Choosing high-end jewelry is hard enough. Then, add in all the fancy lingo associated with precious jewelry and you can find yourself spinning in circles.
Here, we’re exploring pave, something you may have never heard of. But it will definitely come up in your jewelry-buying experience.
So, what is pave and which type of pave should I choose? Let’s get started.
What is pave?
Pave, sophisticatedly pronounced as pah-vey, is the French word for pavement. In jewelry-making, it refers to the way gemstones are set in a metal band.
So, if your high jewelry includes a pave band, that means the band is full of gemstones.
Different versions of pave help us embrace the beauty and brilliance of the diamonds and stones you use. No matter which type of pave you choose, they all make for gorgeous fine jewelry.
Here are the most common kinds of pave.
Micro pave uses extremely small stones weighing only about 0.1 of a carat. With a micro pave, it looks like the entire band itself is made of only diamonds.
Of all the pave varieties, micro pave is one of the most delicate and beautiful, producing tons of sparkle.
However, due to the amount of time it takes to craft and the number of stones used, micro pave can be expensive, less durable, difficult to resize, and difficult to clean.
Also known as V-cut pave or fishtail pave, French pave is a dazzling style that creates a textured, optical illusion on the band.
The gemstones are set into a V-shaped groove that helps to enhance the sparkle and makes it seem like there are more diamonds than there are.
With intricate engraving work creating an interesting texture, French pave is a popular handmade jewelry choice for establishing the appearance of an endless row of gems without losing the integrity of the metal band.
Named for the U-shaped grooves in which the stones are set into the metal, U-cut pave is one of the most popular pave styles.
The U-shape gives the band a wavelike appearance that’s unique and beautiful and requires less metal, increasing the diamond to metal ratio.
Plus, because the U-shape exposes the entire stone, it has the chance to reflect more light and improve its shine and sparkle.
Shared Prong Pave
As its name suggests, shared prong pave refers to gems being set in the metal using a shared prong.
It minimizes the detail used in the metal engraving to allow the gems to shine in all their glory. Plus, shared prong pave creates a unified, cohesive look.
Petite pave is like a traditional prong setting, only much smaller. With the prong design, the diamonds become more exposed, enhancing their brilliance.
While sometimes confused with micro pave, the difference is that micro pave is focused on many small diamonds while petite pave is about the tiny prongs.
In general, micro pave could be considered more modern while petite pave is more traditional.
The most traditional kind of pave is channel-set pave, also known as bright cut pave.
It’s characterized by the gems being set between two “walls” of metal. Bright cut pave is durable, versatile, and widely popular. Not to mention, they’re stunning.
All of these pave styles are quite specific. And even while knowing the difference, it can still be difficult to decide on which style is right for you.
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