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View Full Version : First Big Project Help! Necklace Settings and Stones



amature jewelry maker
25-07-2009, 12:29 AM
Hi, I am new and have been making fashion and silver jewellery at home from scrap for years for myself and friends. More recently I stated making it with more refined materials, as birthday presents, like the pearl necklace that I made for a friend 21st.

Now it is my Mums birthday and I wanted to take on the biggest project yet by making her an 18ct gem studded necklace with green sapphires and pink rubies. I have hit some problems though.

First off, to make the necklace I need setting or collets that are inter- connectable either because they have a free area so I can manipulate them by connecting them with rings or those that have the extra loops so they are meant for connection. Does anyone know where I can get them? I have seen some on an American website but I donít know if they are reliable.

Also the stone. I read that now a days nearly all Sapphires and Rubies now a days have been heat treated, does that make them loose their value. Also I know some places to get the stones in the UK but I donít think I will have time to go and get them, especially without my Mum finding out. I found a website in Thailand that gets their stone from all over the world. It looks great, and prices seem kind of accurate. I was not expecting the greatest quality but could someone tell me if they are reliable or at least that they sell real gemstones. They are based in Thailand. The website is gemselect.com

Can anyone help?

mizgeorge
28-07-2009, 06:55 AM
You know what?

Spammers almost always do better if they can spell properly ;)

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 02:11 PM
Dear sir/ madam

A am 21 years old and have long suffered from spelling difficulties, not that that is any of you business but there are people in this world who have learning difficulties. i posted on this forum at the suggestion of Anna Marie at Cookson gold who told me I would get a professional opinion on how to make my mother necklace as she could not find any products that would help me. I have waited four day for help when her birthday is in a weak and all I get is an accusation of spamming. What kind of forum is this if someone can’t ask the authenticity of a website? This is the advice section were people ask for help from experienced people. No one want to spend all that money an effort on something and find out that they gave there mother of all people a fake birthday present.

Bellow is the email if you don’t believe me. I am sorry if this sound rude but you have made me so angry with this accusation.

Dear ---

I am afraid that I do not think we can help you anymore. We do not stock
the type of bezel you are looking for.

Can I also direct you to our forum on our website, cooksongold.com.
There you can post a question and hopefully you will receive a response
from qualified jewellers.

I am sorry that I can not help you any further.

Kind Regards

Ann Marie
Birmingham Sales

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 02:29 PM
I would appreciate it if someone with genuine knowledge of jewellery making would help me with my question please, as I franticly researching, but running out of time.

ps_bond
28-07-2009, 02:32 PM
I think that the suggestion of spamming may have been due to the link to the Thai gem company - it's quite a common tactic on many fora. But I'm sure George can say why!

I'm struggling slightly to visualise what you mean - any chance of a sketch or something to go on? I'm not sure that it's my area, but there are others here who will be more able to provide input.

You're perhaps a bit short of time to tackle something of any magnitude, particularly if it's a new venture. But hey, a little time pressure can be useful once in a while!

As far as gem quality goes - yes, heat treating is very common; it's one way of getting more visually appealing material. Just so long as the stuff isn't sold as untreated...

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 02:52 PM
Thank you, I am going to try and up load my sketch. I know it is a big task, but if I can do it the way that I imagine, by linking up the collets with rings then as long as I have about two solid days locked in my room I think I might be ok. The reason that I asked about the website is because they sell stone I lots which are the same size, which I need for my design and thought it would be difficult to get. I certainly did not want to buy glass. I did not think I was doing anything wrong. I am sorry if this was offensive in any way.

ps_bond
28-07-2009, 03:04 PM
I think your chances of getting stones in time from overseas are pretty slim...

How fixed are your ideas on your design? It may be wise to sacrifice some of the more problematic areas for something that is *mostly* right, but acheivable in time. Artistic compromise ;)

I see Cooksons sell collets without attached rings - can you solder?

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 03:16 PM
Hear is my design, it took me a whole day of researching Vogue and Elle magazines, and fashion website for inspiration, until I finally found the colours in this flower my mum showed me that was growing in the garden. The first row is white and black pearls (the green type) with gold spacers (I can do this bit). The next row are 4mm square green sapphires, this is the hard bit. I need the collets I put the stone in to have loops or at least somewhere that I can thread a ring in to so I can connect then to the above sting and the round beads and ruby droplets, as well as to each other to form a chain like shape.

Hope this is clear; the drawing is not exactly professional.

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 03:26 PM
I think your chances of getting stones in time from overseas are pretty slim...

How fixed are your ideas on your design? It may be wise to sacrifice some of the more problematic areas for something that is *mostly* right, but acheivable in time. Artistic compromise ;)

I see Cooksons sell collets without attached rings - can you solder?

