Due to problems associated with tension set rings, I offer alternatives

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Please click on the pictures to go to specific pages
These pictures represent only a few rings I've made that share much the same appearance as tension set rings. Please feel free to click on any one of these to view and find out more about the specific ring. I can, additionally, provide many other examples beyond what you'll find on my web pages.

Three problems associated with tension set rings:

During the more than thirty years I've made jewelry, I've had a number of people come to me with the remnants of tension set engagement rings and other tension set rings they'd purchased elsewhere, asking advice about how best to resurrect their rings. In most cases, the diamond had been dislodged from the ring and, worse yet, some of them having been lost in the process. In a few instances, the rings needed to be resized in order to continue being worn on the intended finger. My evaluation of the problems associated with tension set rings is summarized below.

Tension set rings CANNOT be re-sized...at least not effectively. This is due to the inherent properties of any metal with a spring characteristic. It’s the spring property of the metal that literally squeezes against opposing sides of the stone...thus the term tension set. To alter the size of such a ring by conventional methods creates in the metal a portion that will not be capable of imparting the force needed to effectively hold the stone in place. While I think tension set stones have a relatively stunning appearance, I know of nearly no person whose finger size hasn't changed over a period of years. Thinking in very practical terms, I would fully expect the requirement for re-sizing the ring to arise at least once or twice in most anyone's adult years. Needless to say, I feel the most serious problem with tension set rings is their inability to be modified to fit the person's finger, the size of which will almost certainly change over the years. A tension set ring, very simply, can't be effectively re-sized.

Despite the numerous and repeated claims and sales pitches I've heard, suggesting that stones can't be lost from tension set rings, I've had more than a dozen people come to me asking advice after having lost tension set stones from their rings. Unfortunately, I was able to provide no good suggestions to provide a fix to what remained of their rings. The setting of stones in the same rings would almost certainly result in repeated losses. I rely, instead, on the more traditional and time tested method of channel setting. While it doesn't reproduce the exact appearance of a tension set diamond or other gem, this method does allow for me to closely approximate the appearance of a tension set ring.

And finally there are the legal issues I've encountered. Several years ago I unwittingly made a handful of rings, the stones of which were tension set. I didn't realize at the time that patents for the process were held by another person. My main interest in this method of setting stones had to do with exploring possible design approaches...of which there seem relatively few. I felt at the time and still feel that the possible design options have been barely explored. Once I became aware of the patents, I immediately refrained from employing this method of setting stones.

I summarize my main points regarding tension setting below:

1. The resizing of rings I make is indeed possible, whereas effective resizing of a tension set ring is not.

2. The rings I make are channel set, a time tested and more secure approach to setting stones.