Micropave Explained…

Micropave; what is it? well in short it is a way of covering the surface of a piece of jewelry with diamonds or gemstones, but how do they do this well let me attempt to explain to you how its done with some help from others that better explain it then me.

Leon Mege at Art Of Platinum explains it like this:

The term “micropave” refers to a technique of setting small diamonds (“melee”) or colored stones in multiple rows over the entire surface of a jewelry piece with a precision that is only possible using high magnification. Some variations of the term are: microscopic pave, mini-pave, micro-set, etc. Micropave is a type of regular (macro) pave but not every type of pave would qualify as “micro.” The word “pave” (pronounced Pah-vay) is French and refers to the intricately placed pieces of cobblestone that comprise many European roadways.

The main difference between micropave and pave is that stones used in micropave are smaller and are set using a different technique. Unlike regular pave, where stone sizes can vary in order to fill the space, micropave achieves that same result by using stones of a uniform size that are offset from row to row creating a honeycomb-like pattern.
Pave and micropave come in a variety of setting styles. Two main types are: “royal” and “four-bead.” Royal pave utilizes a common bead to hold three adjacent stones in a honeycomb pattern. Each bead has to be relatively large in order to overlap all three stones. A total of six beads hold each stone in place. In a four bead setting there are four beads solely dedicated to each stone and the beads are smaller.

The Professional Jeweler has a nice illustration on how they do micro pave set diamonds. You should know that Typically each stone used in micropave is a “full cut” diamond, which means that it has the same 58 facets that you would count on any ideal cut round brilliant. However, full cut diamonds are not the best to use in micropave. The very best diamonds to use in micropave are “single cut” diamonds because they have far fewer facets (17 total facets). High quality, perfectly cut, single cuts are also known in the diamond industry as “eight cuts.” The fewer number facets on a single cut diamond are proportionally bigger and tend to reflect more noticeable flashes of light. High quality single cuts are mainly used in expensive watches to decorate the dials and mark the hours. But single cuts are very scarce, not to mention expensive, with the luxury watch industry consuming almost all of the production. I use eight cuts only for the most exclusive pieces or when a customer specifically requests them. Sometimes it takes weeks for certain sizes of single cuts to be delivered from Europe. From my point of view as an artist, it definitely is worth the money and effort to go with single cuts instead of full cuts. However, if you talk to most retailers (the majority of whom is simply ignorant on the issue or must go far out of their way to get single cuts), they would rather impress their customers with the tale of how each tiny stone has all 58 facets just like the larger ones. Although it’s a good sales approach, you simply cannot get the same rich look from full cut melee that you can get from single cuts. (Art Of Platinum)

Source: Art of Platinum

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