Carol, our stone buyer, has over 30 years of experience in the business and is also responsible for creating the designs of most of our solitaires. She will organise a ring to be made to compliment our stones and then our goldsmith would set it. Just like Joseph Ascher who cut the Cullinan diamond, our goldsmith, takes his responsibility very seriously. A slip could de-value the stone and the proportions are crucial to the success of the ring. William is based at out Wilmslow showroom, in fact all three of our Harrington & Hallworth showrooms have a goldsmith on site. Here William talks about setting one of our very special pieces, a 4ct round brilliant diamond in an 18ct rose gold and platinum setting.
The quality you expect
The ring has been pre-made for the stone so I don’t foresee any issues.
The first thing I do is to take the stone out and check the girdle for any small inclusions or nicks. As I expected with a stone from Harrington & Hallworth with a price tag of £160,000, it is absolutely fine. I like to think the price doesn’t affect how I do the work as in theory it’s just the same as setting a small stone.
A perfect fit
The next step is to offer up the stone to the ring setting to see where it will sit.
The fit is perfect and again I wouldn’t expect anything less from such a beautifully made ring mount. Once I have safely replaced the stone in its packet, I mark each claw with a set of dividers. This will help me make sure each cut in the claws is in the same place. Next, I use a small setting burr and cut into each claw to take the girdle. Then I take a small needle file and gently shape the inside of the claw so there is no pressure on the pavilion when I push the claws over. Some setters use a drill to do this part but on a stone of this size I prefer to do it by hand. Once this is done the stone fits into the setting perfectly. I turn the stone so the table sits square on and then gently push each claw down onto the stone. All that remains then is to trim up the claws into a nice round shape and the job is soon finished. A quick polish and we have a truly beautiful ring.
Beauty from hard work
Over the years I have been lucky to set some amazing diamonds for Harrington & Hallworth and I’m sure I will continue to do so, especially with the opening of the new store in Manchester. So next time you look in the window and see all the beautiful rings there you will understand how much hard work goes into creating the rings of people’s dreams.
By William Ackers, Setter and Goldsmith