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Thread: Setting gemstone slices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Question Setting gemstone slices

    Dear all,

    I am really new to jewellery making and would really appreciate if you could share your experience and knowledge on setting gemstone slices, especially those ones in rings.

    I have some irregular shaped tourmaline slices which I would absolutely love to turn into rings/ earrings and I particularly like the type of open back bezel setting which just seems to frame the stone. I have been researching books and internet but I really struggle to find a tutorial or just any advice on how to achieve this effect.

    I would really really appreciate any advice, thank you!

    Here is an image for the reference of what I used as inspiration.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Well, you have chosen a difficult task because slices are very fragile and soon dry out to the point of falling apart.

    I would say that they are unsuitable for rings, but for pendants on short chains, where they are unlikely to get hard knocks, they can be mounted with bezel strip, trimmed to be about 4.0mm wider than the slice, the ends soldered and a jump ring added.

    The slice can then be inserted and both sides set with fingers and then burnishers, taking care not to crack it.

    If standard bezel strip turns out to be too narrow, then strip cut from 0.3mm fine silver sheet, can be used. Dennis

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Well, you have chosen a difficult task because slices are very fragile and soon dry out to the point of falling apart.

    I would say that they are unsuitable for rings, but for pendants on short chains, where they are unlikely to get hard knocks, they can be mounted with bezel strip, trimmed to be about 4.0mm wider than the slice, the ends soldered and a jump ring added.

    The slice can then be inserted and both sides set with fingers and then burnishers, taking care not to crack it.

    If standard bezel strip turns out to be too narrow, then strip cut from 0.3mm fine silver sheet, can be used. Dennis

    Dear Dennis,

    Thank you very much for your advice, I really appreciate it!

    In regards to the ring in the example picture , would the bezel be made from a thicker metal and then a bearing wire would be soldered to the bottom to support the stone and allow the metal to be burnished over the top?Or there is another way to achieve it?

    Kind regards,

    Ksenia

  4. #4
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    Yes I think there will be a back plate with a bezel, but it's just a pretty picture. Not something of practical use. Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2017
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    Thank you very much, Dennis! Really appreciate it!

  6. #6
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    I think you can stabilise it with resin. I remember watching this a while back but Im no expert on slicing stone

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    I'd recommend to steer clear of the dyed agates; it is perfectly good to be inspired on them but leave them on the shelf with the rest of the 'tack'.

    Natural agates are a different kettle of fish ...

    Setting them can be done with either bezel or prong approaches, full or windowed back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef1 View Post
    I think you can stabilise it with resin. I remember watching this a while back but Im no expert on slicing stone
    TBH I have only limited experience working with fluorite to date, but I do know it can be very tricky to work with: it has a strong cleavage and fractures readily. I suspected a couple of slices I had might have been resin stabilised: old stock, they're on the yellow side. Without this, they're likely to crumble to something resembling sugar. Unless you know your rocks have been stabilised, I wouldn't recommend Blue John as a starting material.

    Other than that, "Knock yourself out!"

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