I have also been leaning in this direction. Yesterday my brother suggested that I buy a chain and solder the collets to it. He says you can get a soldering machine for £20 from B&Q. So maybe, but I was not sure about whether I have to get a special type of solder for gold. Also I donít know how the necklace will fall, and the last time I soldered anything was in my DT class in year 9. The main thing to me is the colour and droplets, thatís the bit I love. I have been thinking I could find some cluster pendants settings and string those together, but the variety in this country, at least those that I can find is little, everything seems to be in America. The only place I found them in the UK that does these is Euro findings; and the ones that they do are kind of small, and simple uniform designs. If you can suggest somewhere that would be a great help.

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 03:32 PM
Or bracelet setting, anyone know where I can get them?

ps_bond
28-07-2009, 03:39 PM
That does look very involved... Anything beady is outside my experience, but there's a couple of bits I can comment on.

You've got square collets for the sapphires; have you tried setting square stones before? If it was me, I'd either source some square tubing, cut it to lengths & solder jump rings on or make up a master & have it cast - assuming you can't find suitable settings. But that all takes time (and yes, soldering with the correct gold solder for the grade of gold!).

Could you, for example, substitute gemstone beads for the settings?

mizgeorge
28-07-2009, 05:01 PM
Apologies Amature, your post was almost identical to those made regularly by Far Eastern gem wholesalers looking for traffic - the American spelling of 'Jewelry' made it seem even more so.

As to your problem, I think you may be asking a lot of yourself in making this if you haven't done any gem setting (especially square stones) or soldering before. Particularly in such an expensive metal. You would also need to invest in a soldering setup (you can't use a DIY store soldering iron but would need at the very least a handheld torch) and the correct solder for your gold. Not to mention the learning curve.

Have you considered adapting the design to a wired and strung beaded version? Gold filled wire can look gorgeous, and swarovski crystals would allow you the colour choice you like without the risk of buying gemstones sight unseen, which can be risky, especially from overseas. You could then give yourself some time to make the 'real' version once you've learned all you want to.

Again, apologies for my wrong assumption.

caroleallen
28-07-2009, 05:02 PM
Could you perhaps buy a gold chain and hang beads from it. If you've never soldered before, I really wouldn't recommend you start with gold. Soldering precious metals requires special equipment - torch, heat pad, flux, solder, pickle. Have a look on u-tube at tutorials on soldering. It's not as easy as it looks. Kernowcraft have some snap fittings in silver and gold which you may like.

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 05:49 PM
Could you perhaps buy a gold chain and hang beads from it. If you've never soldered before, I really wouldn't recommend you start with gold. Soldering precious metals requires special equipment - torch, heat pad, flux, solder, pickle. Have a look on u-tube at tutorials on soldering. It's not as easy as it looks. Kernowcraft have some snap fittings in silver and gold which you may like.

Wow, this site is great, but they only do 9 carat gold. I think I will ring them and see if they do 18 caret gold in the morning. I know my mum will love anything that I give her, because as a teenager I have given her 9ct gold and she would wear it. But when she buys gold for herself she would never buy 9ct. She dabble in the jewellery business her self you see, and now when ever she get jewellery, she get it made from her jeweller. So I wanted to meet her standards of jewellery. If anyone finds any others then please let me know, or I will have to make her a different necklace, maybe gold and turquoise or lepis, she love all stones.

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 06:02 PM
Apologies Amature, your post was almost identical to those made regularly by Far Eastern gem wholesalers looking for traffic - the American spelling of 'Jewelry' made it seem even more so.

As to your problem, I think you may be asking a lot of yourself in making this if you haven't done any gem setting (especially square stones) or soldering before. Particularly in such an expensive metal. You would also need to invest in a soldering setup (you can't use a DIY store soldering iron but would need at the very least a handheld torch) and the correct solder for your gold. Not to mention the learning curve.

Have you considered adapting the design to a wired and strung beaded version? Gold filled wire can look gorgeous, and swarovski crystals would allow you the colour choice you like without the risk of buying gemstones sight unseen, which can be risky, especially from overseas. You could then give yourself some time to make the 'real' version once you've learned all you want to.

Again, apologies for my wrong assumption.

Oh, and thank you mizgeorge, for your apology and the suggestions:). I will think about the mock up. I am sorry if I was a little aggressive about the accusation. It was just after days of fretting over how to approach this I did not expect that response and got a little angry. I can see how it can be seen in that way and understand the mistake.

P.S, Thanks to all of you for your help so far

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 06:09 PM
Sorry for the extra question but are the stone on the Kernowcraft website any good caroleallen? Also does anyone know how soldering past works? Do yo need a soldering iron?

