From the Blog
The Difference Between Pave And Bead Set Rings
Folks confuse “pave” with “bead set” all the time. There is a reason for that. Let me make one vital point right off the top of the answer. This part you may not have thought about. Manufacturers spend time in designs and working out the details for each and every piece of jewelry they produce. In almost all cases, the manufacturer holds a copyright on the design. The copyright is a legal protection against another company making “knock-offs” or duplicates of their work and selling the duplicates.
The confusion is in the words used.”Bead setting” is a particular form of setting stones into metal. Pave is more of a design of the set stones and bead setting is the technique for setting stones in a pave pattern.
The bead setting is the technique. Pave is the pattern. A single mans ring may have a bead set stone in the center. The stone is bead set but the work is not pave. Think of pave as you would a cobble stone street or brick after brick, literally paved with bricks. In pave the idea is to “pave” the surface with stones..that is pave. Bead setting is the method to hold the stones in place.
The ring may or may not be bead set. And this is not pave. Pave in the strict sense covers an expanded area and not just one row of stones. That does not matter. Really, the name does not matter if this ring is the look you want. I suspect the setting is cast with raised prong-like parts to make the setting easier than actual bead setting.
That is fine when done correctly and better than bead setting if the bead setting is done in less than the best manner. Bead setting can provide the same look but is more labor intensive to do correctly.
In bead setting, a sharp chisel-like tool called a graver is used to set the stones. First, a seat or hole for the stone is cut into the metal. Then the graver is pushed down into the metal just to the outside of the stone. The point of the graver makes metal move toward the stone. This process is repeated until all the stone is secure with enough metal over the “corners” to hold securely.
Then a tool with a rounded hollow end called a beading tool is pressed onto the metal pressed onto the stone. The beading tool makes the metal form into an attractive looking “bead” of metal. Now you can see where the term “bead set” originates.
Now, here is a question to ponder. How can the ring be made for less cost to you than the ready made one? Considering the prices we must charge to make molds, do castings and set stones for one item only, the price would be at least if not more than the one offered by the maker originally. We do not make copies of copyright designs but do enough custom manufacturing to know our real costs of doing a single ring or other jewelry item.
The only way I see the ring being less costly if the jeweler makes it is to use lower quality stones, less stones perhaps or lower karat of gold. The ring made up may also be of a much less favorable manufactured quality than the original ring, a means to cut costs. If we tried to duplicate the ring you showed, using 14k instead of the 19k used, our price to the customer for equal or better technical quality would still be more than some of the other makers rings.
Labor for doing a single ring is the reason and stone setting costs incurred. Our jewelers do all the work and we do not have specialized persons doing only stone setting as do large manufacturers.
Suggestion: Look closely at the rings or jewelry made by the jeweler with whom you have conferred. How well done is the work? Is all neat and clean to the eye? Ask about stone quality, etc. Do you want a product as fine as the original or a step below, or better? These are thoughts to consider seriously. I tell it just like I see it; that is only fair to you.
I don’t want to scare you about copyrights. Maybe this will help. To directly copy another’s design is infringement of the copyright. To choose a “similar style” generally is not infringement. For instance, many makers of jewelry make rings with stones set side by side along a row in a ladies ring. A ring with stones set like this and with decorative sides made up by your jeweler but not a direct copy should not be a problem with copyright.
A ready made mounting for rows of stones may be available(unset with stones) which will be perfectly fine for you. This is an option I did not mention at first. If a ready made mounting can be found with the look you want, the job will likely be less costly than having a ring made from scratch.