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Assher and trillion stone setting

I started only one year ago with silver jewelery (no previous
experience), doing well in general however with stone setting I
struggle, to make a chaton setting I manage, but pave settings and
specially setting assher cut stones I just do not manage, (no
intention to give up on this)

With the Assher cut stone and trillion cut stones (zirconia) I drill
first a small hole us the ball bur and a stone setting bur Than I
use a few different kind of gravers to cut a way the silver, to the
shape of the base of the stone, when I put the stone back in the ring
I try to guess were to cut more, I always seems to get it wrong!

The question for you much more experienced girls and guys is, is
there a way, tool, system how to see were to cut exactly, I tried
making a mold of the rough cut I made to compare it with the base of
the stones with wax but because it is rough you don’t get the wax
out clean.

One other problem I have, what sounds pretty embarrassing is setting
2 to 3 mm stones in one row on a ring, I drill 0.8 mm holes every 2
resp 3 mm, then use the ball bur and stonesetting bur and manage to
have some stones on 3.2 or 2.8 mm distance instead of the 3 mm, in
the last 2 weeks I had 5 rings going back in the melting pot, is
this just the ‘learning curve’ or miss I some essential part in this
production other than experience?

peter brasser

Hi Peter,

I am sure you will get a plethora of here. I will give
my 35 years of experience to help you if I can.

First of all, drilling and the ball bur to relieve for the corners
are correct actions. They should be done after you have used your
dividers to mark your prongs at the same depth. If your stone if
miss-cut or has a variable girdle you will have to make allowances
for that to keep the table of the stone level. If your talking about
chevrons same procedure to this point. I cut the seats with 90 degree
bearing bur and then using a normal hart bur in a vertical position
to the prong/chevron cut downward away from the hole to relieve the
pavilion area. The main thing in setting any stone is the cut the
seat to mimic the girdle. None of them are perfect.

Hope this helps!

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute

Peter, don’t get discouraged. It takes a lot of practice to do bright
setting and pave. I am taking a class and we are setting tiny little

created rubies 2.5 mm. Even with excellent instruction it is slow

Our wonderful teacher, Bruce McKay, prepared a lot of little brass
pieces with the holes started for us. After taking accurate
measurements of the stone using our digital calipers, we then,learned
to enlarge the pre-drilled holes to the precise size of our stones,
using first a cone burr, and then a setting burr. It was slow going.
Everything went fine, then when it was time to clean up the area
around the stone, I managed to cut off one of the little fingers
(Prongs??). However, all was not lost as Bruce showed us how to
raise another in the same spot. My point is that it takes a lot of
practice to get it right. What is making it difficult for you, is
that you are working with trillions. My suggestion is that, if you
have not already done so, you really master setting round stones
first,–getting the seats cut just right, and then doing the bright
cutting. Then progress to the odd shaped stones.

Instead of working with silver, and then having to discard that
which does not come out right, it might be a good idea to work on
some pieces of brass, or copper, then move on to the silver. I have
some marquise, and trillion CZ’s waiting for me to practice on, but I
will not touch them until I really can do a perfect job with the
little round ones.


First of all, drilling and the ball bur to relieve for the corners
are correct actions. They should be done after you have used your
dividers to mark your prongs at the same depth. 

In my DVD “Ballerina Ring” I spend considerable time on how to layout
and prepare seats for non-round stones. In this particular case, I am
working with tapered baguettes. For more about the DVD
here is the link -

Leonid Surpin

Thanks Alma

I am thinking of convincing my wife to take a holiday in the US, so
I can sneak off to take a class in stone setting I have been looking
at Blaine Lewiss classes (based in Nashville what helps as a tourist
attraction to keep my wife happy) but could not find anything about
Bruce McKay classes on his website.

The assher and trillion cut is to ambitious for me,I realize now and
have lots of round stones to excise more from, your were
right, great stones.

Re working with copper for exercise purpose, I just melt the silver
and mill it again, there is some loss obviously but not anything big
I have spend this year a small fortune on equipment, have almost
everything… except the skills!!

But we working hard on that one!

I also came across a website with
great video’s from the goodfather aka gerimo or hittman have a look
at it…

what a artist! If I had only 1 percent of his skills!!! (and it
looks he has only half the stuff I have in my workshop)