Here are some issues to consider about the quality of the ring mounting that will hold your diamond. Many jewelers in Utah cut costs by compromising different parts of ring quality. This is especially prevalent in locally made rings.
These are tiny holes (sometimes not very tiny) that result from improper, low-cost casting methods. They make a spot in the ring that won’t polish and reduce durability.
The side filigree sections on a ring should be clean and symmetrical. This is an indication of the overall ring quality of the ring, even though it’s a minor asthetic issue.
Shanks should be thick at the base. This is where most of the wear on a ring happens.
Examining the joints where yellow gold meets white will tell how carefully the ring has been made. Solder flow outside the joint indicates sloppy work. Also, look at the joint where the head was soldered on.
A wavy channel edge (not straight) indicates two items of ring quality concern. Poorly cut diamonds are the chief cause of this, primarily thick girdles. Diamonds with thick girdles cause the setter to have to over cut the bearing, making a wavy channel. A wavy channel will wear out much faster because the gold to hold the diamonds has been cut away. In addition, poorly cut diamonds don’t sparkle nearly as much as they should.
We use good accent diamonds in most of our rings: class 1 or 2, SI-1 and VS and G+ color. Most rings we compete with have very poorly cut small diamonds, with J color and I-1. Even small diamonds with better clarity and color are usually poorly cut in competitors rings.
Some white gold, especially that produced locally, turns out quite yellow. All white gold ends up with some tint, but as little as possible in good white gold.
Better casting means better finish and shine.
Well-made rings fit together nicely, both curve and profile.
A good ring will flow nicely with no uneven curves or lines, and even tapers.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of each and cost? 14k is the hardest, 10k is next, and 18k is the softest. 18k has better gold color, 14 and 10 look the same.
“Tailoring” is a result of reworking a style several times to get every curve and line the right shape and most importantly, the right thickness and proportion. Many ring styles have chunky, out-of-proportion lines that kill the elegance, especially most of those produced locally.