Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Bezel setting straight sided cabs


After looking through my books, the web and orchid archives I would
like to ask if it is possible to bezel set a flat sided cabochon
without using anything but the bezel itself. By flat sided I mean the
side of the stone is perpendicular to the surface of the flat metal
backing. I’d like the bezel to rise about one third up the side of
the stone. The stone I’m working with is oval. Thanks for your input.
I’d just like to make sure that the stone doesn’t pop out when my
customer is wearing it.


I would like to ask if it is possible to bezel set a flat sided
cabochon without using anything but the bezel itself. 

It’s possible, of course, but might not be secure. The setting you
describe means the bezel wall is vertical, with nothing actually
coming over the stone in any way, to trap it into the setting, as is
usually the case. So to do this, your stone would have to be a tight
friction fit, and that friction is all that would be holding it in.
If those sides were, for example, slightly rough, rather than smooth
polished, it’s perhaps possible to get the metal tight enough to it
that this might be enough. But I would not recommend it. Normally,
when stones simply press fit into a setting, some sort of adhesive
would also be used. Epoxy, super glue, etc. Usually, when one needs
to set a stone like you have, with vertical rather than bevelled in
sides, one runs the bezel all the way up the height of the stone,
plus a little. Then that top edge can be burnished down, so it can
at least slightly grip the upper edge of the stone. That can indeed
be secure if done well, but you don’t have much room for error…
Easier would be to have any decent lapidary (if you’re not equipped
to do it yourself), recut the sides of your stone to a slight bevel
so you have a shape that a bezel can actually hold down into the
setting. Another way, if you prefer the look of a vertical bezel, is
to grind a groove around the side of the stone, or perhaps just a
couple short grooves, either way, within the area that the bezel will
hide. The bezel’s top edge is fitted to just the top of that groove,
and when burnished down/in, it can grab into that groove, while still
fully hiding it, so it appears to be simply a straight sided stone
and bezel, but the groove the metal is holding onto is not apparent.
This is somewhat a variation on the way “invisible setting” is done.


I don’t see how to do it with typical setting tools, there would be
nothing to grip to or a way to compress the bezel to provide enough
tension to hold the stone reliably.


If it is a straight sided cab it arcs over at some point. The bezel
must cover over at that point. Yes higher bezel but will work. Always
mimic the stone girdle or in this case shape of the profile to set
it. Set it starting from the 12=6=3=9- positions with bezel pusher or
with applicable punch. Then work it down from the center of these
quarter compressions and opposite quarters. If you don’t want the
bezel that high I would suggest you get the stone cut with a rim
indentation around the middle of the height of the side wall…Like
the old scarobs of the day.

Good luck!

Bezel setting straight sided cabs A friend of mine showed me how she
uses masking tape and Liquid Nails to accomplish this task:

First, cut a piece of masking tape with top edge the circumference
of the stone (plus a bit for overlap) and the bottom edge about 1cm
longer (also plus a bit for overlap). /____\

Next, wrap the short edge of the masking tape to the top of the
stone and finish up with taping the ends of the tape together.

Put the stone upside down and fill up the area inside the tape with
the Liquid Nails. We use this as it is sandable when finished.

Let the Liquid Nails harden. Take off the tape and you now have a
stone with beveled sides. Sand down the bottom of your new ''stone",
then proceed to create your backplate and bezel to the new

We find that this process allows us to purchase some really nice
material that hasn’t been cut with the stone setter in mind.

As another small step we also chamfer the bottom edge of the stone
where it sits on the backplate.

Susan (a newly minted G.G.) with thanks to Mary Ridl for the technique

Bezel setting straight sided cabs A friend of mine showed me how
she uses masking tape and Liquid Nails to accomplish this task: 

Setting straight wall cabs are done exactly like any other cab.
Appropriate setting is constructed and cab is set. There is never a
need to use masking tape, any kind of glues, and other “creative
methods”. If one must resort to "creative methods, it means that one
is not qualified to do the job and should engage someone who is.

Leonid Surpin

I bezel set a straight-sided boulder opal a while back. I made the
setting about 0.5mm (or less) taller than the stone and set it by
creating a textured top edge to the bezel, very carefully using a
tiny slot-head screwdriver and hammering lines into the top, all the
way round. The result was a bezel which looks flush with the top of
the stone, but with tiny bits of metal holding the stone in place.
No glue. It was an effect I liked and will do it again with the right


Personally, I’d re-cut the sides – or have someone do it. It’s
simple and (with most material) fast.