Friday, 9 November 2012

Remodelled Diamond Halo Ring

I'm often asked what the difference is between hand-fabricated jewellery and the cheaper CAD/cast jewellery and what better way to illustrate the difference than with a real example from one of our clients. At Daniel Prince we offer a complete bespoke service from handpicking rare diamonds and gemstones to re-stringing pearls. Occasionally we're asked to remodel a piece of jewellery for one or reason another and this particular engagement ring is one such typical request.

If you've browsed our website www.danielprince.co.uk you will know by now that everything we create is made from beginning to end by scratch using traditional hand fabrication techniques; this is a dying art but it yields the highest quality finish possible and is far superior to cheap Cad/cast jewellery. We also only publish real photographs of our work, unlike the vast majority of so-called jewellers who publish fake computer generated images.

I'll begin with showing you the photo of the engagement ring how it looked when the client first brought it in to us.
At a cursory glance this ring may look perfectly acceptable in terms of craftsmanship and finish etc. But when you scrutinise the setting and look at the quality of the work in detail you begin to notice the lack of attention to detail (take a look at the top left corner of the halo); notice how the first diamond in the top row is almost touching the corner diamond, the lack of symmetry and the big gaps between the stones (and don't get me started on the 4 claws holding the centre stone!)?

This particular client actually approached us last year about making her engagement ring and we put together a tailored proposal and overall price, but she opted to go with another jeweller because they were cheaper. However it turned out to be a false economy because she was very unhappy with the quality of the finished piece as it did not compare to the CAD images she was provided with. After seeing the ring and the shoddy workmanship, on our advice she returned the ring to the jeweller for a refund (but decided to keep the centre diamond and the smaller round stones).

The first thing we did was to find another pair of matching trapezoid-cut diamonds (or "traps").

Three Pairs of Matching Trapezoid-Cut Diamonds



 Then our artist set to work hand drawing a beautiful sketch


 Once approved, our diamond mounter (this is the name given to somebody skilled in the art of handcrafting jewellery!) set to work making the ring from scratch, using nothing but platinum wire, tools, and years of skill! The ring looks quite rough when it first comes off the jewellers workbench:


But the real transformation comes from the skill and diligence of the diamond setter. This is where the true craftsmanship of a piece can be seen and when people ask us why they should pay slightly more for a bespoke piece, I think when you compare the before and after photos of this particular commission you will agree its worth it in the end.
Quality pave setting - notice the tight uniformity of the stones
Attention to Detail
The finished (master) piece
Our client was very pleased with the end result !

"Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your email and the pic :) I am really pleased with the ring - the detailing is exquisite and I can't get over how teeny tiny those claws are on the centre stone. Really glad we decided on step cut traps too. Only problem is that I am slightly scared to wear it now :/ So yes, was definitely worth persevering! And glad I didn't just put up with the one 77 made - for various reasons!!"
The moral of the story is a simple one, know your jeweller! Insist on seeing actual photos of their work (not fake CAD/computer generated images), and be prepared to pay a little more for the highest quality craftsmanship.

If you have a piece of jewellery that you're not entirely happy with, or you are interested in commissioning a bespoke engagement ring, contact Daniel Prince for more information or to arrange a free private consultation on +44(0)207 8314258 or see our website www.danielprince.co.uk for more information.

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