/One of the questions I am often asked is, why don’t I claw set my stones, doesn’t it make diamonds sparkle more. which has prompted me to this blog ” The advantages of a rub-over setting”
There are numerous advantages of a rub-over setting. They are easier to wear, keep the stone cleaner, and last longer. T
For those who don’t know, I have a rather unconventional training within the jewellery trade. I trained as a scientific and medical instrument maker in Cambridge, an engineer with skills I have transferred into the making of jewellery. Put simply, setting a stone is a way of holding it captive. I wasn’t happy with any of the ways I saw in books, or tools in the shops, so I made my own tools, and have been fine-tuning the technique ever since. I have studied both diamonds and gemstones at the Gemmological Association here in London, so have an excellent understanding of gemology.
The first advantage of rub-over setting has been proven to me in the 25 plus years I’ve been making jewellery, ease of wear. Everything I produce, comes with a guarantee for life and complimentary cleaning, Everyone who brings rings in for cleaning is delighted how easy the rings are to wear, no claws to catch, you can easily put gloves on, hands in your pockets, do not snag on clothing, ideal to be worn all day every day.
The second advantage is related to the first, the rub-over setting helps protect the stones, not only from knocks and bumps, but also from grease and dirt. Being hydrophobic, diamonds readily repel water, but have an affinity to grease. Thus they attract grease readily, which stops them sparkling. Claw settings are especially good at holding grease, which dulls the beauty of not only diamonds but also all faceted stones. As the grease builds up over time, it often completely fills up the void under the diamond in a claw set ring, which doesn’t look attractive, completely kills the beauty of a stone, sometimes even causing skin irritation.
The third advantage is security, the rub-over setting I make is much more secure than claws, and won’t need the regular maintenance a claw set ring will with re-tipping
Of course, I prefer the look of a rub-over setting, the thickness can be varied to suit, and additional stones set within it to give it a more traditional look. Stones always look bigger when rub-over set, especially white diamonds in platinum or the colour of a stone maximised, a ruby will look more opulent by being surrounded by yellow gold. The rings I make can be stacked, thus make ideal engagement and wedding sets, without the compromise of a gap between the two.
In my opinion, rub-over set stones are more attractive and stay that way longer.
Oh I forget to mention diamonds don’t sparkle more when set in claws, it’s an old wives tale. A well-cut diamond will have complete internal reflection, the back facets reflecting all the light back to your eye, thus they sparkle as much when rub-over set, all the above points help keep it that way.
Good jewellery design is the perfect balance of art and science.