Posts Tagged fine jewelry
You just got engaged. Your neighbors are drooling; your best friend is suffering from a major depression and your coworkers are plotting against you. This is because you have the most beautiful ring that makes them all green with envy. Are you ready to take care of your new shiny pebble? Did you take a jewelry safety course or attend a jewelry care seminar? It’s not taught at your home-EC class either. Hopefully we can shine the light on the subject.
The undeniable elegance and grace of modern micro pavé jewelry are certain to draw the eye of anyone who happens to see it. However, these delicate pieces do require extra care and love on the part of their owner. At times, though the passion for your jewelry might burn with desire, a certain level of neglect might ruin the relationship.
It’s the last few minutes of the Super Bowl. Eli is just about to throw the game winning ball. Or perhaps Welker is just about to drop a ball. Your fiancé is screaming and jumping much like the rest of the stadium. Finally, the ball is thrown and the whole stadium explodes. You are excited. You are frantically applauding. And your new engagement ring is crying with pain. Why? Unknown to you it’s being bombarded with hundreds of hits by a right hand ring you got from an old sweetheart in high school (you probably lied and told your fiancé that it’s a gift from your sister). When your hands meet during the applause your ex’s ring extols its revenge on your engagement ring. The back of your ring get’s smashed at a rate of 4 hits per second. It could be 14 hit per second if you are Kent French – the world’s fastest clapper (See the video here) It’s like hundreds and hundreds of small hammers beating the back of your ring. Chances are the ex’s ring is a hefty flea market type, so your exquisite micro pavé ring is no match in terms of resiliency. It takes just one Metallica concert (or six Kenny G performances) to clap your engagement ring away. Be smart about it – the rule of thumb is: no two rings should meet with exception of a bunch of stack-able bands.
Here is a conversation at a jewelry counter repeated in this form or another more than once or twice.
- I expect to wear my ring every day. I am an active person and do a lot of physical activities. I travel, I garden, and I exercise. Regardless, I do not want to take it off my finger for any reason. This is the way I am. Besides, if I don’t have the ring somebody just might assume that I am still single!
- No problem at all, you can wear it non-stop, it’s really well made. It’s a quality item, not the cheap knockoff you would buy on 47th Street….
The salesperson just told her a lie. In order to close the sale, the salesperson will say whatever the customer wants to hear. Heck, if he is getting a commission he will also agree that the black color looks pretty much white. In fact black might be even slightly whiter in tone – it all depends on the lighting. A reputable salesperson will not hesitate telling the inconvenient truth: micro pavé jewelry although not fragile, still has to be worn with more care than plain-vanilla non-pavé jewelry.
In your life (ideally) you get only one engagement ring. Choosing its style is difficult because you have to assess your lifestyle many years into the future to make sure that it’s appropriate for just about every situation you might find yourself – casual or formal.
Imagine having to wear only one dress until the rest of your life. Which one would you choose: an evening gown or jeans? That is essentially a choice you make when you choose your engagement ring. An evening dress is the equivalent of a micro pavé ring. It combines feminine elegance with delicate construction. A pair of khakis might stand for a plain solitaire. Do you prefer to show up at work wearing a sheer designer dress or have a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant sporting sturdy overalls?
The answer seems to be simple, but it’s not. Unfortunately there is no “in-between” option; it’s either one or the other. To find a balance between the beauties of a delicate micro pavé ring versus durability of a shopping mall clunker we have to walk a fine line. In our work at Leon Mege we tend to be drawn to the side of beauty at the expense of strength. Delicate but beautiful micro pavé does require some amount of sacrifice. However, in the age of Botox and Brazilian bikini wax, keeping your ring’s surroundings under constant surveillance is not asking for much.
In order not to be sorry later one must be reasonable in his/her expectations and take three necessary steps:
- Choose your jeweler like you were to choose your plastic surgeon. Even experienced jewelers might lack understanding and expertise in this narrow field. A talent plus experience in setting micro pavé will be your best bet against future disappointment.
- Choose your setting wisely. Caring for your ring is a task similar to caring for a plant – it has to be constant, you can’t stop watering it for a month and expect it to survive. Or get a jewelry equivalent of a cactus – a plain solitaire. It will withstand harsh treatment better than a ring with pavé. You still should remove it when going bowling, kick-boxing or mechanical bull riding. See pictures.
- Listen to your jeweler’s advice. You are entitled to a clear and detailed risk assessment by your jeweler. Downplaying the potential risk in order to get the job is not an acceptable strategy.
