Stone setting is a way of securely attaching stones into a piece of jewellery. You can use various techniques to incorporate stones into your designs including: Claw, Gypsy, Bezel, Illusion, Pave, Channel, Tension and Grain. The stone’s shape and hardness dictate which type of setting technique is suitable. Stones can add colour and a focal point to your design and helps your design attract customers’ attention!
Types of settings
1. Claw settings: A small amount of metal is used to make up claw settings, allowing light to pass through the stone and also allows easy access to the stone for cleaning. Claw settings are made up of prongs. The prongs are bent over the stone to secure in place.
2. Gypsy settings: are done by using the surrounding metal to set a stone. which makes the stone appear flush within the piece of jewellery.
3. Bezel settings: or rub-over settings require a tight wall of metal around the stone. It sits on a ledge of wire or a sheet of metal at the base. Creating a wall and pushing it against the stone.
4. Illusion settings: are used to visually exaggerate the appearance of a small stone. This is done by a stone being set into a collet with a large wall.
5. Pave settings: the word pave originates from the French meaning paved. Pave setting uses small stones to cover the surface of a piece of jewellery. Tiny beads of metal are pulled up from the surface and are pushed up over stone.
6. Channel settings: are usually used in lines. Stones that are channel set are supported on two sides and underneath. The two sides are pushed down to tighten the stone in place.
7. Tension settings: use the metal surrounding it to secure stone in place. It requires tension through the metal to support the stone. A tension setting allows light to pass through it and show its full beauty.
8. Grain settings: consist of small stones in lines. Tiny beads or grains of metal are pulled up from surface and are pushed up over the stone.
Bezel Setting on a Pendant
You will need:
- Texturing Hammer, Wide Stripe
- Half Round File and Handle
- Flat Stake
- Emery Paper
- Emery Stick Flat, Medium
- 6″ Steel Ruler
- 3″ Adjustable Saw Frame
- Saw Blades 3/0
- Soldering Block
- Hand Torch
- Pickling Powder
- Borax Cone and Borax Dish
- Flux Brush
- Shears and Stainless Steel Tweezers
- Square ended pusher
- 1mm Silver Sheet (15mm x 40mm and 12mm x 50mm)
- 20mm of 0.3mm x 3mm Fine Silver Strip
- Solder Strip
- 3mm Moonstone Round Cabochon
- Silver Snake chain
Take the 12mm x 50mm Silver, the texturing hammer and the flat stake. Place your silver sheet onto the flat stake, hold one edge of the silver sheet, use the texturing hammer strike the sheet numerous times in one direction, turn the silver sheet and repeat on opposite end.
Using a half round file, use flat edge and file the edges straight and using Emery sticks buff the edges to become smoother.
Using Dividers measure 42mm on steel ruler and score a line width ways in the textured sheet. Saw pierce along this line. The textured sheet will have become hard as it has been worked on, it is ready to anneal, quench and pickle. To create a curve, push the non – textured edge against a large curve of your choice. If you have bangle mandrel this would work perfectly.
Place curved edge against 15mm x 40mm piece, approximately the same length. Take a sheet of course emery paper and rub edges down until flat and sit flush onto the larger piece of sheet.
Using borax cone and dish make up flux and with a flux brush dab flux on sheet and the just buffed edge, then place the curved piece of sheet onto one side of silver sheet. Then with shears snip two small pallions of hard solder and place on the fluxed join.
Using hand torch gently apply heat, gradually increasing until it is hot enough and the solder flows. Then quench & pickle. Repeat on the opposite end, again using hard solder. Quench and pickle.
Tip: When using more than three solder joins, use hard solder as many times as possible!
To make the bezel, wrap the strip around the stone, letting it strip overlap, once you have the correct shape remove the stone. Where the strip overlaps saw pierce or cut with end cutters and make sure the two ends are flush with no gaps. Flux the join of the bezel; place a small pallion of hard solder on the join with tweezers. Apply heat gently and evenly to the bezel until the solder flows remove flame. Quench and pickle.
Place bezel onto triblet or use round nose pliers and tap with a mallet to get true circle. Check the stone fits at this stage, if bezel is too large saw pierce down the solder line, if the stone still does not fit file the ends. The bezel strip will be higher than the stone, to reduce the height rub the base against course emery paper. The height of the bezel needs to be approximately level with the beginning of the curve of stone.
Place the bezel on right hand corner of your piece. Flux and add medium solder pallions around the outside of bezel. Solder on wire mesh and soldering block. Apply heat evenly starting gently and gradually increase until the solder flows. Quench and pickle.
Tip: A wire mesh is advisable so the heat can be spread evenly through the piece; this will also prevent the bezel overheating and maybe melting! Using remaining textured sheet curve over triblet or using round nosed pliers and this will make your loop for necklace.
Rub edges on emery paper until flush. Flux loop and centre of piece. Place together. Using shears cut pallions of easy silver solder and place two pallions either side. Heat gently and gradually increase until solder flows. Quench and pickle. Clean up piece going through grades of emery paper leaving a matt finish.
Tip: Use oxidizing solution on the textured strip of the pendant and polish raised areas to enhance the appearance of the texture.
To set the stone, try to gain as much grip as possible. Using a flat bezel pusher, push one part of the bezel wall against the stone. Push in at points ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’. This is to avoid a build up of metal. Push in between these points and continue to do this around the stone. Bringing the pusher up to a higher angle, and apply pressure against the middle and top edges of the bezel. Use a burnisher rib for the top edge to get rid of sharp edges and brighten the silver.
Now hook the silver snake chain through the loop. You have finished the project!