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Brazilian agate idea


#1

Hello, Im a longtime cabber and tumbler who is slowly teaching
myself to work in silver. I’m thinking of making a pendant set with
brazilian agate. I have several pieces of the pale, translucent
honey colored variety. I have noticed that when I put this type of
stone in a standard cabochon setting they look somewhat drab unless
they are worn in the sunlight.

I may try making a bezeled setting with the back cut out, and then
solder this to another sheet of (highly polished) silver using
standoffs, so the light has more chance to enter the stone. Has
anyone tried this before, and if so, did it work well? Would a
simple prong setting accomplish the same thing?


#2

Hi Harry,

I'm thinking of making a pendant set with brazilian agate. I have
noticed that when I put this type of stone in a standard cabochon
setting they look somewhat drab unless they are worn in the
sunlight. 

Here’s a (not “politically” correct :slight_smile: method for backing this kind
of stone. Glue it to a piece of gold foil (or gold ribbon or
whatever else works) before putting it in the closed bezel setting.
The metallic gold backing will make the agate glow.

Beth


#3

Harry,

If you want to show off the translucentcy of a stone, why not try a
setting such as the one I made called a ‘Frame-up’ and is in the
gallery of the May edition of Art Jewelry magazine. This design has
been around for a very long time but Bruce Harding wrote it up (very
nicely I must say) in a 1970’s something Rock and Gem magazine. I
have made a number of them and they turn out pretty nice.

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


#4

Hi Harry –

I use quite a few Brazilian agate pieces from Gerry and Marty
Galarneau, and usually set them in open-back bezels if they are
polished on the back. Check out the website below and you can see the
heart necklace examples (open backs) that sell very well. I also do
them in bracelets. Just a simple bezel setting with the back cut out
or ledge soldered into the bezel works great.

Also, I’ve used a couple pieces of very old Montana agate I bought
from a widow whose husband cut them in the 40s. They had silver tape
stuck to the back and this made them very, very bright in a closed
back bezel. I don’t know the origin of this tape at all, but it
didn’t degrade or flake in all those years. There are examples of
this stone on the website, too.

Roseann Hanson
Desert Rose Design Studio
www.desertrosedesignstudio.com
Tucson, Arizona
520-591-0508 voice/message
866-421-1813 toll-free fax


#5

If a pendant of translucent agate is worn against a piece of
clothing, it will take on the color of the clothing beneath it,
unless the stone has a backing. Unfortunately, silver tarnishes
eventually, so the backing loses its luster and the stone appears
drab once more. I’ve met with a reasonable degree of success by
using a somewhat unorthodox approach: on the backing I place a
sheet of mylar (either silver or gold, depending on the stone) and
then bezel set the stone. It does not receive light from the
outside, but the mylar never loses its mirror finish, and it
enhances the agate.

Dee


#6
    Here's a (not "politically" correct :-) method for backing
this kind of stone.  Glue it to a piece of gold foil (or gold
ribbon or whatever else works) before putting it in the closed
bezel setting. The metallic gold backing will make the agate glow. 

Beth -

These types of agates are usually really transparent, and I can’t
picture how any glue would not show through badly. Even solder
slobber shows up as a “flaw” in the stone. The old Montana agates I
bought have silver tape attached to them, and you can’t see the point
of attachment. I still don’t know what tape it is. I like both
effects of the tape and the open back equally (different entirely).

Roseann Hanson
Desert Rose Design Studio
www.desertrosedesignstudio.com
Tucson, Arizona
520-591-0508 voice/message
866-421-1813 toll-free fax


#7

What about using gold leaf? Or is that a dumb question?

MonaLS


#8

Hi Roseann,

These types of agates are usually really transparent, and I can't
picture how any glue would not show through badly. 

I’ve done it many times and never had a problem. I use
cyanoacrylate (“super glue”). The only way the glue could show is if
there are gaps; but if the glue takes up all the space between the
back of the stone and the surface it’s being glued to, there’s no way
it can show.

Let’s say I’m gluing a stone onto aluminum foil. I smooth the foil,
squeeze out the glue, use the side of a toothpick to spread it evenly
and place the stone. I don’t worry about extra glue getting on the
sides of the stone because when it’s all dried, I take an Exacto
knife and shave off any excess. Then I wipe the surface of the stone
with acetone. Also, if the glue is drying too slowly (which it will
do when there’s volume), and I’m getting impatient, I’ll spray with
an accelerant (I think it’s called Zip Kicker). YMMV, of course.

Beth


#9

Just a thought regarding a translucent agate. I backed one of mine
years ago with fine silver which has not dulled over time and the
piece is very attractive.

silverp in Clearwater