Custom jeweler Leon Megé has launched a new site promoting The Art of Platinum® which he is well known for. The new web site certainly is beautifully designed. I have always appreciated the image quality of the photographs provided of Leon’s work. The odds are that you might not be familiar with Leon Megé, but he’s quite well known throughout the trade.
Leon Megé is a master jewelry designer, who owns one of the most exclusive custom jewelry boutiques in New York. His work is definitely among the finest in the world, right up there with the likes of Brian Gavin, High Performance Diamonds, Mark Morrell, and Victor Canera in my opinion. This is saying a lot because I hold these custom jewelers in the highest regard.
I truly enjoyed browsing through the online catalog of Leon Megé engagement ring designs. Leon is famous for saying “Minimize the appearance of the metal and spotlight the gemstones.” The engagement ring designs featured in his portfolio reflect that preference. When I look at the Leon Megé designs pictured to the left, the diamonds are the primary focal point. The structure of the ring itself appears to be minimal and this makes the diamonds stand out. Of course, not everybody likes an engagement ring with a thin band. Some of my clients do, and some of my clients don’t. I don’t really consider this to be an issue, because Leon Megé custom makes these ring to order. Each one is made to fit the dimensions of the diamond that will be the centerpiece of the ring. Whether you prefer a ring shank that is thin or thick, you can ask Leon to incorporate that feature into the design of the ring. This is true of all the custom jewelers who I work with, their job is to create the ring of your dreams!
There are more than one thousand couture designs featured in the Leon Megé portfolio of custom designs. The collection includes photographs of all the custom rings that he has designed and made for clients throughout the years. I’ve got to say that it’s fun to flip through the pages, even if you’re not looking for an engagement ring! Of course, this assumes that you’ve been bitten by the jewelry bug, and might just be in need of a fix.
One of the things that distinguish Leon Megé from the majority of custom jewelers, is that he offers jewelry that is hand-forged. This means that the jewelry is created by heating, bending, and shaping the metal, as opposed to casting it from a wax. The only other jeweler who I know who makes jewelry this way is Victor Canera. Creating hand-forged jewelry is time-intensive and thus hand-forged engagement rings cost more than the custom jewelry created by Brian Gavin and High Performance Diamonds who primarily use Computer-Aided Design (CAD).
Needless to say that there are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of creating custom jewelry. While I can appreciate the raw talent that is necessary to hand-forge an engagement ring, I personally prefer the precise symmetry provided by computer-aided design. My sense of balance requires both sides of a ring to be symmetrical in size and shape, this is easily accomplished in CAD. However hand-forged engagement rings are less likely to be perfectly symmetrical upon close examination.
Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, some would say that there is some degree of perfection in the imperfection of such things. I am certainly not one to argue with this concept, I’m merely stating my personal preference for the design lines of engagement rings to be more symmetrical. But I’ve got plenty of clients who prefer the hand-crafted nature of hand-forged jewelry. As with most things in life, all of this is strictly a matter of personal preference.
Throughout the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for engagement rings created by Computer-Aided Design, and those which have been forged by hand. The fact that I love to play around with the CAD jewelry design program installed on my computer probably contributes to my personal bias which leans towards jewelry designed using CAD. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not completely impressed, even in awe of jewelers like Leon Megé who are talented enough to create jewelry by hand.
Given the extensive number of ring styles featured in the Leon Megé portfolio of engagement rings, it can be quite a challenge to choose just one. However, it can be even more challenging to pick the perfect center stone. Especially if you are intent on buying a fancy shape diamond.
Unlike round brilliant ideal cut diamonds for which the light return can be predicted by the numbers, fancy shape diamonds are not perfectly symmetrical in shape. Thus the effect of facets which are longer and shorter in some areas will have a dramatic effect on the visual properties of the diamond. One of the things that Leon Megé is most known for is his Elite Collection of Antique Cushion cut diamonds. As you can plainly see by the collage of Leon Megé antique cushion cut diamonds pictured to the left, each one offers a slightly different outline and shape. This is typical of cushion cut diamonds, each one is unique in appearance and offers different degrees of light performance. You will definitely want to consult with Leon Megé to get his opinion about which of the antique cushion cut diamonds in their inventory is best suited for your needs and personal preferences. Of course, I’m also happy to help with the selection process if you’d like to take advantage of my free Diamond Concierge Service.
