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Jewelry Quality Assurance Benchmarks

Posted by on in Professional Jewelers
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Fine jewelry represents much more than its trade value in diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals. It is a personal representation of the lifestyle, status, emotion, recognition, commitment, and more.

That significance only amplifies how devastating the loss of a gemstone is for the owner. Even one missing accent stone renders the jewelry unwearable. Loss of a significant gemstone will also Impact the retailer who sold the piece and the manufacturer who engineered and produced it.

The loosening damage or loss of gemstones in jewelry can be attributed to two factors: Poor workmanship or the absence of benchmarking standards for gemstone setting. Benchmarks are specific parameters used to compare and evaluate the acceptability of a finished product for the market. At Southside in our diamond jewelry business these standards are minimum ownership demands for its customers, every day, every job.

Stone loss can be avoided. Inspecting each piece and comparing it against established benchmarks for signs of vulnerability in normal wear gives the jeweler/manufacturer an opportunity to address potential problems before the jewelry is offered for sale. Adopting consistent task-specific benchmarks encourages sound design and good workmanship, assuring the quality of jewelry for the customer. Here are some examples of prong setting benchmarks for traditional angled prongs.

  1. Prong angle is 70-80 degrees
  2. Sufficient prong thickness is needed to secure the stone in place, so 40-50% of the metal is removed from the prong thickness at the bearing.
  3. Diamond is seated level in the bearing just above the gallery wire. There are no gaps in any bearing – the bearing is the cut made in a prong and must precisely fit the stone contour when properly set to move or loosen.
  4. Finished prong height is 75-85% of table height. Ample prong height allows to hold up through normal wear.
  5. Prong contact is 33-50% of total crown distance. Adequate prong contact over the crown is critical to a stable setting.
  6. Prongs are rounded, polished, and consistent in size and shape.

Quality assurance at Southside’s Diamond Jewelry business is without question the number one demand for each piece of jewelry we sell or repair. We purchase quality jewelry from our suppliers that will give our customers many years of enjoyment without problems. Gold is soft, routine inspections are important. At Southside, we inspect our customers’ jewelry, free of charge, as a way of saying thank you for your business!

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