Andy…I tagged this question onto the Glue Debate thread because
it poses a similar moral question: is it acceptable to slightly
modify a stone during setting?
I know that this is a common practice in the industry, where speed is
important and broken stones can eat into the bottom line. In a
high-end studio like mine, it is assumed that we don’t do
that…or do we? Doesn’t it make sense to trim a little from the
edge of a couple of princess diamonds to achieve that perfect fit in
an eternity ring? Or do we remake the ring .10mm larger? What about
trimming those baguettes so they will follow the swirl of the
channel? And those triangle amethysts that you’re about to
set…hell, that tip’s gonna break anyway.
You raised the issue of disclosuRe: is it OK if say that I did it?
The issue of ownership of the stone would certainly affect my
decision. If it’s my stone that I’m setting into a spec. piece, I
should have the right to alter anything that I wish. If I don’t like
the way that the lapidary cut it, I’ll change it. If a client’s
stone is questionable (like a fire opal without a girdle), I can
insist that this work be done before setting, or refuse the job.
It’s the little stones that I worry about. If I need to trim a
little to get the stone to fit properly, will I go to “Goldsmith’s
Hell”? Or is this just good setting technique? Does the size of the
stone affect the decision, or the material?
I’ll admit that I have, on occasion, added an extra polished facet on
the tip of a triangle. In my opinion, the lapidary should have put
it there in the first place. But few lapidaries know how to set
stones…they simply expect that the setter will figure it out.
I’ve also repolished the surface of a scratched opal, and even
trimmed a tiny bit off the edge rather than risk chipping it when I
closed the bezel. Do I need the client’s permission to do this? Do
they really want me to call them over little things like this? Of
course, we’re not talking about a noticeable change here, just a
So what do you think? What are the acceptable boundaries here?