Note that I don’t officially work with Leon Megé. We don’t have an affiliate relationship. However I think that it’s good for various diamond vendors to hear my name from time to time, so please tell Leon Megé that you heard about them on Nice Ice. I’ve seen several examples of his work throughout the years, I’ve got great respect for his craft and ability to create hand-forged jewelry. I’m more than happy to help you choose the perfect diamond to be featured in one of his rings.
The one favor that I’m going to ask if you’d like my opinion on any diamond that you’re considering from Leon Megé is that you don’t ask me to try and find the diamond using their search engine. I really don’t find it to be user-friendly. First of all, it’s not possible to simply type the search parameters for total depth (59 – 61.8%) and table diameter (53 – 58%) that I like to rely upon for round brilliant cut diamonds. When I typed those parameters into the form fields, the script rounded off the total depth of 61.8% to 62% which is not acceptable to me. That aside, when I set the parameters and clicked search, I received a message indicating that no options were available:
This seemed a bit strange to me, so I refreshed the page and tried again. This time I used the sliders to set the range for total depth and table diameter, accepting the fact that the range of total depth was going to have to be between 59 – 62% instead of my preferred range of 59 – 61.8%.
I used the sliders to limit the search results to those diamonds with excellent polish and symmetry. I left the range of clarity wide open and did the same with diamond color. There does not appear to be the option of limiting the options in terms of fluorescence, that would be a nice feature to have.
I would also prefer that the search parameters remain visible at the top of the search results, instead of being rolled-up once the search button is pressed. I prefer not to have to click on the “V” icon located to the left of “Search” in order to make those parameters visible again. It makes it faster and easier to adjust the search parameters on the fly…
Despite the fact that I selected diamonds that are round in shape at the beginning of my search, the initial search results included a bunch of fancy shape diamonds. This was resolved easily enough, I merely had to click on shape at the top of the search results and select round again. However, when I clicked on the Carat Weight field to sort the results in order of carat weight from least to highest, the results repopulated with a bunch of fancy shape diamonds again.
If you imagine me banging my head against the wall at this point, you’re not wrong. I was just about to simply close the page and forget about further exploring Leon Megé for diamonds when I decided to click on one of the line listings to see what sort of diamond details are provided. Imagine my surprise when clicking on the link launched a drop-down box that invited me to Enquire about the diamond, instead of providing me with any details. WTH? Seriously? What’s the point? I realize that Leon Megé is a rare breed in terms of his ability to hand forge custom jewelry, but in my experience, people who shop for diamonds online expect to be provided with detailed diamond grading details at the click of their mouse. Nobody wants to submit an inquiry and wait. For one thing, it eliminates the basic anonymity provided by shopping online. I don’t always want to provide my contact details when shopping for something, sometimes I merely want to look around privately and compare prices and details anonymously.
I’m quite certain that this is something that Leon Megé carefully considered when designing his new web site. His jewelry designs show great planning and attention to detail, so I expect nothing less from his web site. But to be perfectly honest, I’m pretty disappointed at the limitations of the diamond search engine, and the total lack of detail provided in terms of a diamond details page. Perhaps this is something that will be upgraded in the future. In the meantime, forgive me for not being willing to waste the time trying to search Leon Megé for diamonds.
I’ll be happy to use the resources that I have at my disposal to conduct diamond searches on your behalf. I just won’t be using the diamond search engine provided by Leon Megé to do so. My recommendation to Leon Megé would be to check out the diamond search engine and resulting diamond details pages offered by his online competitors:
These companies offer diamond search engines that are user-friendly. They also provide extensive diamond detail pages, which provide instant access to:
From my perspective as a diamond buyer, this type of information is critical to the buying process. Leon Megé is an exceptional jewelry artisan, with a talent for creating hand-forged jewelry that is worthy of high praise. But I think that some improvements need to be made to the functionality of the diamond search engine, and the availability of diamond details. That said, I wish Leon Megé the best with his new web site. Check it out and let me know what you think.
And by all means, feel free to send me the details for any diamond that you are considering from Leon Megé. I am more than happy to help you review the details and provide you with an assessment of the ASET Scope, Hearts & Arrows Scope, and Ideal Scope images as applicable. Since this information is not readily available on the web site, you’ll need to submit an Enquiry for whichever diamonds you are considering from Leon Megé using the button provided with each diamond listing. You can submit the details to me via the Diamond Concierge Form. Provide me with the diamond grading report number, and then send me any images provided in an email upon receipt of my response.