AlexandraBuckle
28-07-2009, 06:34 PM
I've used Kernowcraft before and would recommend them. I have also recently bought gemstones from the curious gem http://thecuriousgem.co.uk/ who were very good.

Sorry i can't really help you with the other bits though - your project is way out of my league!

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 06:39 PM
I've used Kernowcraft before and would recommend them. I have also recently bought gemstones from the curious gem http://thecuriousgem.co.uk/ who were very good.

Sorry i can't really help you with the other bits though - your project is way out of my league!

thanks, there are so many good stones on there

agent_44
28-07-2009, 07:11 PM
Curious Gem is great, as is Kernowcraft. Reading through what you were after I was going to suggest them. Both offer quick and good service too.

You're really going for it aren't you - what a lucky mum! I hope it all goes to plan - and I am sure people here will be happy to help you along the way if you need it :D

I hope you will show us all the finished product when it's done!

caroleallen
28-07-2009, 07:37 PM
Sorry for the extra question but are the stone on the Kernowcraft website any good caroleallen? Also does anyone know how soldering past works? Do yo need a soldering iron?

Do you mean soldering paste? If so, it works in much the same way as normal solder. You don't use a soldering iron but a soldering torch which is entirely different.

I don't mean to offend you, but I really think you need to master the basics before you start making anything so advanced, particularly if you plan to use gold which is hideously expensive. If you start evening classes now, by your Mum's next birthday you may be able to tackle this project.

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 07:53 PM
Thanks, caroleallen, I don’t take any offence, I have always had the tendency of getting in way over my head. I don’t think I am going to solder. It will take too long to do each collet, even if I new how to do it, from what I understand. I am working on some alternative designs based on what I found on the two websites that you guys have given me. So what I am making is ever changing, but hopefully it will still be special.

I am holding out for tomorrow for any 18ct collets, otherwise I will just use the ones in 9.

And thanks agent44, whatever I make I will definitely post picks, you guys have been such as great help to me. The panicky felling I have had for the last few days is slowly ebbing away as I finally find some control over this project, whatever it may be.

MuranoSilver
28-07-2009, 07:54 PM
No you don't need a soldering iron you need a proper torch and proper soldering set up. :)
I'm worried you haven't done any soldering, and you plan to start with a project that folks with experience would class as "ambitious".

Looking at your design the components could easily cost over £1000 of metals and materials
e.g. 30 x £20 per 18ct setting = £600 +vat
30 x matched 4mm princess cut emeralds @ £10 each (conservative) - £300
Plus soldering set up, pearls, gold solder etc etc etc
and you only have a "few days" to complete the project.


when she buys gold for herself she would never buy 9ct. She dabble in the jewellery business her self you see, and now when ever she get jewellery, she get it made from her jeweller. So I wanted to meet her standards of jewellery..

My intention is not to pour water over your enthusiasm, but it would be terrible for you to spend all that cash
and then not be happy with the result.

My suggestion (as someone who HAS had some soldering experience and been on plenty of courses)
would be you go and spend the £500 on a nice present then invest £250 on a soldering course.
You could then plan the design according to your own ability and experiance + perhaps plan for Christmas....:D

Nicola x

MuranoSilver
28-07-2009, 07:55 PM
Thanks, caroleallen, I donít take any offence, I have always had the tendency of getting in way over my head. I donít think I am going to solder. It will take too long to do each collet, even if I new how to do it, from what I understand. I am working on some alternative designs based on what I found on the two websites that you guys have given me. So what I am making is ever changing, but hopefully it will still be special.

I am holding out for tomorrow for any 18ct collets, otherwise I will just use the ones in 9.

And thanks agent44, whatever I make I will definitely post picks, you guys have been such as great help to me. The panicky felling I have had for the last few days is slowly ebbing away as I finally find some control over this project, whatever it may be.

Sorry it looks like while I was working out the same thing as caroleallen you came to the same conclusion - phew :)

amature jewelry maker
28-07-2009, 08:34 PM
Thank you for the work out MuranoSilver, I always new it was going to be expensive. Anyway soldering is of the list now. I am just painting up some alternative design. The calculating will come after. But I have my brother and dad for donations. They are good support. My dad especially likes it because he knows that I am developing a skill. I know I should take a course, and eventually will. But that is way I was looking for the collets, trying to find an easy way of doing something potentially difficult, as I new I would not really have the knowledge to tackle that. Even when I was getting desperate, I wanted to use glue.

agent_44
28-07-2009, 08:42 PM
Sounds like you are doing the right thing adapting your design :)

Good luck with it - look forward to hearing and seeing how it goes!

Ominicci
29-07-2009, 09:39 AM
Wow looks like you got some good advice there. I WAS getting worried for you too, but didn't know how to help other than saying 'don't do it' but figured that might not be what you wanted to hear!