As some of the long term readers of my blog know, I have advised people in the past to go to jewelers that they trust, jewelers whose designs they like, and that are willing to offer a good range of options and warrantees. I usually advise this because it's easier to work with someone like this. But additionally if you like their style and quality of work and design, you know you'll get a nice piece of jewelry that will look good and you'll enjoy over the years.
So if you come in to work with a designer like me, you should be willing to put yourself into their hands to some extent. I have more than 30 years of experience designing and making jewelry so I usually have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. Now this doesn't mean that if you have imagined up some design that you want me to execute, you can't ask me to do it, but it does mean that you have to be willing to take some of my advice on what will look good and work well within the parameters of the design. This particularly becomes the case if you are asking me to alter an existing design of mine for you. (Yes I am going somewhere with this.)
So I recently had a young couple come in with their diamond and they decided on one of my simpler designs in which there is a very plain band that comes up and loops around a prong setting. It rises up slightly as it goes around the setting. Pretty straightforward and at times I have made it with both very small and huge stones and pretty much everything inbetween, but I almost always show it with a fairly small (quarter carat) diamond in it. Anyway, the couple's diamond was quite a bit bigger and I offered to make up a model (because I was going to have to anyway since the band was going to be made in platinum) for the customer to look at ahead of time. As I usually do, I made it up the way I thought it would look best given the design and size of the stone. However, when the customer came in she decided that she wanted me to raise the metal up around the stone setting higher because it was a much bigger setting. I'm here to make you happy, so even though I thought it looked fine the way it was, I boosted up the metal that wrapped around the setting and sent it off to be cast.
Well about three weeks after the ring was picked up my customer walked in again and, in a very humble way, asked if I would take the sides of the setting back down to where it was originally. Because I want you to be happy with a ring you're going to wear all the time, I agreed to do it immediately, even though ultimately I had to actually start from scratch with the original model and recast the entire piece (platinum is a very persnicketly metal and doesn't take kindly to a lot of changes being made). The final piece looked great and was exactly as I had first wanted it to be, and the customer seemed to be thrilled with it. Apparently she was so thrilled that she brought along an apple pie as a thank you gift, something that was totally unneccesary. And now I have to eat the whole thing, because I hate to throw good food away!
Morals of the story: If you like what your jeweler designs, trust them to make it right. If you want your jeweler to live a long and healthy life don't make him too fat!
Pictured above is a variation on my best selling ring but this one is narrower with a prong setting and a .41 ct. ideal cut Lazare Diamond, "E" color, VS1 clarity.