Tiffany & Co. Artisans Explain Tiffany Setting
Some 130 years on, Tiffany & Co.’s famed six-prong setting is still about combining tradition, craftsmanship and emotions.
Women have myriad desires. Among them, more often than not, is a beautiful engagement ring anchored with an elegant, precious gem. In 1886, Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweler and founder of Tiffany & Co., set out to devise a special setting that could better enhance the shimmer of a brilliant-cut diamond on a ring.
Named the Tiffany Setting, the invention came with six platinum prongs of the same weight, height and angle that lifted the stone off the metal band, allowing more light to reflect from its facets. Word about Tiffany’s clever creation quickly traveled, and his engagement ring became the symbol of true love among couples.
According to the New York jeweler, what sets the popular six-prong Tiffany Setting apart is the amount of handwork that goes into its assembly. “We cut and polish our own stones, and the setting is handcrafted,” reveals Hovan Spenjian, a gemmologist and diamond grader who has been in the business for 15 years. “Fine jewelery like this cannot be made by machines.”
“At Tiffany we work with any stone, of any size and shape. Depending on a diamond’s characteristics, we decide who is going to cut or polish the stone,” say brothers and Tiffany & Co. craftsmen Manek and Bhagwati Patel.
“We accept only the highest quality diamonds, selected by expert gemmologists who apply grading standards that far exceed those established by the industry – 99.96 per cent of the world’s gem-grade diamonds fall short of our standards,” says Stacie Schwartz, technology, training and quality assurance manager at Tiffany & Co.
Text by Kenny Loh
This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.