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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/No hanky-panky in setting diamond.


QUESTION: Dear Thomas,
If I decide to set my GIA-certified diamond (with laser inscription) with gypsy setting, how can I be sure the diamond after setting is the same diamond before setting (no hanky-panky)?

ANSWER: Dear Choo,

You are concerned because the setting will cover the laser inscription?  I assume the inscription is on the girdle(waist) of the stone.

What you need is a complete appraisal including a "map" of the gemstone showing any and all flaws visible through the top of the diamond. Also, color grade, weight and fluorescence is important.

Color is more difficult to judge in a gypsy set gemstone but weight may be estimated fairly closely if the bottom of the gem is exposed to provide accurate measurement.  The internal and surface conditions of the gem are not going to change and should match up prior and after settings.

Since the inscription will likely not be visible, you must depend on a thorough map of the gemstone.

Choo, I hope this helps you.  Thomas.

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QUESTION: Dear Thomas,
Is half-bezel setting the same as tension setting? How come they both look just the same? Is half-bezel setting safe from the risk of chipping?

Dear Choo,

The half (or partial) bezel means the rim of metal around the stone generally is limited to two opposite sides of the gem, each covering perhaps 1/4 of the gem. How much stone is covered depends on the design. The exposed portion of the gemstone girdle(waist)is as safe from chipping as many other styles but perhaps not as protective as a full bezel.  In your situation, one advantage is if the diamond is turned properly when setting work is done, the laser inscription may be in the exposed area and that would be a good thing for identification of the gemstone.

A tension setting generally has as "half bezel" arraqngement. The gem is held between two bezel sections on opposite sides of the stone. Tension depends on the strength of the ring band to hold the two ends tightly against the stone. This is like a horse shoe with the opening pushed together to creat tension between the ends. This is not a safe manner to set a nice gemstone.

A half or partial bezel setting style may be used in many ways and a tension setting is only one of those ways.  A gentlemans or ladies ring with a solid appearing top may have the stone set into the top using partial bezel or half bezel. The ring is solid from side to side and no tension is needed to keep the bezel tight on the gemstone.  Picture in your thoughts a ring with the stone set into a bezel on the top. If only a portion of bezel is used to change the artistic design, the ring does not become a tension setting.

I hope this answer helps you and wish joy and peace to you and family.  Thomas.  

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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