By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, October 16, 2006
You might receive a strange look if you ask this question to a retail jeweler. The premium optical symmetry of our diamonds, coupled with the highly magnified photos we provide has sparked interest in this detail from some clients. We understand the question. Just be aware that in the 'real world,' common optical symmetry is more chaotic and diamonds are not usually seen at 40 power magnification.
For professional jewelry setters, typical priorities are durability factors, keeping inscriptions visible, placement of prongs to hide inclusions (if any), etc. 'Arrow' orientation is not a common consideration. In fact, when we bring on new jewelers, they undergo a learning curve to understand that positioning of 'arrows' in our diamonds may be a consideration, since clients acclimate themselves to the level of diamond quality and photography we offer. We break this news to them at the same time we inform new platinumsmiths that their hand-crafting will be photographed from every angle, magnified larger than life and sent out for customer analysis.
Does prong placement influence performance?
No. The majority of performance occurs under the table. The girdle area is not where primary light performance is taking place and a well set diamond with appropriately sized prongs performs well regardless of orientation.
What if it matters to me?
Orientation may be a matter of aesthetics to some (mentally it can make a difference), which we respect. If orientation is important to you, it should be specifically requested. That way it will go into the notes for the setter.
The diamond may be lined up in a North-South orientation or it may be offset (see below) depending on what judgment the setter makes.
With a standard round brilliant diamond, 2 or 4 of the arrow tips will meet prongs in the N-S orientation (depending on # of prongs).
In the offset position no tips will meet prongs.
In each situation the table facet is oriented differently relative to the prongs.
Some of our veteran setters take it upon themselves to perform one orientation or the other, but keeping the inscription visible and other considerations take precedence if orientation is not specifically requested.