Tag Archives: diamond rings

10 More Diamond Ditties

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They just can’t stop turning them out, can they? 

Musical artists never seem to get tired of writing songs that are about, feature or memorably mention diamonds.  Not sure what it is about these reflective stones that is so aurally pleasing or visually inspirational to these singer-songwriters (perhaps because diamonds look like disco balls, and these people all secretly love this retro, lost art form?)  Well, no need to analyze their musical motives; let’s just give a listen to some of the most recent diamond ditties to hit the scene (aka, Spotify).  

Rihanna – We Found Love 

Everyone’s favorite Caribbean Queen has dazzled again, this time paying tribute to the gloriously golden orb of the gem world: the yellow diamond.  In her insanely catchy track “We Found Love,” RiRi dishes on how her and some unnamed (and lucky) gentleman were able to discover some sort of amorous bond in a highly unlikely and spiritually destitute location.  A funky synth-organ beat from Calvin Harris and the rest is music gold…or, should we say, fancy vivid yellow diamonds.  

 

Lil Wayne – Diamonds and Girls 

Wildly popular lilliputian rapper Lil Wayne (known to his fans as “Weezy” – most likely because he’s a huge fan of the band Weezer) is not once to mince words.  Here he leaves no doubt as to what are the two things that he is systematically seeking most in life; more than any other objects or genders out there.  

 

Arcade Fire – Headlights Look Like Diamonds

Here we have a love ballad of sorts, where the immolated arcade crew describes a lover as having these gem-reminiscent ‘headlights,’ which one can assume means “eyes.”  As said headlights approach, they bring the promise of all the glittering goodness inherent to diamonds.  Sadly, once this car has metaphorically sailed by, the “Taillights burn like coals,” which can mean the singer was ‘burned’ (more fire symbolism), but also possibly has regressed a bit (as coals are thought to be the early form of diamonds …even though that is simply a myth).  In any event, this is a super-meta song that shows just how bad love can scorch in a conflagration of searing beauty.  

 

Jay-Z – Diamond is Forever

Ah, not to be confused with diamonds, plural, this track is about the one and only diamond in Jay-Z’s life.  That’s right, his true Bae: himself.  Mr. H to the Izz-O pontificates on this rap about how truly phenomenal his spitting skills are, amongst other accolades.  The actual diamond referenced here is His Truly, and the self-aggrandizing is not wholly undeserved; it’s a shout-out to how his fans make a diamond shape with their hands at his concerts in an homage to his sparkling performances and hard-Roc-A-Fella spirit. 

 

Rob Thomas – Her Diamonds 

We now take a turn for the touching in this love inspired serenade from Thomas to his wife.  Apparently she has a debilitating disease that affects her immune system, and this song was written to compliment her for her strength and bravery in facing it.  Her tears seem to him like diamonds, indicating that what is inside her is simultaneously aesthetically beautiful and fundamentally hard.  She sings on the tune as well, giving it even more emotional substance.    

 

Sheryl Crow – Diamond Ring

The Missouri native hits us with another gruffly sweet, yet epic folk tune, this one about diamond rings.  Crow has seen her fair share of them over the years, as she has been proposed to three times.  Hence, her collection of the things is quite extensive, relatively speaking.  This song is supposedly about her break-up with performance-enhanced cyclist Lance Armstrong,  but Crow never confirmed this tidbit of gossip.  Either way, the track is pleasing to the ears, despite its slightly melancholic tone. 

 

Common – Diamonds

Ironically, there is nothing that lyrically commonplace when it comes to the One they Call Common.  This track is rife with modest statements from the Chicago bred wordsmith, such as “I’m a rare diamond that’s hard to find, man,” and others that express that his time is ever so valuable as well “My time, man, precious like diamonds.”  A Common misconception about diamonds (indelibly sung by Rihanna) is that they “shine,” when they simply reflect and refract light; this is further espoused here too: “Imma be shining til I die, man.”  

