In jewelry, it’s often the small things that count. Nowhere is that more evident than the timeless pavé setting—a brilliant swath of small, gleaming diamonds used to create patterns and contrast against a precious metal backdrop.
“It’s the elevation of a tiny diamond to something monumental,” says Brooklyn-based jeweler Nicole Landaw, who employs the technique in everything from a pavé-topped bangle to rings glimmering with champagne and grey-colored diamonds. “It’s a call to attention and focus: something small and detailed that pulls you in and won’t let you look away.”
Gabriella Kiss agrees: “I use it for elegance and sparkle,” says the jeweler of the setting she uses for her natural forms such as snakes and insects, with the help of setter Vasken Shalian. Charlotte Lynggaard of Copenhagen-based fine jewelry house Ole Lynggaard (also known as the purveyor to the Danish Royal Court) makes an equally bold statement with the setting in her work—think a diamond-studded yellow gold leaf ring with a hand-engraved finish to a pavé diamond-tipped lotus bunch pendant—as does New York City jeweler Nikollë Radi, who work closely with stone setter, Hector TK, to finesse his lattice-like designs. “It is a rare person who understands fine stone settings like Hector,” he says. “We sit down and discuss every piece, and he always has some suggestions on how to best achieve the look I want.”
For Radi and others, that means using a variety of pavé styles, such as an inline micropavé setting used to frame his intricate platinum patterns. Case in point: his Damask hoops, available at August—“one of my favorite pieces,” he says. “It took a long time for me to come up with the design for these. They are set with tiny micro prongs that have to be carefully placed in position by hand within the platinum pattern. The result is that the diamonds seem to float in the air.’
Meanwhile, in Landaw’s pieces, “sometimes a very clean line of delineation is required and so my pavé is framed by a bright cut,” explains the jeweler, while calling attention to her commitment to certified conflict-free stones. “In others, the diamonds and the metal meet in a more organic way and seeing the detail of each individual setting is visually essential.”
No matter the style of pavé, the effect is the same: simply dazzling.