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Bezel setting faceted stones


#1

Friends on Orchid, Once again yesterday I bezel set a 5 mm faceted
stone in silver bezel and the end result was that it was a bit
tipsy. Do some of you have suggestions about keeping the stone
still while it is being set? I understand that sometimes instant
glue is used but I am wondering how that gets removed from the area
afterwards in the case of citrine, garnet, peridot, cz, and stones
of that type (not diamonds). Before I attempted to set it I
prepared the area by placing a ring of silver wire underneath it
inside the bezel (which I made) to allow it to sit properly.

Any help would be appreciated very much.

Sue Danehy


#2

Sue, if the stone sets correctly prior to pulling down the bezel,
the it is more technique than setting that is causing problems. The
best approach is to tighten down stone in the same manor a mechanic
will tighten down a large piece like a head on a car engine. You
start by first snugging down the bezel at opposing points, IE push
the bezel down at 12:00 O’clock, then at 6:00 O’clock. then at 9:00
O’clock then 3:00 O’clock. then 1 and 7, 11 and 5, 2 and 8, and
then 10, and 4. Once you have the stone locked and still level,
then you can go back and tighten and smooth the bezel out. The
stone is now locked into place and will not shift.

If you start at one side and attempt to work around the stone, it
will always ride up on the side away from where you started.

Don


#3

Sue, I would avoid the glue, you could use beeswax or sprue wax or
Play Doh, all rinse away in warm water. I never have really had a
problem with bezel set stoines moving much. Other setting, such as
channel, yes. Perhaps your bezel was too big(?) One should have a
bezel tight enough o maybe even having to “tap” the stone into. I use
a Macdonals plastic coffee stirrer, that won’t damage the stone and a
plastic or rawhide hammer sometimes to get stones in plac. Once in
the seat of the bezel, start working bezel in with any number of
bezel pushers, bought or home made. Start at 12 o’clock, then 6,3 and
9 to secure stone, and gradually go all the way arond. OR, you may
can use a dapping tool(concave)or a tube setting tool(better) that is
available from Stuller, that fits bezel and hammer straight down.
Risky for soft stones, great for diamonds. Have fun! Thomas Blair in
Hilton Head SC where it is drizzling and 70 degrees!


#4

sue, apply bee’s wax around stone, set, steam and polish, works like
a charm. good luck lisa


#5

Sue, I use play-doh to hold stones in place while bezel or hammer
setting. Just smear a little across the top of the stone while it is
positioned in the bezel. Now make sure the stone is positioned where
you want and begin setting. For really pesky stones that never seem
to want to stay where you position them let the Play-Doh dry for
about 15 min or until hard and then set as usual. The play-doh will
be pushed ahead of the metal as you set and can be cleaned out in the
ultrasonic as it is water soluble and non toxic. I also use it for
channel setting. On of the really great things about it ,unlike wax,
is that it does not melt out as the metal heats up from burr
friction. This allows you to set several stones in place before you
start to tighten them in. Frank Goss


#6

Sue,

As a jeweler my time is taken up by stone setting more than I would
like. Let me say that if you are having a problem with keeping the
stone still while setting then the seat isn’t prepared precisely
enough. The stone should be snug. Snug enough that it won’t come
out when turned over. Take more time in your preparation of the
seat. If you have to, cut a little of the seat then try the stone
for fit, then cut a little more, etc., until the stone fits in.

I have taught stone setting to many jewelers and have found a
curious bit of behavior; jewelers who are normally very precise
about preparing a solder joint so that it has no gaps have little
patience when it comes to preparing a good, snug seat.

It will take practice and patience but each time you set a stone you
will get closer to where you need to be. Consider that if you have
10 stones to set and want to accomplish your work in an efficient
way, you will want to drill all the holes then cut all the seats
then place all the stones and lastly secure them rather than setting
each stone before moving to the next. The only way to do this is to
make sure that the stone is secure enough that it won’t fall out as
you move to the next stone.

As an interim I really like Frank Goss’s explanation concerning
Playdoh. The problem with Playdoh, wax or anything else is that not
everyone who wants to set stonens has access to ultrasonics or
steamers.

I don’t think anyone has yet responded to the original question,
either, about how to remove glue if you are using stones other than
diamond. I assume you are talking about superglue and if that is
the case you can remove superglue with acetone; either straight up,
concentrated that you buy from the hardware store (safety issues
here, make sure you educate yourself about the chemicals you use) or
fingernail polish remover which is acetone, water and usually some
perfume. Just soak it until the glue is dissolved. Some stones
might be affected by acetone, but I don’t know of any faceted ones
that are except perhaps emerald, which is affected by just about
everything.