 

Tim McGraw – Diamond Rings and Old Barstools

Off the seminal 2015 album “Sundown Heaven Town,” this country gem illustrates the classic case of a couple that just doesn’t see eye to eye.  The titular juxtaposition of what are presumably breathtakingly lovely engagement rings and beat up, dingy, beer soaked chairs is representative of the two warring lovers (fairly certain it’s ok to assume the lady in question is the dazzling diamond and the dude is the stinky stool).  McGraw’s crooner cousin, Catherine Dunn, sings back up vocals on this jam, providing the “Coke” to this “watered down whiskey.” 

 

Devon Allman’s Honeytribe – Endless Diamond

An odd hybrid of sounds and styles, this mystical rock song details the “endless diamonds” of the world, which ostensibly are humans that were able to reach the pinnacle of their potential.  It seems as if the narrator is some sort of deity or possibly an alien life form that is watching over these little sparkling entities called ‘people.’  The metal meets country meets Brit Rock flavor of this song is definitively indicative of the intriguingly diverse nature of the human race, and our eternally bright moments.  

 

Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha Man 

Fun loving English power-pop-punk posse Supergrass truly know how to have a good time.  That’s the core essence of this bizarrely named track.  According to the band, a Diamond Hoo Ha Man is a reckless chap who is always up for some shenanigans, a “really dodgy Fear and Loathing-type traveling salesman.”  Whatever this phrase really means is immaterial; the bottom line is that this is a great term and should be used stateside from this day forth.  

-Joe Leone 

6 of the Worst Ways to Save

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Over the last year or so, we’ve offered up sundry tips on how to consistently and systematically save money.  However, there exists a litany of alternative methods that certain factions of people routinely employ in a hapless effort to hold on to their finances.  Let’s take a gander at some of the worst ways that people have dreamt up to “save,” and why you should avoid them like the bubonic plague.

“Everything’s fine!  Why would I need insurance?”

For the love of all that is holy, please do not adopt this attitude.  Be it home, auto or health, you need insurance.  All the money you could possibly save in your lifetime by not having insurance will still pale in comparison to the amount you would have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident or unexpected serious condition.  Property and car insurance providers are well aware of this, and as a result must compete for your business by advertising/offering cost cutting incentives (why do you think Geico has over 100 mascots?)  Even the oft maligned ‘government’ is looking out for you in terms of reasonably affordable health insurance (Hello, Obamacare.)  Only when you’re insured, can you rest assured – or at least take a little nap.

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“Let’s buy in bulk! / Find the best deal!”

Shopping at the massive bulk item conglomerates can be quite cost effective when making purchases …if you actually use up all the items you buy.  For instance, “Octomom” could have benefited from a large supply of diapers.  You, on the other hand, may not need 200 Glade Plug-Ins.  While the individual costs of these items will be ostensibly inexpensive when you break them down, if you aren’t using the products up rapidly, then these giant quantities are effectively costing you cash.  Not to mention the annual fees that most of the wholesale clubs enforce.  Along the same lines, if you spend all day long scouring the internet for “super great deals,” you can often be tempted (and lured with clever advertising) to buy “cheap” things that you weren’t going to buy in the first place.  So great, you’ve just saved 40 cents on fabric softener with a discount code provided by a site, but you also just bought 78 dollars worth of Snuggies.

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“I see Golden Arches ahead!”

Truly, a “Dollar Value Menu” sounds like the epitome of savings/deliciousness, but if you trust your, ahem, gut, you know this is not a smart idea.  Yes, eating healthy can be costly, but ultimately it is worth it.  Scarfing down copious amounts of fast food will leave you feeling lethargic and susceptible to illness.  In the long term, doctor’s bills of any sort will always outweigh any savings you may have incurred from eating BK every day.  Repeat, do not have it your way.

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“Minimum payment: check!  I’m good to go!”

