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Experience with H&S's new precut setting


#1

Hi All,

I was interested to read in a advertisement by Hoover and Strong with
it’s new precut heads there is no need to pay a setter between 35000
to 40000 per year. To get a 1 carat Princess cut Diamond set you
could let a one year bench Jeweller with little or no experience do
the Job. I would like to know, how it going with setting these heads
by the jewellers making 12000 to 18000 per year. How many have you
set and did it go OK?

Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#2

Hello Jim;

I hate those heads. Not because I’m an overpaid stone setter either.
Whoever designs these things doesn’t know diddly about stone setting
in my opinion. You’re likely, if you give these to a novice bench
jeweler, to double or triple your rate of stone breakage. You can use
them, but you’ll still need to do some refinement of the notches
before you set the stone, unless you really don’t care how it looks
when you’re done or how likely you are to break it. Personally, I’d
rather not have someone else cut my prongs for me, thank you very
much.

Stone setting isn’t just cutting notches and bending prongs. Every
stone is a little different. Differences in girdle thickness,
pavillion angles, as well as basic shape, toughness and hardness all
come into play. A generic notch will only work for the occaissional
generic stone. Which brings us to the next issue. Cutting prongs is
only part of the game. How you bring them in and down on the stone,
how much pressure, which direction, what order, how you finish them,
all make the difference between a proper setting and a “notch-em and
lean-em” that guys like me get to scoff at all the time. Will the
pre-cut notch eliminate the need for all those skills from your
$12000 a year bench jeweler? So, with a 1 carat princess diamond,
you have what, $4000-$6000 spent and 4 tiny, needle sharp
opportunities to turn that into a $2500 recut of less than ideal
proportions. You feelin’ lucky?

I charge around $30 to set a 1 carat princess diamond, and if it
breaks, I replace it, no charge. And it will be set square, level,
and tight and the prongs will be finished right, no snags, no gaps.
Oh, and I always polish the heads completely before I solder them in,
again, square, level, etc.

This is a case of “you get what you pay for” if ever was.

David L. Huffman


#3

Hi All’

I would just like to mention, now that all the New York, and Rhode
Island firms have fired all the those expensive $35000- $40000.00
setters. If you need any Pave work done or burnish setting, etc. you
might think about sending your work to Canada. We speak English, we
do nice clean work, and best you save .20 cents on every dollar. Your
will not have to cross the Pacific Ocean. Just the St. Laurence Sea
Way.:wink:

Jim
Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#4

Hi All,

I was interested to read in a advertisement by Hoover and Strong
with it's new precut heads there is no need to pay a setter
between 35000 to 40000 per year. To get a 1 carat Princess cut
Diamond set you could let a one year bench Jeweller with little or
no experience do the Job. I would like to know, how it going with
setting these heads 

Call me cynical, but I can’t see it working.

Oh, sure, if all princess diamonds were calibrated, there might be a
chance that they could be securely set by a minimally-trained
benchperson, but the percentage of loss due to chipping/crushing of
corners would increase significantly over the percentage that a shop
employing a well-trained setter would suffer.

Haven’t seen the ad, but if your description is accurate, I’m
actually embarrassed for H&S on this one. Whom might they be
serving?

David Keeling
www.davidkeelingjewellery.com


#5

Hi David,

Nice point about the chipping problem. Maybe if H&S and it’s
advertising department believe so strongly in there product. Maybe
they should offer to assume liability for chipping damage and the
recutting cost. That would be a great selling point with me. If I
brake them, I got to replace them. Right now.

I would suggest H&S back off a little and remember that independent
setters buy a healthy third of there stock. The rest going to large
companies.

If everyone wondering what the furrer is about, read the "12/05 AJM"
and see if it doesn’t rub you as wrong.

Jim
Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#6
I would just like to mention, now that all the New York, and Rhode
Island firms have fired all the those expensive $35000- $40000.00
setters. 

Not too mention Jim, that this setter over here in the Toronto area
would very much like to be put his name on this list, too. So now
you have two setters who are just ‘darned’ g-r-e-a-t…Gerry Lewy!
www.gemzdiamondsetting.com at 1-877-850-0003


#7

You sound like the kind of guy that will attempt to have an
$18,000/year setter fit a rectangular stone into a square hole. In
the long run, I’d try to find a professional to set my stones if I
couldn’t set them myself.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Benchjeweler
Goldwerx
http://www.goldwerx.com


#8

Hi Bruce,

If your referring to Hoover and Strong. I would totally agree.
Pre-cut heads are a nice idea and will make the job go a bit faster,
but there is a more to it than just straight cut pockets. I do
undercutting for princes cuts and relief holes for the points. These
are not included in the precut heads. Also a first year setter is not
going to know hand pressure for tightening. He will also not be
familiar with seat correction for unevenly cut stones.

Trying to hold down overhead cost with under trained staff is in my
opinion false economy. The saving in wages will be offset by chip
stones and lost customers.

A good setter in India might only make $2500.00/year. (I don’t know
that true for sure.) This will change the way business is done in the
North America, but not totally. I think if a retail customer found out
that his Diamond was going to India for setting he would have a
problem with that. So remounts and custom order should still be
pretty safe business. Manufacturing is going to have to evolve form
long run standard design into short run cutting edge style designs.
I’m sure this will not deter nock-offs from India because I don’t
think they have much respect for design patens. Long distance
manufacturing suffers form one flaw. Its a little rigid in concept and
delivery. Versatility and proximity is the equalizer. This shouldn’t
be anything new to jewellers, so your going to have work smarter to
make a living.

Jim

Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#9
I do undercutting for princes cuts and relief holes for the
points. These are not included in the precut heads. 

I am in no way an apologist for Hoover & Strong, and so far I don’t
use purchased settings. That said, I have noticed that the new
"tru-seat" heads do, in fact, have “relief holes” for corners, and
relief for facet junctions, according to their ads.

Noel