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Jewelry Talk

Setting a diamond into a sterling setting

Started 1317441310.75 in Jewelry Talk | Last reply 1317672926.423 by happy housewife

Would you do it? Do jewelers even do this?

I always recall that diamonds were not supposed to be set in sterling, but is all that changing with the price of gold so high?


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Songbird11317442286.6372470 PostsRegistered 12/31/2004

I remember years ago being at a high end jewelers. For some reason the talk turned to diamonds set in silver (something almost unheard of) I still remember the jeweler looking horrified at the idea of a CHEAP metal like silver with something of value set in it.

I hate silver. I don't own any of it. I consider it semiprecious junk. Not in any way fine jewelry. But the situation of gold has driven up the the price. If you stop at jewerly stores you see them empty. The 18K with the best diamonds and even the 14K with the middle of the road diamonds have disappeared. Even junky 10K has gone. They are forced to bring in silver. It's their only choice. Appropriately enough they are setting "dead" diamonds in silver and selling it a little high (they have to have a markup). Of crouse it still diminishes the value of diamonds, precious gems like ruby and sapphire. Anything set in it. But the fine jewelry industry want's to stay in business. To be able to sell something.

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CamilleP1317442459.6973445 PostsRegistered 8/1/2007Oregon

Tiffany & Co. is doing it, has done for a couple three years now, in fact. I imagine the price of gold is part of the reason they are offering silver and diamond pieces, but Tiffany started doing it well before this most recent meteoric price jump, so I don't think gold prices are the entire reason.

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CalmInTheH­eart1317474362.6178313 PostsRegistered 7/14/2007

I've seen diamonds in silver but most of them are poor quality diamonds. The silver with diamond lines at Q, ShopNBC, HSN are especially poor quality.


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BaileyandB­ella1317483917.965781 PostsRegistered 2/6/2010
On 9/30/2011 CamilleP said:

Tiffany & Co. is doing it, has done for a couple three years now, in fact. I imagine the price of gold is part of the reason they are offering silver and diamond pieces, but Tiffany started doing it well before this most recent meteoric price jump, so I don't think gold prices are the entire reason.


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stevieb1317486223.0536658 PostsRegistered 11/4/2007

I personally wouldn't set a nicer diamond in silver. There are some I would but not a significant diamond. Silver's fine, but it's surely not in the same league as gold...

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nakattack1317488105.19438 PostsRegistered 2/3/2009

For a solitaire diamond, it doesn't seem like a good idea to set it in a softer metal like silver. But then I think solitaires should ideally be set in platinum, not gold at all.

For melee diamond fashion rings, why not use silver. (Tons of HE designers are doing it and they use decent quality diamonds.) Just because a piece of jewelry has diamonds doesn't mean it has to be 'fine jewelry' with a price tag to match. And just because it is in silver doesn't mean it's worthless either.

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ennui1317489355.0919957 PostsRegistered 4/17/2007
On 9/30/2011 songbird said:

I hate silver. I don't own any of it. I consider it semiprecious junk.

We've missed you, songbird.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~ Robert Brault

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UKgirlinNY1317489364.913872 PostsRegistered 2/19/2007Upstate NY

Silver is a relatively soft metal compared to gold or platinum. That's why most good quality diamonds are set in gold and preferably platinum, since the prongs hold up much better.

Not sure I like diamonds in silver, although I guess they are OK for accents. For the quality you are likely to get, I think I'd prefer white topaz or zircon since they will sparkle much better for the quality.

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nakattack1317489808.993438 PostsRegistered 2/3/2009

I don't know why zircon isn't used more. I guess it gets a bad rap from cz. Shame. I have personally never seen white topaz or white sapphires that I liked the look of. To me they always look like cz. Maybe they are cut differently or something.

People will always go for diamonds in any metal just because they are "diamonds," I suppose. Even an H-I I1 diamond sparkle is hard to beat with other gemstones imo.

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StarChild1317491049.1871928 PostsRegistered 4/26/2008NYC

Weren't antique diamonds often set in silver before platinum and white gold was readily available?

Like Jack Benny, I'm 39 and holding ;)

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princess621317569040.8871616 PostsRegistered 2/27/2007Pacific Northwest

The original settings for diamonds was definitely sterling silver. If a diamond was set in another metal silver foil was put behind the stone. White metal was considered a must for diamonds because the white metal was more reflective. Platinum was considered an industrial metal and used for cheap rings way back when.

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abbeythe 8­th1317569885.944539 PostsRegistered 9/2/2007
On 10/1/2011 CalmInTheHeart said:

I've seen diamonds in silver but most of them are poor quality diamonds. The silver with diamond lines at Q, ShopNBC, HSN are especially poor quality.

I agree. I do not think any reputable jeweler would set a better quality diamond in sterling. Cheap quality diamonds are no more expensive than dark sapphires, flawed emeralds, poor quality rubies or semi precious gemstones.