We’ve gone over a lot of the pros and cons of credit cards and how to avoid debt, but one thing is for certain; making only the minimum monthly payment on your cards is costing you a great deal.  As your balance surges higher and higher, the interest you owe also accumulates at this exponential rate, leaving you in quite the credit hole.  Try to pay as much as you can per month (unless, of course, you’ve got one of those nifty promotional cards with an APR of 0% for the first year, in which case, go buck wild.)

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“DIY, DIY, DIY!”

While some of you may love working with your hands, either digging around in a garden for weeds or popping Ikea furniture together, there is definitely a time and a place for home projects.  So let’s go over the times/places where you should NOT attempt to repair or construct things yourself (after a perfunctory Google or Bing instruction session that you deem totally adequate): fixing a hole in your steep angled roof, stopping that gas leak in your basement, putting out the fire billowing from your carburetor, building a guest-tree house for your brother-in-law to live in, capturing a rabid raccoon.  There are professionals in all these fields; if you value your safety in the least bit, please use them.  Even tasks that aren’t that dangerous can just be a colossal waste of your time.  You’ve been trying to grab it for the last three hours; you’re never going to reach that turtle your son flushed down the toilet.  Call a dang plumber immediately before you permanently lose your mind and end up in a mental hospital.

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“One day, this sparkly thing will be worth so much!”

Holding on to old diamond jewelry that you never wear anymore (or ever did, in the case of some dusty inherited pieces) is not smart.  Diamonds, and most jewelry items in general, do not appreciate in the same way that other commodities can.  If you have substantial diamonds of any nature (meaning 1 carat and larger), you should consider selling them now.  The money you make from them can then be used for something more profitable, such as a mutual fund or (a more spiritually profitable) trip to Paris or Mumbai.  Check out DiamondLighthouse.com.  We get our clients the best value for their diamond jewelry, every single time.  Find out how!

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-Joe Leone

What Is Sustainable Jewelry?

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In recent times, some of the most popularly proffered buzz words relate to the environment.  “Going green,” “eco-friendly,” and “ethically derived” are just a few of the oft uttered (and marketed) phrases that are essentially straight forward and universally understood in their meanings.  But what exactly is “sustainable jewelry,” and why is it something to strive for?  Nobody is throwing their jewelry items in the garbage (hopefully), so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is this; the way that the precious metals and gems that make up jewelry pieces are obtained can have a significant impact on the environment.  First, the methods employed in removing these ores and stones from the ground can have an extremely negative effect on surrounding soil, vegetation and ecosystems.  Often, the surface soil of a mined area is completely decimated; this topsoil is the main area where new plants can grow, so after the mining is finished, the land remains barren.  Toxic chemicals used during this ‘soil stripping’ process obviously contribute to more of the same thing.  The chemicals which are disseminated about typically do not stop their subterranean spiral at the soil; they proceed downward to whatever water flows beneath, contaminating that as well.  Well, once the soil is poisoned and eroded and nearby water is rendered malignant, that’s it, right?  Nope.  There’s even a lovely sinkhole or two to look forward to.

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When thinking about this sort of environmental devastation, it can be all too easy to envision that this only occurs in remote parts of the world, where the environment is not regulated, correct?  Nope again.  The organization Ethical Metalsmiths reports that right here in the good ole US of A, one of the most virulent (and fervently active) industries is metal mining.  The unrestricted practices endemic to this business have lead to 96% of the nation’s annual arsenic emissions, and 76% of the yearly lead that is released into the atmosphere and earth as well.  The conditions in certain African, Central and South American countries are even worse as ground contaminants have reached alarmingly dangerous heights.

(more information on Diamond Mines)

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Next comes the hazards inherent in jewelry manufacturing.  Vast amounts of energy are routinely consumed to create different glass materials, which are frequently colored with noxious dyes.  These harmful substances then end up in the ground and leach their way into the water supply too.  Even if a company adheres to fairly strict practices in regards to the allocation of hazardous chemicals and the proper disposal of waste, there are still the production factors to consider.  Some companies may develop their jewelry through sound means, but end up creating a huge amount of waste in the packaging, delivering and distribution of their items.

