Small diamonds are set into a piece of jewellery by using pavé or micro pavé. Literally translated, the French word ‘pavé’ means ‘cobbled’ or ‘pavement’ and refers to the close proximity of the gems on the surface of the jewellery. Mounting diamonds in a pavé setting requires enormous patience along with the great skill and expertise of the craftsman. The result in a band of a ring set in pavé is an illusion that the band is entirely made of diamonds.
A traditional pavé setting uses an assortment of different sized melee diamonds to best fit the space. In the best pavé jewellery, full cut 57-facet diamonds are normally used, which creates a truly dazzling effect across the multi-dimensional surface.
Micro pavé is different from traditional pavé in that it generally uses a microscope because of the intricacy of the work. The stones are also laid out in a honeycomb-like arrangement over the surface.
Both pavé and micro pavé settings are prone to stone loss regardless of the quality of the setting. As long as each diamond is accurately set and that knocks are avoided by careful wear, the diamonds should stay secure in their setting. However, the cost to replace a stone in a pavé setting should be minimal. The item should only be cleaned using a very soft brush, some warm water and a small amount of mild detergent.