Choose jewelry which aligns with your lifestyle and comfort zone. Its longevity depends on your care and constant awareness. It’s not an appliance.
It’s impossible to avoid contact between your ring and hard objects in a course of a day, but this is not what is required. By being alert and conscious one can wear a micro pavé ring for 20-30 years and it will look like new. However, if the advice is not heeded, evidence of damage might become noticeable within few weeks.
Very few people admit of being clumsy or rough with their jewelry. They might not even be aware of it. The damage to jewelry goes beyond the usual dents and scuffs. The ring might get bent, warp, have loose or lost stones or even break apart. The usual cause – mistreatment, abuse, rough handling, applying excessive force, and/or friction (more on friction here: Engagement Ring Hand: Right or Left).
The moment you forget the ring is on your finger is the moment that will be the beginning of its demise. By being naturally cautious of your movements and actions you will avoid a lot of headaches in the future.
The Little Not So White Lie
- Yes!!! – was your answer. You cried in happiness and disbelief. You knew, of course, that he is going to propose (really – is there any woman who doesn’t?). He knew, of course, that his male baldness pattern calls for at least two carats. You got a huge rock in a beautiful custom designed mounting. He put a lot of thought and effort into designing the perfect ring just for you! The prongs are griping the diamond with their tiny claws as if they are trying to spirit it away and its kaleidoscopic skin is clad in brilliant scales – just like you had envisioned in your dreams!
Your new ring is in front of you cradled in a genuine English leather ring box, embossed with a Leon Mege logo. The whole room is lit by its glare and your cat is confused feeling he is being attacked by an army of little bright circles. The diamond casts a rainbow on a fresh bouquet of flowers as well as the Leon Mege Certificate of Authenticity. Some call it Heaven, some call it Nirvana. The proper medical term is Post Engagement Ecstasy Syndrome. The typical treatment includes filing a joint tax return.
Suddenly the door bell rings.
- It’s him, it’s him!!! Your heart is racing. Your (slightly balding, yet beloved) newly minted fiancé has finally arrived to spend a romantic evening saturated with exaggerated assurances and enough loving clichés to make people married for few years sick to their stomach.
You are trying to beat the cat to the door to greet him and, “Oh No!!!!”, something hard is under your foot and your body, admittedly small, yet still five more pounds to lose (damn ice cream!), has already shifted its mass, crushing the object under its weight. You see in horror that due to all the commotion your beautiful ring was accidentally knocked down on the floor and stepped on… Your heart sinks, you are ready to faint…
It takes guts admitting to giving a French kiss to the cute bartender in Amsterdam. Admitting that you just destroyed the very symbol of his love takes even more guts. You can accept responsibility for what just happened or use the seemingly innocent way out:
“Honey, you know, I just noticed that one tiny stone is missing from my new ring… Please call the jeweler, maybe he can fix it quickly.” You forgot to mention that the ring looks more like a pancake at a Lion’s club breakfast. Who cares – once the ring is sent back to jeweler you have the perfect alibi, “I didn’t do anything…” or “I don’t know what happened…” Sometimes the best defense is the attack: “It was like this when I got it!”
We know you are not that person. But if you ever meet her please ask her to call Leon. I am still waiting for that call.
Wear & Tear or Wear Till Tear?
With the exception of jewelry containing spring loaded, mechanical parts such as locks, clasps etc. jewelry is usually one solid piece of metal. It could be a composite if there is any pavé. There are soldering and welding joints, of course but in most cases a ring is infinitely simpler in construction than, for example, a smart phone. If there are any hidden defects they will manifest within a week of two. The defects are usually cracks or stones getting loose. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to reset stones and use a laser welder to fix cracks. Once the ring is worn more than a month it’s safe to assume that any new problem is related to unkind wear. As upsetting as it sounds the only person who could be blamed for the damage is the owner.
It’s a customer relationship nightmare to explain to a customer that her jewelry wearing habits is what is causing the damage. Some people feel embarrassed, some get belligerent. Surprisingly the great majority of people while still upset are reasonable and fair in understanding the situation. The usual course of action is to repair or completely re-make the ring followed by a stern warning to change your wearing habits. Alternatively you might opt to change the setting completely, usually a solitaire or a three stone ring.
You should not feel bad about it. In the course of life there are many events beyond your control. Your jeweler is like a family doctor – you go see him no matter how embarrassing or mundane your problem is. Your trusted jeweler will always reward your customer loyalty by performing a repair at little or no cost or assisting in filing the insurance claim.