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So when a brand or particular designer claims to make truly “sustainable jewelry,” they should be taking each and every one of the aforementioned environmental considerations into account.  In the actual creation of the jewelry pieces, they should be using recycled metals whenever feasible.  Such materials can be easily acquired, and dynamic designers all over the world have found innovative ways to let these up-cycled metals really stand out.  In addition to the metals used, various other vintage articles can be craftily assembled, making the jewelry not only environmentally conscious but uniquely conceived as well.  Rubber, vinyl, plastic; all make great additions to jewelry and can be literally extracted from places where they would otherwise go unused or harm their natural surroundings.  Many designers repurpose materials too; an old phone cord can be fashioned into a daring new bracelet, a chunk of chandelier crystal converted into a fascinating Art Deco inspired necklace.  The way that sustainable jewelry is put together must be considered also, in a manner that wastes as little natural energy and resources as possible.

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There are many designers out there today making totally sustainable, chic and wearable pieces.  Here is a list of just some of the coolest and most environmentally responsible talents currently revolutionizing the industry (from ecosalon.com).

When all is said and done, producing anything new will always require energy and resources of some sort.  Hopefully we can collectively agree that jewelry should be made in as sustainable a manner as possible.  It’s nice to own pretty things; it’s also nice to live on a pretty planet.

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-Joe Leone

The World’s Best Jewelry Designers

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At times, jewelry can transcend mere fashion and reach the status of high art.  The following international designers consistently deliver their wares with such unpredictable ingenuity and stylistic acumen that they leave critics and consumers equally speechless.  Behold, the top ten highest rated jeweler designers currently dazzling the world stage.

Costis

credit: Costis.com
credit: Costis.com
credit: costis.com
Credit: costis.com

The Costis brand was officially established in 1994 in the land of piazzas and pizzas.  The key element that Costis employs in their designs is the concept of the ‘everyday turned fantastical.’  An ordinary pencil is transformed into a gem encrusted bracelet.  A fish monger’s barnacle laden net becomes a bizarrely fascinating and chic necklace.  Two kiwi slices are transmogrified into deliciously gilded earrings, while a skyscraper decadently descends to wrap around your index finger.  Whatever the commonplace inspiration, the pieces emerge as anything but ordinary.

Autore

credit: Pearlautore.com.au
Credit: Pearlautore.com.au

Autore has done a fabulous job of carving out a very specific and eye-catching niche for themselves.  They are the go-to designer for all pieces featuring the pulchritudinous pearl.  The signature element of their earrings, rings, necklaces and more, is this singular and most sought after treasure of the sea.  The pearls they showcase are not simply white, but come in a wide array of exotic and mixed colors.  Black pearls and south sea pearls are beautiful in their own right, but are brought to new levels of comely opulence when featured in Autore jewelry.

Efva Attling, Stockholm

credit: efvaattling.se
Credit: efvaattling.se

This Swedish designer brings an elegant and uniquely Nordic look to all her pieces.  There is something simultaneously warm (the bold colored gems) and icy (the sleek silver mountings) inherent to each of her stunning specimens.  Born Efva Katarina Attling, she spent a lot of time in the fashion world working as a model before crossing over to design.  She also,  un-ironically, was in a band called “X Models.”  The company motto governing their pieces is “beauty with a thought,” and you can really see how much thought goes into each alluring article.

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Graff

credit: graffdiamonds.com
credit: graffdiamonds.com

Founded by the venerated Laurence Graff in 1960, this British jewelry behemoth has not shown any signs of slowing down.  Year after year the Graff conglomeration cranks out dynamic and dazzling numbers.  Graff is widely regarded as one of the premier designers in the elusive world of deluxe diamond jewelry.  Extremely rare and sought after diamonds, from pure whites to fancy vivids, are showcased in the Graff catalogue, a name synonymous with high end design and unlimited class.