Larry Carpenters may disagree, but it was Cellini, the father of
western goldsmithing, who first wrote; measure twice, cut once.


#7

l never had much luck setting faceted stones in a bezel—but I do
set them in a tube. I usually try to get telescoping tubes so
that the inner one provides a seat for the stone to sit on. I cut
out (or drill out most of the metal on which the tubes are
soldered, so that the back ( under the stone) is open. (I do this
after I solder on the tubes to avoid any problems should they
shift a bit during the soldering). I use a dab of 2 part epoxy to
hold the stone in place until it is completely set, then dissolve
the epoxy with "attack) spelling??. which removes it completely.
Some say it can be desolved with acetone. there may be better ways
than the one I suggest and I am eager to hear what others have to
say. My main problem is getting tubes of the correct inner and
outer diameter, and of a thickness that can be thined so that
the outer tube is easier to burnish over the stone. Hope my
suggestions help. Alma


#8
        I use a dab of 2 part epoxy to hold the stone in place
      until it is completely set, then dissolve the epoxy with 
      "attack) 

A problem with the epoxy is that if it is hard when you start the
set, you may end up with a lump to work around and it may cause
damage to the stone when pulling the bezel down if it happens to be
in a bad spot.

Also, the attack breaks down the epoxy, but doesn’t really dissolve
it. I used it to remove opals from the dop for years, and it is not
uncommon to see chunks of epoxy laying in the bottom of the jar,
even after several days.

Don


#9
but I do set them in a tube.  I usually try to get telescoping
tubes  so that the inner one provides a seat for the stone to sit
on. <snip> My main problem is getting tubes of the  correct inner
and outer  diameter... 

Hi Alma, and friends, I’ve been buying 14k tube settings from Hoover
& Strong (Richmond, VA), and love them! They are very well made, and
available in calibrated sizes. Just drill a hole (if necessary), and
solder the setting in place! I have purchased them from Rio, but
their sizes are based in diamond carat sizes, not millimeters. Since
most of the faceted stones I set are colored stones, they’re usually
calibrated and not equivalent of diamonds cut to carat
specifications.

Try 'em, I think you’ll like 'em! :slight_smile:

All the best,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#10

If you can see through the stone maybe the cut is not right. I
thought light was to enter the top, bounce around, and return through
the top. Hence the reason for the facetting. Poorly facetted stones
allow vision through it. Try a test. Put a stone on a magazine - you
oughtn’t to be able to read the text through the stone.

If so, chill out and read the rest of the magazine … :wink:

Cheers
Bri

Brian Adam
Auckland NEW ZEALAND


#11

Carrie,

Soounds like you need to get a different stone! If you are seeing
through a faceted stone, It means the stone is windowed. This
happens when the pavillion is cut below the critical angle of the
stone. It results in all the light entering the stone from the
table going straight through and allowing you to see what ever is
behind (or below) the stone. Properly faceted stones will
reflect/refract all or nearly all of the light back out through the
table and you will not be able to descern what’s behind it. It
matters not if the stone is prong set or bezel set.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#12
  The problem I am concerned about is bezel setting a light
colored faceted stone that is very translucent. In certain lighting
situations I believe I am seeing through the stone and am seeing
the cutout underneath. 

No offense intended, Carrie, but if the stone is correctly
proportioned I don’t think you should be seeing through the stone to
the setting beneath. Very translucent is almost transparent, and
transparent is the norm for faceted stones, so I don’t think that’s
the problem either. It sounds like you have a windowed stone.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#13

Carrie,

problem with the cutout taking away light from the stone (this
happens with stones that are not only light in color, but also
shallow, or stones with a low refractive index, which means ALOT of
the light is going through the stone and escaping through you cut out
back of the bezel.)

Many times for stones like these, I would put a backing on the bezel
of a high polish white or yellow gold. (whichever will compliment
your stone more) This will take the light that is escaping throught
the back of the stone and reflect it back!!! (many times while
setting translucent stones like pale citrines or quartz this makes
the stones look so much brighter!

not every method is for every stone, but sometimes a high polish
backing will accentuate the stone more than take away from it.

hipoe this helps!!

-julia potts
julia potts studios


#14

You say you are seeing through the “well faceted stones” If you see
through them they are not well faceted; they are "windowed"
meaning the proper pavillon angles were not used allowing you to see
through them. If faceted at he proper angles the light bounces
around in the pavillon and comes back out the table of the stone.

