Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Too Much Tension?

Tension headache?  Tension among the staff?  Take a Tylenol and tell your staff to take a chill-pill.  When it comes to tension set rings, not everybody is talking the same language.  A true tension-set ring features a gemstones suspended between two notched shoulders with no metal connecting the two.  When there is a retainer ring or some sort of bridge connecting the shoulders, the ring is effectively channel-set.

Tension-set rings require thousands of pounds per square inch of spring-loaded compression.  Therefore only the hardest gemstones, without compromising inclusions, can be set thus.  Stainless steel and Titanium can achieve this level of tension without much added technology, however it takes very specific alloys of platinum and 18kt yellow gold which are treated in proprietary manors to yield secure settings without excessive bulk.  Neissing of Germany are said to be the original designers of the tension-set ring and Steven Kretchmer built esteem for them in North America.

When I was in retail I sold several platinum tension settings by Platinum Unlimited in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  Some of these were sold to friends with whom I still have contact and I’ve yet to see one fail.  Whatever you do, do not try to sell a tension-set ring that is not from a highly expert source.

These are very costly settings in precious metals, and they cannot easily be sized.  Some manufacturers claim to be able to size these rings up to two sizes before restoring the spring tension and resetting the feature stone.  Ensure you understand the sizability of a ring and clearly communicate this to your clients before allowing them to purchase one.

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