Harry Winston

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Another monster name in the diamond jewelry world, Harry Winston is not afraid to push boundaries in his creations.  Having put a new spin on numerous classical looking pieces, from winter-themed, icicle reminiscent earrings to starkly striking, exquisitely contoured multi-colored diamond necklaces, Winston’s modern take on antique structures has been very well received.  This chap and his operation seems to be quite magnanimous as well; he coughed up the infamous Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute in 1963.  Before that he relinquished the Hope Diamond to the very same museum.  You know you’re pretty financially sound when you can just give away the darn Hope Diamond.

Van Cleef and Arpels

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VC & A have been designing stunning and bold pieces since 1896.  Blending a variety of metals and gems in their jewelry, they somehow consistently make wondrously ostentatious works (that would come off as gaudy in the hands of less skilled designers).  As their pieces have been flaunted around the world on the likes of the Duchess of Windsor and film darling Grace Kelly, Van Cleef and Arpels has received quite a bit of international publicity.  Having famed diamond-ophile Liz Taylor as an unofficial spokesperson didn’t hurt this company either.  One of the more mystical design teams on this list, their items often contain wild floral elements, real and imagined creatures and even mischievous and whimsical fairies.

credit: vancleefarpals.com
credit: vancleefarpals.com

Piaget

credit: piaget.com
credit: piaget.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This swank Swiss outfit is known primarily for their luxury watches which just drip diamonds, but are major players in all high end jewelry forms as well.  Taking a piaget out of the book of adorable, Georges Edouard Piaget initially crafted a tiny watch workshop in 1874 on the family farm in a little hamlet in the Jura mountains of Switzerland.  As the company exploded onto the jewelry scene, they never lost sight of George’s primary goal of supplying superb craftsmanship and highly original designs.  Piaget currently owns and operates Geneva’s most massive jewelry workshop (something ole Georgey probably never dreamed of).  Their timeless timepieces adorn the wrists of anyone who’s anyone, including Athlete-of-our-Generation, Serena Williams (a testament to how sturdy the watches are too, as Serena wears hers while actually competing).

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Bulgari

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credit: bulgari.com
Credit: bulgari.com

Leave it to the Romans (or Rome-based designer Bulgari) to concoct a jewelry line that has some pieces which offer unprecedented, sheer regal elegance and others that look almost like the sleek shackles of an ancient (and stylish) prisoner.  Their signature, trademarked logo, where their name is spelled out “Bvlgari” (as the Italians of yore did not have a “u” in their alphabet), is as iconic as the brand’s illustrious assortment of pieces.  Bulgari boasts one of the most impressive collections of jewelry works which contain (some of) the world’s most sublimely scarce gemstones.

Cartier

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Cartier - via pinterest.com
Cartier – via pinterest.com
credit: Cartier.de
credit: Cartier.de

Cartier has never shied away from creating potentially polarizing jewelry parcels.  Perhaps it is because they are so highly regarded in the jewelry milieu that they have no qualms about engaging in daring experiments in form.  Their famous leopard head ring echoes lustrous Egyptian jewelry of yesteryear, while their “nail” ring embodies quite a funky take on modern design aesthetics.  As one of the oldest functioning jewelry companies on the planet (founded in Paris by Louis-Francois Cartier in 1847), Cartier holds a rich tradition of designing jewelry for the world’s most elite clientele, from heads of state to heads of movie studios to celebrity head cases.

Chopard

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The 1860, Swiss-born Chopard dynasty is unanimously held in the highest esteem in the realm of all things jewelry related.  Initially focused solely on watchmaking (the Swiss really have been adamant about perfecting watch designs), it wasn’t until over one hundred years after they were founded that they ventured into crafting other types of jewelry.  In recent years, Chopard has helped to pioneer the ‘green jewelry movement’ (which doesn’t mean it features just emeralds).  The official name given to their program is the somewhat ephemeral sounding “The Journey,” which was established to help create sustainable, fairly mined and assembled jewelry.  Hopefully all designers will follow suit in Chopard’s quest to design things that are as beautiful as they are ethically derived.

