If you’re looking for a source of inexpensive stores for setting
practice you might try;
Edward Kalfayan & Co
PO Box 571403
Tarzan CA 91357
He handles lots of different colored stones in all size, shapes &
qualityI was in the same boat as you some time back & bought a
huge bag full of assorted sizes & shapes of topaz for about $30.00
if I remember right.
I figured if I could learn to set topaz without breaking them I’d
have a good start on stone setting.