Professional Jeweler Archive: Choosing Channels

November 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/ New Products

Choosing Channels

The illusion is wider, longer and more sophisticated

Some customers want a solid band of color, others want something out-of-the-ordinary and still others are attracted to the mechanics of jewelry construction. Interest them all with channel-set gemstones.

The process involves sliding identically sized and shaped gems into a groove cut into two metal bands bridged together. Calibrated, straight-edged cuts such as princess, emerald and baguette work best because they can be placed tightly against each other for a continuous flow of color. Cuts with rounded edges such as marquises, ovals and rounds can be used also, but they leave gaps.

In addition to the smooth run of gemstones, this setting technique has another advantage: no prongs mean nothing to catch on clothing.

When displaying channel-set jewelry, place it on a revolving stand and watch as customers become mesmerized by how the light reflection travels along the continuous surface of gemstones.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Line bracelets feature different clasps. From left, 8.84 carats of emeralds, 0.8 carat of diamonds and a diamond flower clasp with an emerald center; 12.57 carats of rubies, 0.44 carat of diamonds and a heart clasp set with a 1.45-ct. ruby; and 14 carats of sapphires, 0.3 carat of diamonds with a sapphire flower clasp. Each bracelet retails for $14,000.

Ella Gafter for Ellagem,
New York City; (212) 398-0101, fax (212) 302-0153.

Available in platinum or 18k gold, these eternity bands mix colored gemstones and diamond accents. The left band has 1.10 carats of sapphires and 0.49 carat of diamonds ($1,295 suggested retail in platinum). The middle band features 0.50 carat of rubies and 0.14 carat of diamonds ($650 in 18k gold, $490 with sapphires). The ring at right is set with 0.98 carat of sapphires and 0.49 carat of diamonds ($1,135 in 18k gold).

Suna Bros.,
New York City; (212) 869-5670, fax (212) 869-5922.

14k gold pendant features one ruby and hangs from a 14k gold ball chain.

Designs by Joi,
New York City; (212) 869-GOLD, fax (212) 869-8588.

Your customers can switch gems in this 14k or 18k pendant in white or yellow gold. Suggestions include wearing it as a birthstone pendant or matching it to apparel.

Keith Baker & Co./Alter Gem Jewelry,
Harrisburg, PA; (717) 564-7930, fax (717) 564-3983,

18k gold “Metamorphosis” brooch features a black onyx carving surrounded by 1.24 carats of purple and pink sapphires, a 1.47-ct. spessartite garnet, 1.89-ct. Mexican fire opal and 0.74 carat of round spessartite garnets. In the channel settings are 2.86 carats of princess-cut spessartite garnets and 2.73 carats of princess-cut sapphires of varying color. Suggested retail, $9,795.

Glen J. Engelbrecht for G.J. Designs, Sarasota, FL; (941) 951-6658, fax (941) 365-2577.

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