credit: us.chopard.com
Credit: us.chopard.com

 -Joe Leone 

Setting Rings in Motion

Riveting Ring Setting Types

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When choosing a ring, a ton of thought goes into the precious gemstone(s) that will be featured.  Lest you forget, the mounting plays a huge role in the overall aesthetics of the ring as well.  Commonly (and, technically, inaccurately) referred to as the “setting” (‘setting’ is the act of placing a stone into a “mounting,” the physical object), the choice and formation of the metal utilized here is just as important as the way the mounting looks.  Here are the most popular setting options available, as well as some of the lesser seen varieties.  A close inspection of each band/mounting type will help to give you a better idea as to what setting is right for your particular ring finger, your loved one’s…or your cat’s paw.

If loving you is prong, I don’t want to be right

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Prong Setting

Ah, the perennially prominent prongs.  A prong setting is the most ubiquitous in the world of diamond rings, especially engagement rings.  Prongs are small metal hooks that hold the stone (hopefully) securely in its spot.  Most rings will feature four of the talon-like pieces to keep their gem held tight (just like a raven’s foot), but some have six, or even more.  The reason why everybody loves prongs so much is because with this brand of setting more of the stone is visible.  The more visible the stone, the greater the opportunity for light to hit it at various angles.  The more light, the more bright (or “brighter” …for those of you who prefer correct grammar).  The only major downfall of a prong setting is that the metal hooks can get caught on clothing items, other pieces of jewelry and in rare cases, the mouth of fish.  If the precious metal of the ring is soft, like gold or platinum, the prong can easily bend – if it’s titanium, like Sia sings, it probably isn’t going anywhere.

Bez Friends

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Bezel Setting

The second most celebrated setting is the bezel.  This is probably the most secure variety out there, so it’s good for the ring-wearer-on-the-go (not exactly sure where they are going, but you get the idea).  One cool thing about the bezel setting is that in order for the center stone to be properly locked into place, the mounting must be custom made.  This gives each ring a certain uniqueness to it.  For a little “peek-a-boo” light action, there is the partial bezel.  This sub-style leaves the sides of the stone open for some serious ray penetration and subsequent brilliance enhancing.

Why so tense?

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Tension Setting

A tension set stone looks as if it’s being magically held in place, therefore a great pick for mystical men and whimsical women.  The way a tension setting is structured is a highly scientific process, using sophisticated calibration techniques; the jeweler doesn’t just ram the diamond into the metal and then have a cigarette.  The gemstone dimensions are precisely measured and the metal then has minuscule divots cut into the main open areas.  The stone is delicately placed in the opening and then violà, held in place due to the pressure the band is exerting on it.  The end result is that the gem is suspended there, for all of eternity.   Since this process is so complicated, tension setting can be expensive.  However, if you want the ‘look for less,’ you can opt for a “tension-style” setting.  This basically is a subtle bezel setting that has still has the band converging in the middle, giving off the impression that it’s actually tension set, and that you are an authentic baller.

Don’t change the channel 

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Channel Setting

Do not go into a jeweler’s shop asking for a “Chanel” ring, unless you are prepared to part with a hefty sum.  A channel setting is used for stones of a more diminutive nature, that are set in a nice little row (like, for instance, adorable ducklings sitting on a log).  These are often used in wedding bands (as there is typically no large, center stone), and have seen a recent rise in popularity, as designers are mixing gems of different or alternating colors in the band.

Raising the Bar

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Bar Setting

This setting version is essentially the same as the channel, only instead of fully encapsulating the diamonds from all sides, the bar type band leaves the sides of each stone exposed.  Again, this is ostensibly so more rays of light can bombard the stones and refract out in a dynamic rainbow of organic opulence (aka: sparkle).  A great setting if the actual setting you met your betrothed at was a bar – or if they just spend all day there now.

