A Setter’s Rule of Thumb

The general rule of thumb is to mount white diamonds in white metals (platinum or white gold) and off-color diamonds in yellow gold. By mounting a yellow- tinted stone in yellow gold, the setter is not trying to deceive a potential buyer, but he is doing his job by creating the illusion of a whiter stone. This is common practice, so be aware of it. Mounting a colorless stone in yellow gold would defeat the purpose of paying for a high color grade and then hiding it. Colorless and near-colorless diamonds should always be mounted in white metals, so as not to reflect unnecessary tints of yellow into the stone. As we talk about the color of the metal for mounting a stone, we are only referring to the bezel, crown, head or prong assembly, not to the lower portion of the ring (shank). White gold, if not rhodium plated, does have a distinct tint of yellow, so this should be considered a real possibility for yellow tint detraction. Many white gold heads and bezels are rhodium plated specifically for mounting colorless or near colorless diamonds.

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