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Fluffy-21317570638.0273339 PostsRegistered 8/3/2011+ 4464 Posts since Aug. 2009

I would never buy diamonds set in silver for a diamond part, but I do have few pieces of Scott Kay jewelry that have some diamonds in them. High end silver designers had always used real diamonds in their pieces, but this is not a main reason why I am liking and buying their creations..

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Fluffy-21317571463.833339 PostsRegistered 8/3/2011+ 4464 Posts since Aug. 2009


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Fluffy-21317571464.8533339 PostsRegistered 8/3/2011+ 4464 Posts since Aug. 2009

Scott Kay's average diamond grade is SI 1-2, which is not bad at all for diamonds set in silver, but his pieces cost $$$$.

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chickenbutt1317571483.8627041 PostsRegistered 1/16/2006chickentown

I agree with everybody - I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't put any valuable stone in silver anyway, as I find silver and costume objectionable.

That said, if somebody wants to do that and that is what they like - I say go for it. You just reduce the value but if it is just something that you want because it pleases you, the value probably doesn't matter as much.

Bippity boppity BOOYAH!

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violann1317577287.75713923 PostsRegistered 12/12/2004
I read an article a few months ago about young couple doing it now, and planning to upgrade the setting when gold gets cheaper again. I was especially interested because i think (hope) DS and his WGF are on the verge......

I didn't come here to argue.- Peg Bracken

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Songbird11317592019.232470 PostsRegistered 12/31/2004

It is a fact the quality of the diamond goes with the metal. The best diamonds are set in 18K or platinum. Standard affordable diamonds are with in reach in 14K. Cheaper diamonds are set in 10K & 9K (the UK) So called dead diamonds are everywhere in silver. Especially now. The poor quality diamonds set in silver that the Q offers is testament to that. There was a snob mentality in diamonds and metal. No longer the case with nobody buying. But the poorer diamond stays in silver. I just can't imagine a young couple getting engaged now with poor diamond set in silver. Ugh....

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NovaStar1317621112.8671323 PostsRegistered 11/9/2010

For wedding or engagement rings, I'd go with gold. I prefer the color of white gold & find gold more comfortable to wear than silver. Plus, if you ever need to size a ring, much easier in gold.

All my diamonds are set in gold. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of buying them in silver. I'd rather have fewer nice pieces than a bunch of so-so ones. Wish I'd learned that lesson earlier in life. I'd have saved up & bought what I wanted in the first place.

Nakattack, I love zircons, too. They have great sparkle. I think many people shy away from them because they are confused with czs. They are my favorite diamond substitute.

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tdog1317666138.682320 PostsRegistered 12/4/2007

Zircons are beautiful. I am another who doesn't care for white topaz or white sapphire. They really don't sparkle much. I am way over Affinity diamonds. I have a blue zircon ring that has great refractive qualities. I can only see setting good diamonds in silver if the wearer was allergic to gold and platinum.

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robomo1317666333.149515 PostsRegistered 3/15/2005

Diamonds and any other gem are FAB in silver. Silver is NOT a cheap metal and I can't stand jewelers who take that attitude. Anyhow, if you like it, do it.

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jellyBEAN1317666934.1173398 PostsRegistered 6/6/2009

I have been told that David Yurman was the first "Designer" to start the trend of setting diamonds into silver - his collection is known as "Silver Ice". Many designers than followed. This goes back, years before the gold market pricing got out of control. Where I live his jewelry is unbelievably popular. It has a certain cache and clientele that cannot get enough of it, and it is never ever on sale. People pay the high prices for his pieces. Quality wise they are supposedly VS clarity but IJ color. The diamonds used in his gold collections are better color, but the gold collection is priced exhorbitantly also.

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luvmypupz1317667137.2134991 PostsRegistered 8/30/2010By the Sea Shore

I think silver is too soft as far as holding like a solitare diamond, I would be afraid of hitting it and bending one of the prongs enough for the diamond to fall out. Now I like silver very much, but I would not want a diamond set in it.

"I confronted the fact that I was not only talking to a dog, but answering for one." - Claire Cook, Must Love Dogs

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DebbieDD1317667898.168109 PostsRegistered 10/18/2004

While I think that diamond accents are ok set in silver, I certainly would not set a diamond of any real significant value in a silver setting.

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chrystaltr­ee1317667916.9214013 PostsRegistered 5/10/2010

I've seen diamond set in silver my whole life. I'm 51 and I remember that my grandmother had a collection of brooches that were set in sterling silver. She also had a strand of pearls with a very elaborate clasp that was set with diamonds and sapphires. I think it was quite common in past decades but went out of style. I would have no problem whatsoever putting a diamond in a heavy sterling silver setting, I would probably want them to use 10k white gold prongs if it was good size diamond. The are pushing paladium at us now because gold is so expensive, I'm sure silver will be next.

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