Wondering if anyone can help. I have a commission for a sterling silver engagement ring and they quite like the idea of having a raw Herkimer Diamond. Does anyone have an idea of the best way to set these.
I'd probably go for a fairly chunky freeform prong setting. Hard to judge without seeing the crystal though.
I have set one of these stones in a tension type setting, cutting little cup shaped holes to take the two pointy ends. Of course as George says without knowing what your stone is like this may not work as they do not all have two nicely pointed ends.
Engagement rings are worn day-in-day-out and whichever setting you decide on, I would strongly advise you to use at least 9ct white gold, because sterling is just not durable enough.
It looks like silver, with a slight yellow cast, which I quite like and will be much stronger and wear resistant. Some of my rings and ear hoops made from this are still in good condition after fifteen years.
Even so, for your own protection, I would go for quite sturdy claws, or in the case of tension setting, which is very vulnerable, make a hefty shank and stretch the ring by at least one size to harden it before setting.
High street jewellers frequently rhodium plate to 'improve' the colour, making it look more like motorcar trim. An alternative is 18 carat white, which is much stronger and therefore could be slimmer. However your client might find it too expensive, and the colour is not everybody's cup of tea. However it can look quite stunning with a raw diamond.
We'll all be interested in your final piece, Regards, Dennis.
I have had a wee look around and there is a nice setting for herkimers which is essentially a bezel set with two hefty claws across the middle, very effective.
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