The road to ____ is pavéd with good intentions 

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Pavé Setting

The pavé setting is similar to the channel setting, except the diamonds/stones typically are even smaller and do not look as if they are as deeply set into the band.  A series of little dazzlers encircle the whole ring, so an overall effect of ne’er-ending sparkle is achieved.  Using a very precise drill, the jeweler makes infinitesimally small holes throughout the band and then sticks the baby diamonds in there.  This style can look elegant on the right person, but may come across as over the top on someone with more understated tastes (for a more subtle pavé style, there is the eternity band, which is completely inlaid with diamonds, but doesn’t have a center stone).  One of the biggest gripes people have about pavé set rings is that once those buggers are in place, it becomes nearly impossible to re-size the ring.  Bottom line if you want a pavé ring: get the size correct off the bat / don’t ever gain or lose weight.

Oh, halo there 

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Halo Setting

Hark!  The heavenly halo setting sings!  This is definitely a miracle performing mounting, as the halo setting makes the center stone look significantly larger.  If you really want to make that puppy pop, you can have a double halo, and get even more bang for your buck  The angelic halo, which can be round or square, encircles the radius of the diamond with other, smaller diamonds.  It’s basically like having a full pavé setting around your center stone, and a virtual angel watching over your diamond’s every move.

The Flushing Bride

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Flush Setting

To qualify as a flush, the band of the ring needs to have a hole drilled into it so the center stone can literally rest flush in the shank (band).  The end result looks like a tension set band and a bezel had a sturdy looking baby, and this is it.  This is one of the more secure setting breeds; a veritable Fort Knox of mountings.  It’s a somewhat masculine look, hence it often shows up in men’s bands.  Men who love fancy, glittery things, that is.

Cluster Bucks 

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Cluster Setting

Here’s the deal with cluster settings; they’re yet another beautiful deception in the duplicitous and riveting ring milieu.  A group of smallish stones are lumped all together, to either create the appearance of a more massive, cumulative stone, or to aid the overall gemstone mass of ring that contains a center stone.  Cluster settings are basically the reason why one must always ask for a distinction in “carat weight” versus “total carat weight.”  A cluster of ten delicate diamonds which weigh 3 carats total, will typically not be worth nearly as much a single stone weighing 2 carats.

Take Me to Cathedral

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Cathedral Setting

This is as delicate and pulchritudinous a ring mounting as they come.  Lifting the stone to blessed heights, the cathedral setting emulates the grand spanning arches of an actual basilica.  The gem is literally raised off the finger, usually with fetching, stretching prongs, but can also be tension or bezel set (it’s simply the comely church-like aesthetic that defines this setting).  Just watch yourself; the added height makes this potentially arrogant ring ripe for breaking, as envious worldly elements seek to rend it back to earth – or worse, farther down below… like Australia. 

Use Your Illusion 

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Illusion Setting

Known in the jewelry world as the “illusion setting” (as in “It’s not a trick…it’s an illusion”), here we have a small diamond or other gemstone featured in a band that has an elaborate metal framework surrounding it.  Usually, the diamond would be at the center of a flower shape, with petals jutting out on the sides.  These guys were popular during the Retro period, and would routinely showcase hearts, additional floral pattens, intaglios, itty bitty side stones, and in very rare cases, hashtags.  If it hasn’t been made clear yet, the “illusion” referenced here is that while the diamond/ring in reality may be of a meager nature, it appears to be quite sizable and expensive (apologies to any prideful magicians out there).

Vintage of Innocence 

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Vintage Setting

We saved one of the best for last, the vivacious vintage setting.  These preterite pieces may incorporate a variety of the previously listed mountings, or elements intrinsic to them.  However, a primary distinguishing characteristic in most vintage settings is the use of intricate metalwork.  The term for this is filigreed, yet most people from yesteryear were certainly not ‘greedy’ in their displaying of gems and metals with a fervent flourish.  Filigreed is comprised of a nexus of metal threads, woven together to form a delicate pattern.  It can incorporate tiny beads, balls and baby baubles.  These are great rings for those who not only appreciate the past, but revel in it.

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-Joe Leone