Bezels for odd shapes

Trying to make a bezel for a heart shaped blue Topaz Briolette
stone…That is, a heart shaped stone that is basically flat on both
ides and is facetted on both sides. so the edges are clean. How do I
shape a bezel to the stone, and solder it without breaking the stone.
never done a bezel on a large stones… this stone is 112 ct large!!..

Jim, Try to use wire and braid it, solder the bottom curves of the
wire to whatever type of backing you are planning and pull the upper
curve over your briolette to hold it in place. Wire is flexible
enough to curve as your stone curves.

If you are not planning a back then create a narrow basket with the
wire braided and sit the stone in it making a bail from the wires of
each end.

Wish I could draw this for you, it is not difficult at all. You may
use the wire of your choice sterling or gold, either would work just
fine. HTH Teresa

Trying to make a bezel for a heart shaped blue Topaz Briolette 
Why do you call a heart shaped stone a briolette?

I expected more replies to the question of setting the heart-shaped
"briolette" than there have been. So, I guess I’ll jump in.

If I understand correctly, you want a bezel that runs around the
edge, leaving both sides exposed. You cannot expect to solder around
the stone. With a typical cab, you would make a bezel as
usual–strip of fitted bezel wire on a backing, then cut out most of
the backing. You would leave a narrow edge to hold the stone in, and
close the bezel over the top.

In this case, the “back” is the same as the front. I think I would
try doing a fitted strip od bezel wire, as usual, and solder it to a
thin backing of fine silver. Then I would cut out all but the edge
of the backing, and shape the backing to the stone as one would a
bezel. Then close the bezel on the other side. Fine silver is much
easier to form than sterling, so it shouldn’t be too hard. If you
file and polish nicely, it should come out very pretty.

If this isn’t clear enough, let me know and I’ll try to draw a
better word picture. HTH!


Noel I printed a better word picture and sent it to Jim. Have not
heard back from him as yet, guess there were to many words and not
enough pictures. Here is what I gave. Maybe someone can refine it a
bit and it can go in the archives.

Jim Try this method. If any questions about it let me know. Hope it
makes sense.

That is a huge rock to make a bezel for. But I have done them a few
times, more so for cameo frames. I make a backup sheet of silver.
Say 116CT has dimensions of 45 x 45 mm I cut make a sheet of silver
60 x 60 use a cement or shellac to secure the stone to it temporally
so you can trace the outside on the sheet. Scribe the outline of your
stone and allow maybe 1 mm further out than needed. Remove the stone
and clean the adhesive off of the sheet. Now you need to make your
bezel wire. Allow about 40% more that the thickness of the stone and
15 mm longer than the length needed. Also make the thickness of the
wire a little more than needed. Figure the length buy wrapping a
piece of paper around it. Some times I will make a test bezel wire
in silver, so that if I’m wrong it has not cost to me much. Now, make
a light scribe at the middle of the wire and then form an oval or
circle as best you can and solder the ends together heat soften all
the bezel wire as well. It’s not crucial that the solder be real
clean, chances are it will be cut at that point a little later. Now,
where you scribed the center get a pair of flat pliers and make a 60
degree bend at that point. This will be the bottom of the heart. Try
and place the stone inside and bend the metal by hand so it forms
around the heart. If you need to use pliers to bend it then put
masking tape over the jaws so they do not mare the metal surface.
Now, if you have it nice and snug all the way up to the solder line
then you need to estimate how much to cut off at that point. Still
leave around 5 mm longer than needed. Now, if you don’t have one,
then I suggest you make one of these up. Get a sheet of 1/4" glass.
If it does not have rounded edges and it sharp then put duct tape
around the edges for protection. Get some adhesive backed emory paper
400 grit will do. Home Depot has the white paper with adhesive back
for sticking on electric sanding blocks. Stick a 6 x 6 sheet on the
glass. This will serve as a flat sanding surface for the bezel and
many other items you make in the future. Run a flat file across the
edge of your bezel to get it near level all around and then rub it
back and forth on the paper to make it really level. Back to the
silver sheet. Lay the bezel on it and make sure all is flush. put the
point of the heart at the point you scribed with the scribe on the
inside of the heart. If all lines up well with the scribe line inside
the be zel as best can be get ready to tack solder the bezel on to
the sheet using fine silver solder. Fire coat all the metal and flux
where the solder will go. Tack the point but don’t let the solder
flow more that 5 mm in either direction.

Now you can get those flat pliers and bend the metal to stay outside
the scribe line and work your way around, soldering about 5 mm at a
time. You might want to place the stone inside now and then to see
how the fit is. When you get near the top center you will see how
much extra bezel wire you have and then cut it off. Once all is done
and stone has a nice fit, you need to do the same as before with the
edge of the bezel. File and sand on the glass to get a nice flush
flat edge. Make sure you have the same height all the way around.
Next you want to make cut another bezel wire to go inside the other,
as a shelf for the girdle of the stone to sit on. Remember I said
make the bezel 40% wider or deeper than needed? Well, you are going
to cut most of that extra off to make an inner shelf for the stone
to rest on. So, scribe a line all the way around at the depth you
need in order to cut the shelf bezel off. Make sure you still have
about 5 mm left for the thickness of the stone. Cut it out an d then
cut where it was soldered. Not bend shape as needed to fit inside the
larger bezel. When you have it as close as possible, stick it in and
then the stone on top. See if you have all the depth needed to have
a good lip on the bezel edge to burnish over the stone securing it.
If not then trim that inner shelf bezel to accommodate it. When you
think it’s where it should be, solder it in place. Next you are
going to drill a hole on the inside of the sheet in order to get a
saw blade in and cut out all around the inside of the bezel. After
this is done, you can either turn it bezel down and heat the top of
the silver sheep until the bezel falls off or cut all around the
outside and then heat it all off. Now, lay the stone inside and make
sure it has a good fit. Keep it in there and file all around the
outside of the bezel to get a nice even surface. This will also work
harden the metal. Sand, polish add bail or what ever it will be held
by as jewelry. Remove the stone and finish the inside. File a bevel
all around the top lip so that it will be thin enough to burnish
over. Put stone inside and burnish it all over. Sure wish I could
simplify all of the above, maybe one day I will and then I can post
it on Orchid for all to read. I imagine others like Allan Revere
will give you a better procedure. I did not go back and check what I
wrote but think it has a clear flow to it.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Jim in Florida