For a more complete explanation see John Sinkankas “Gem Cutting”.

Kevin Kelly


#15

Hi everyone,

I think I may have answered my own question, although I am still very
interested to hear any replies. I was not making the opening on the
bezel backing large enough. I just spent some time enlarging the
opening and it looks so much better when looking down through the
top of the stone. I also closely examined an antique ring I have
that is bezel set with a very translucent faceted amethyst. The
opening underneath is almost the size of the stone. So I am gathering
that, especially with stones that are this translucent, it really
requires an opening almost the size of the stone itself so the
remaining backing metal is not visible through the stone. Any
thoughts on this are welcome. Thanks!

Carrie Nunes
http://www.metalpetalsworkshop.com


#16

O.K., the replies are coming in now and I hear you about the
windowing. That may very well be the case, darnit, and maybe I
didn’t want to accept it. It is bouncing a good bit of light back,
sparkles, makes some little rainbow colors. I cannot read the printed
word through the stone but I can tell that something is behind it. I
think what I was seeing before I enlarged the opening was more like
shadowing. I could see a visible difference between the open space
and the gold backing that must have been bouncing some light back as
well. Light that should not have been getting through. This is an
oval peachy/pink natural spinel by the way. I have just begun
gemology classes, just read two chapters mentioning windowing. So
here it sits upon my finger. It still looks very wearable all the
same. Great color. But I won’t forget this lesson.

Thanks all-Carrie Nunes
www.metalpetalsworkshop.com


#17

Does the oval shape play any part in this? I just glanced through a
variety of stones. I can see just slightly through most of them, the
lighter colored ones. Peridots, Iolites, Amethysts. Oval and pear
shape seem more so than the rounds. Now when I look at my
grandmothers round diamond, I can’t see a damn thing through that.

Thanks for all thoughts on this. I am trying to learn and better
understand what it is I am seeing…

-Carrie Nunes
www.metalpetalsworkshop.com


#18
The problem I am concerned about is bezel setting a light colored
faceted stone that is very translucent. In certain lighting
situations I believe I am seeing through the stone and am seeing
the cutout underneath.

Hi Carrie,

You’re right - you do need an opening under a faceted stone, not
just to be able to clean it, but so that the culet isn’t resting on
the bottom of the bezel which would chip it, as I’m sure you already
know. Reading your post I envisioned pale aquamarines I once set in
handmade bezels where the unattractive bottom of the bezels showed
through. And the appearance would get worse as the customer wears
something set this way because it’s difficult for them to clean
inside the bezels.

Using step bezel wire is one idea: it comes in straight lengths of
different heights (for different stone depths so the culet doesn’t
stick out the bottom) and has a recessed shelf which you would use
to rest the girdle on once you soldered it to fit tightly around
your gem.

If the stone is small, you might want to consider a bezel from a
findings house - the ones I like are thick walled, where you burr
out the top part to fit your stone (eg. Stuller #20577).

Good luck!
Cindy
Refined Designs Original Fine Jewelry


#19

An addition to my last post: sometimes you just hafta work with
windowed stones! The aquamarines I flashbacked to were ones a
customer wanted to have made into earrings because her father had
bought them in Brazil long ago, before he died. They weren’t
calibrated so I made handmade bezels for the design we came up with.
I just cut out the back as much as I could and polished well. I
wasn’t crazy about the way the stones looked, but the customer was
thrilled. Can’t put a price on sentimental value!

Cindy
Refined Designs


#20
    I have just begun gemology classes, just read two chapters
mentioning windowing. 

When you get to the chapter that mentions the "see-through effect"
you’ll get an idea of what has been suggested here. You can read
print through some stones more easily than others, no matter how
well its angles have been cut.

Does the oval shape play any part in this? I just glanced through
a variety of stones. I can see just slightly through most of them,
the lighter colored ones. Peridots, Iolites, Amethysts. Oval and
pear shape seem more so than the rounds. Now when I look at my
grandmothers round diamond, I can't see a damn thing through that. 

Shape certainly does play a part. “See-through” is somewhat more
pronounced on ovals than rounds, and even more so on rectangular
step cuts. Using the “see-through” effect is normally most effective
with round stones, but an experienced person who has done it for
some time can use it to great benefit with any gem material that has
been made into any cut. It is most often used to help separate
diamonds from its simulants and imitations (in round cuts - other
cuts are less reliable). But like I said before, you can try it with
every gemstone you ever handle to see how it they respond, and add
it to your gemological acumen.

James in SoFl