Pavé Settings and Micro-Pavé Settings
What is a Pavé Setting?
Pavé is pronounced "Par-vay" and originates from the French word literally meaning paved, to best describe the arrangement of Diamonds set across the surface.
The setter arranges diamonds at regular intervals. Diamonds appear in close proximity arranged with uniform precision. The item of jewellery appears coated with diamonds—each stone rests within small grains of metal. The combined effect makes it impossible to distinguish each diamond with the naked eye.
The technique can be used to cover a wide expanse of precious metal, but is also popular for small meleé Diamonds within Wedding Rings, and Engagement Rings such as the popular halo Engagement Ring style. Some of the most famous jewellers in the world pride themselves on this setting style. Tiffany pavé settings nestle within a collection of setting styles. The art of pavé setting is typically reserved for the bands of Engagement Rings below the feature diamond itself.
Pavé Wedding Ring crafted as a pendant in the Russian Wedding Ring style.
What is the difference between Pavé setting and a Micro-Pavé setting?
The main difference is the size of the Diamonds. Micro-pavé settings are created with the smallest stars (fully cut Diamond melee in very small sizes) that are uniform in size and laid out in a honeycomb-like arrangement over the surface. Traditional pavé settings utilise a variety of different Diamond sizes, an assortment of small melee Diamonds to best fit the space.
Best Diamonds for Pavé set jewellery?
By far the best Diamonds used for this style of the setting are small sizes of full cut Diamonds. Each possessing 57 facets, the multi-dimensional surface created results in a dazzling effect, as any movement will cause light to literally dance across the Diamond surface.
Traditional eight cut Diamonds, would not best serve any piece of Diamond jewellery in the same way that a full cut Diamond would. Also, due to the price of fully cut Diamonds, smaller rough is more valuable when cutting into fully cut Diamonds, as opposed to single cut stones, which were at one time very common.
Designing pavé settings.
Both pavé and micro-pavé setting styles utilise exceptional setting skill, but modern CAD design has provided an effective tool for laying out pre-drilled surfaces enabling the setter to position each Diamond in a pre-positioned placement for a perfectly even, distribution.
Traditionally, pavé settings were created by hand, working a flat surface of a metal, and lifting the small grains of metal from the surface to hold each Diamond. A very time consuming and precise technique perfected over many years of training.
Are Pavé set Engagement Rings and Pavé set Wedding Rings durable?
Pavé and Micro-Pavé settings are both susceptible to stone loss, irrespective of the skill and quality of the setting. Provided each Diamond is accurately set within the piece by a skilled setter, the Diamonds will be secure, and avoiding knocks with careful wear, the Diamonds should remain within their settings. Having said this, a Diamond can be lost from a Pavé-set ring but the cost to replace a stone should be minimal.
With each retaining metal grain being susceptible to damage from the Diamond itself if knocked, it is a risk for anyone wearing a pavé encrusted Engagement Ring or Wedding Ring. Cleaning the item should only require a very soft brush, some warm water, and a small amount of mild detergent. Ultrasonic cleaning is best avoided since this will most likely shake the Diamonds from the setting as the piece vibrates within the cleaner.