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Bezel Setting Fancy Shapes

Next week I have to set my first bezeled fancy diamond. I am going to
alter a comfort fit band to imbed an oval bezel into it. I will have to
make my own bezel and I’m nervous about it. I basically know about
setting from my experience with rounds, but I could sure use any tips or
advice on how to avoid problems. Orchid is the best tool I have. I have
gotten the right advice in the past and really appreciate it. Keep up the
good work and thank you in advance. Patty

Hi Patty.

Here are few tips on setting ovals.
I assume that you are setting in yellow gold (white would be slightly
thinner that all.) I also assume you are able to use ideal proportions for
setting (thin walls). I would also suggest that you put the bearing in
before you round up the bezel and solder. This also works for emerald cut
and marque cut diamonds, etc.

What thickness for ideal head? The walls should be between .6 to thick depending on the size of the stone. Ratio for bearing
thickness vs. bezel thickness (everything from the bearing up) .6=
bearing .4= bezel wall
.7= " .5= " "
.8= " .5= " "
.9= " .6= " "
1.0 " .65= " "
Bearing height = enough to accommodate the pavilion.
Bezel height are ratios. Usually either 3/1 or 4/1. One equaling the
girdle height. Bezels are usually tapered up to weaken the top so that it
may be pushed easier but not always. When pushing a bezel think of it as
one big prong and try to do it evenly. Tapering may be done two or three
time on large stones to weaken wall to a point where they will move. The
top edge may be cleaned up with a flat graver or the side of a flattened
beader if the bezel finished up evenly. The top edge may also be
burnished in, if your familiar with burnish setting.

I hope this helps. Take your time. Don’t let others rush you. You can
be fast after you’ve set your 50th stone. Good luck. Jim

1)Probably the simplest way to do this is to make the bezel from flat gold
alloy stock 1mm thick in either palladium white gold or a matching yellow
gold alloy according to your client’s desire. The flat stock should have a
width equal at least to the depth of the oval diamond. Make the bezel so
that about 1/2 a mm shows all the way around the stone. The bezel is
soldered at the seam with hard solder. Cutting the contour of the outer
surface of the ring in the back side of the bezel is the next step, and
probably the hardest, but the bezel must fit the curvature tightly. I use
a ring file to shape the underside of the bezel, then a round bur about
1/2 the diameter of the width of the bezel to carve the inside edges of
the bezel to fit the ring. Solder the two together, make sure the
alignement is accurate, then drill through the ring inside the bezel and
open the hole to oval with a cylinder bur. Carefully cut a seat in the
bezel with a setting bur so that the table of the diamond is about level
with the edge of the bezel and the diamond fits securely. Push the edge of
the bezel over the stone.

  1. Actually imbedding the bezel into the band requires a bit more patience
    and tooling. I use a bezel block (a block with tapered (oval in this case)
    holes and matching punch) to make a conic section bezel of the appropriate
    size out of a oval shaped flat wire the size of the diamond and use the
    bezel block to shape the oval, it will stretch the top to a size larger
    than the stone. I carve a tapered hole in the ring to fit the base of the
    bezel, and solder it in place. This proceedure is actually easier than the
    #1 process above, but requires the bezel block or making a conic section
    from sheet stock. Cutting the tapered hole sounds more difficult than it
    really is- I use a small cylinder bur to cut the taper and keep fitting
    the prepared bezel until I have a perfectly seated bezel, then solder the
    bezel into the hole with medium solder. I like the look of tapered bezels
    with diamonds. I set a 9x5 oval tourmaline a couple days ago in a
    palladium white bezel and 18ky ring.

Good Luck

Rick Hamilton

Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard
Fabricated 14k, 18k, 22k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography,
and sailing whenever I can…