in a short period of time.
Traditionally a master setter will carve out the beads and walls surrounding the diamonds. This creates much more precise and nicer work. The smaller you go in diamond sizes the more skilled a craftsmen has to be and also necessitates the use of a microscope.
Just take a look at a few pave pieces with a loupe at a good local jeweler and I think you'll notice afterwards nice work when you see it.

Good luck.
 

asschergirl27

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
30
WOW - you guys are awesome! I had to read the responses several times to get the gist of it. I'm glad I posted here, because it seems I have a lot to learn!

mrssalvo - Loved the Leon Mege link - was super informative. I am going to read it a few more times.
ruby- thanks for pointing that out!
Victor - thanks for all the info - I will definitely ask about all of those points.


Here are the questions I came up with based on all of your responses...can you think of anything to add? Also, are these things that people typically ask their jeweler? I feel so dumb.

What size are the stones?
How is it set? Machine or by hand?
What is your policy if stones come loose?
Are the diamonds full cut or single cut?
Is it preset/cast on a wax?

What else? Thanks everyone - this has been SUPER helpful!
 

asschergirl27

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
30
Also, here is a picture of the setting. It is from CD Peacock in Chicago. It is $4400 for platinum. Unfortunately this is the only picture I could get. It does not look good in the pic - I wouldn't give it a second glance from the pic, but in person, it is super sparkly and beautiful. The side view is cathedral and under the halo there is another micropave box around the bottom of the diamond. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I'm not sure how to describe it.

Please let me know your thoughts about the setting, and if it looks like a good quality.

Thanks!

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