Pave Setting and Graining

Pave Setting and Graining

Written by on 17 July 2011

Pavé setting is a Victorian setting technique where many small diamonds are set close to each other. The stone setter uses a tool which creates a small bead of metal between the each stone; this bead holds the stone in place but also creates extra sparkle, thus creating an overall look of sparkle. Pavé literally meaning a pavement or paved surface.

Diamond engagement ring with mill grain detail

This technique was created to make diamonds appear to be bigger than they actually were, for the best results diamonds should be set into a bright cold white metal such as platinum or palladium. To achieve the same look with white gold the gold would require to be rhodium plated. This is because white gold has a warmer tone and when a white diamond is set into the metal the point where the diamond stops and the metal starts is more visibly noticeable. However Pavé setting a diamond into white gold, that hasn’t been rhodium plated, can still look very pretty it just doesn’t have the same illusion of the stone being larger.

Graining is a similar technique used by the stone setter where the metal is “dug-up” to create a beaded effect without the use of stones. This is a great way to achieve extra sparkle without the added cost of setting diamonds.

Both of these techquies can be used to create different effects such as if you wanted to make the diamond in the centre of a ring look bigger it could be flush set into an overlaid plate of metal and grained around the edge of the plate thus fooling the eye to believe the stone is the size of the plate of metal. The techniques are also used for setting stones on the shoulders of rings; graining can be used to continue sparkle into finer areas where there isn’t enough room the set a small diamond.
Pavé setting in yellow gold or with coloured gemstones can look very attractive but it doesn’t create the same sparkly illusion as with the diamond and bright white metals.

Mill graining is a technique where the setter uses a tool to create a row of beads. This is most commonly used of the edges of items of jewellery but can be in the main body of the item. The size of the graining can vary from being very small and delicate to being larger and heavier looking.

All of these different techniques are a great way to achieve an antique look to an item of jewellery.