Tale of Two Rings
Here are two rings we have made. We are very proud of each – yet they are quite different. On the left is a very nice ring, semi custom as head sizes have been changed to fit the stones and the split prongs have been added to the center stone. On the right is a hand assembled ring, not truly custom, but not stock by any means. Both rings are 14kt white gold, yet the one on the right is more expensive. Why you ask?
The difference between nice and superb is in the details.
Where the orange circles are you will see that the prongs on the left hand ring come out a little far on the center stone, and there is a slight irregularity on the V-cap on the left hand trillion. On the right hand ring the prongs do not obscure the center stone at all, but still hold it securely. These shorter prongs are not as likely to snag as the longer prongs on the left hand ring.
Where the yellow circles are you will see a gap between the triangle heads and the main head. The photo makes it look a little brutal, but to the eye it does not. Still, if you look for it, you can see it. On the right hand ring there is no gap until the prong separates at the top, where one half goes to hold the trillion and one half becomes the split in the split prong head for the center stone.
Where the blue circles are, the split in the right ring is sharper and contains no irregularity.
Look how much nicer the sweeping line is on the ring on the right where the red lines are. When we sent the enclosed picture of the ring on the left to our then relatively new benchman and asked him to make a ring similar for the stones in the ring on the right, he gently explained these differences and their influence on value. Although his quote was nearly what I normally deliver the ring on the left for, the obvious differences in craftsmanship and end-product quality made a lot of sense. He patiently walked me through the differences which I then shared with my client who happily agreed to the higher price.
Our client joyfully now wears the finished piece on her hand. Seeing and understanding the difference in quality, we now deliver three stone rings in this type of design rather than the less expensive design. One ring is very nice, the other is exquisite. Like many, we continually strive to improve the quality of our product. We can and will deliver the ring on the left if you insist, but we will always recommend the ring on the right. You are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to enjoy beautiful gems. The last few hundred dollars for the final product may NOT be the place to skimp!