top of page

What does an "Illusion Setting" mean when buying fine jewelry

An illusion setting refers to a specific technique used to enhance the appearance of gemstones, typically diamonds. It relies on optical tricks to create an illusion of a larger or more dazzling stone by surrounding it with smaller diamonds or other reflective materials.

In a traditional illusion setting, the central gemstone is usually placed on a metal (metal also referring to gold and platinum) plate or a cluster of smaller stones, which are cut and arranged in a way that maximizes their reflective properties. This arrangement makes the center stone appear larger and more brilliant than it actually is. The smaller surrounding stones act as mirrors, reflecting light and adding to the overall sparkle and visual impact of the piece.

The illusion setting is often worn by those seeking an impressively larger and eye-catching jewelry design without an exceptionally large or costly center stone. It offers a more affordable way to create the illusion of a more substantial gemstone, making it a sought-after technique in fine jewelry craftsmanship.

Does the Karat Concierge sell Illusion set pieces?

Never say never, HOWEVER, currently we do not offer illusion set pieces for a few reasons. One main reason issue to the fact that we do not have a brick and mortar store, illusion pieces do just that- they create the illusion that the center stone or stones are larger than they are. If the client sees the pieces only online or via photos, they may be very disappointed upon receipt of the product.

We also do not carry illusion set pieces because they tend to be a lower quality than other settings. Our reputation of providing high quality fine jewelry is essential to our reputation.

How does a "cluster" setting differ from an illusion setting?

A cluster setting is when a piece of jewelry is made by clustering smaller diamonds together to create the illusion of a single larger stone, also called a "pie cut". In a cluster or pie cut setting, numerous smaller diamonds are closely set together to form a cohesive arrangement that resembles a larger gemstone. This technique allows for a visually impactful and impressive look while utilizing smaller diamonds.

The main difference between a cluster setting and an illusion setting lies in their approach to creating the illusion of a larger stone. Because a cluster setting uses stones (typically diamonds) to form a cluster, the resemblance is closer to that of a single stone. It will carry more carat weight than an illusion setting, and almost always provide more brilliance than an illusion setting. The cluster setting emphasizes the individuality of each smaller diamond, and the overall effect is a visually impactful arrangement that showcases the combined brilliance and sparkle of the smaller stones.

Although difficult to tell, both of these pictures show cluster settings. The tennis necklace above has smaller stones "clustered" to make what looks like a single emerald cut diamond on each station. The stud earrings have smaller round stones clustered to give a similar look of pear and marquise shaped diamonds.

In summary, a cluster setting physically combines smaller diamonds to create a larger-looking gemstone, while an illusion setting relies on optical techniques to make a single stone appear larger through the arrangement of smaller reflective elements.

Cluster settings have improved drastically in recent years and we do carry a few styles that have very tasteful cluster settings. At the end of the day, The Karat Concierge stands by our products and our designs and it's imperative that they be a direct reflection of our quality, style and reputation.

12 views0 comments
bottom of page