Bezel setting approach

Hello everyone,

I have been trying to bezel set a black onyx blade for more than a
week…I fail, re-think my approach, fail, and begin the process yet
once again. I am a beginner, so I am sure I am not seeing the forest
for the trees. I can not get the blade to be snug in the bezel, no
matter how well the bezel is compressed over the edge of the curved
portion of the blade and against the flat. The fact that the other
two sides have no curve, seems to completely negate what I have
accomplished. It doesn’t seem as though it will actually fall out,
but it is loose, and I don’t like it. I have tried a taller bezel,
serrating the bezel, thinned the bezel, and putting a base on the
bezel (Golly! Wasn’t that fun! These blades are 2.5mm x 8mm.). I
know I could epoxy them in, but if there is a correct way to do it
that doesn’t involve epoxy, I sure would love to know how to go about
it. Thanks in advance.


Dear Evalie and All,

Several things to note when setting 14k bezels, or any bezels, for
that matter:

  1. Fit is the most important thing. While it should not be necessary
    to press your stone into place, the stone should fit in a rather
    snug fashion.

  2. The gap you will close, at the top edge of the bezel, between the
    stone/blade/tongue and the bezel should be no more than the
    thickness of the bezel. This is a generality- there are always
    exceptions, but it is a good rule of thumb. This refers to the gap at
    the top edge of the bezel- there should be no space between the
    bottom of the bezel and the stone.

  3. Rule number two helps you get the bezel short enough. If your
    bezel is too long, you have to move it too far, and it results in a
    messy bezel or a loose stone.

  4. When setting a bullet into a thin, stiff bezel, hammer the top
    edge of the bezel at an angle that is mostly downward and slightly
    inward toward the stone. I think of it as “packing the bezel”.

  5. Not all tongues and blades are settable. They must taper from
    there widest point to the tip on all sides. If there is not a
    sufficient taper, you can not get a firm grip on the stone- it would
    be mechanically impossible.

David Lee, CMBJ
david lee jeweler