The Art of Illusion Jewelry



The illusion setting can be a popular option in the wedding jewelry category, particularly for those shoppers on a budget who want the appearance of a larger diamond engagement ring. But it’s in the fashion (or fine) jewelry realm that I find it most interesting, and, for some reason, just so happen to be seeing more of lately.

Suzanne Kalan Fireworks charm choker
Cascade Fireworks charm choker in 18k rose gold with 1.6 cts. t.w. baguette and 0.25 ct. t.w. round diamonds, $11,200; Suzanne Kalan

In bridal, the illusion setting is seen in a varied number of shapes—most popularly, the look of a single round brilliant diamond—but I’ve encountered a fair amount of emerald-cut looks in fashion. Some of them are so good, so seamless, that I didn’t even realize it wasn’t a single stone. But in many cases, this is not an attempt to put one over on us, it’s simply a good look that makes a whole lot of sense aesthetically.

AS29 black and white Illusion ring
Illusion ring in 18k white gold with 0.35 ct. t.w. black and white diamonds, $2,070; AS29
El Dorado baguette diamond leaves ring
Baguette leaves ring in 18k white gold with 0.91 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,620; El Dorado

Where the emerald-cut look is concerned, a group of baguette stones clusters to create the overall rectangular shape, separated by tiny slivers of metal that keep the setting together. I have seen the tension-style setting option, where the stones are basically mashed together at the center and held sans prongs, but I am skeptical of these. When I worked in retail, my boss hated these settings—too easy for a stone to pop out, and if one goes, they could all go.  I believe this to be true, but I also think that, given a truly expert touch and high-quality craftsmanship, any creation should be assuredly in tact for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Majolie illusion baguette ring
Illusion baguette ring in 14k rose gold with 0.15 ct. t.w. baguette and 0.09 ct. t.w. round diamonds, $1,270; Majolie

The pieces here are quite worthy of your holiday stock. Those in the market for something impressive may come to hone in on styles like these and realize with immense satisfaction that they’re priced just right to make the cut as this year’s stocking stuffer.

Top: Illusion baguette hoop earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.29 ct. t.w. baguette and 0.21 ct. t.w. round diamonds, $1,270; Majolie