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Can you put a square stone in a round hole?

“Can you put a square stone in a round hole?”

I’ve written essays on “Princess” square stone setting in Engagement rings and as well as Channel settin g. But nothing on ‘setting a square stone into a round hole’, until NOW!

(As I previously admitted to you) "I DON’T BURNISH ANY STONE IN A GYPSY/FLUSH SETTING!" it’s just not in my vocabulary. That was not the way I was taught 6 decades ago!

"I only deal with perfection, and perfection is what you’re going to get!"

The Difficulty Scale is an 8.5 out of 10!

What tools do you need?
Round burs: As seen in these two packets, the sizes range from .003 to .026 mm’s
Flat Graver #40: This is only used after the stone is set and is needing cleaning.
Onglette graver #1: I use this basically once, just to cut the corners in the finished hole.
Bud shaped burs: These are only used to open up the hole for the Pavilion & Culet Facets.
Wax Dob: This is only used to hold the stone while moving it from your bench to the Table top!
Ink marker pen: I use this technique all of the time just to scribe lines without ruining the surface.
Riveting (lightweight) hammer: Instead of burnishing, I use only the ‘correct hitting approach’.
Steel Mandrel: I hold the ring on a metal surface, on leather the “hitting power” gets 100% absorbed!

In brief, this diagram shows what this essay is all about.

Here are the cubic zircon’s I chose to use, but only one size will fit, the smaller size @2.5 mm’s.


After finding the center of the ring, I drilled a hole and proceeded to open the hole wider. Keeping the opening at the center of the ring.

I chose a bud-bur the size of the stone, but refused to use it, as it would have removed too much of the required metal. You will soon see just why!

I preferred to file the cutting surface FLAT only for now. I’ll file it into a ‘rounded shape’ later on!


On the flat surface, I drew an “X” around the initial opening , I need this for the next step!


Again, don’t use a round but the exact size of the stone!!!


Use a bur that is about 75% smaller that the stone, (you can do the math). This bur is still too darned large!


Now this is the correct size to use in starting to ‘open’ up the setting hole!


Do you now why I scribe the “X” on the metal? This is the first cut in carving of the four corners!

I continually cut out the opening and at the same time cutting much deeper into the recess.


Don’t yet erase the ink-pen markings . I used a series of smaller shaped bud-burs to cut the four sides equally!

Don’t forget to open the Pavilion and the lower tapered sides, why? This stone is tapered and so must be the four tapered sides of the hole.


Just for your curiosity, place the square stone over the new hole! It should be sitting with the sides overlapping the hole.

That ‘over lapping’, is where the stone will be sitting INSIDE THE METAL!!!


Keeping the four-corners in-line with the stone’s pointed corners, you are starting to see some interesting processes.


Keep the sides of the opening in-line with the ring. At no time would the sides of the stone be off-set or out of alignment with the ring, or you will have a crooked stone sitting basically out of shape.


I’d use an Onglette graver and cut the inside corners or edges, ‘sharp’. I need to know just exactly where the edge or rim of the hole is in proportion to the stone.


I would VERY CAREFULLY attempt to cut the upper sides of the hole "square" . I’d use a Flat #40 graver for this delicate maneuver.


For the four-corners of the stone, I will NOW use a round bur (that is larger than the point of the stone) and carve out a place for these corners to rest!

I would cut at least 30% down from the top of the square-hole opening!


This is the very tricky part of the setting process. This is almost frustrating as you are now “attempting to get that stone into the square hole”.

Making the side of the stone much more deeper into the side of the metal opening up the corners more and more re-drilling the bearing cuts…on & on & on! (your time is never wasted)!!!


But here is a better shot at some finicky moments doing this setting!..:frowning:


I’d now ask you to use a round bur (larger) than the girdle of the stone. I don’t want any metal squeezing the stone as it’s being set, or it will just shatter and get broken…:>(

I’d use the same wider round bur to make bearing. I prefer to have some ‘play’ and have some flexibility with movement, while the stone is being secured.

The Princess stone is now finally sitting into its new ‘home’. As you can see that the “Table-facet” is well below the surface of the metal, where it should be.

I neglected (on purpose) to measure the depth of the ring to the depth of the stone . Hence, the Culet is sticking through the bottom of the ring. This will happen if no measurements are being taken prior to the first cut!


I want to ink-pen mark the top of the setting area, this way you can see where the ‘hammer hits’ are taking place.


The starting of the hammering step is now! Place the Culet into the recess of the steel mandrel and gently hammer on the sides.


Hammer now on all four sides , but not letting the hammer get too close to the Table-Facet.


Very gently tap the metal over and onto the four corners . Examine where the hitting is taking place, I’d use my 10x power loup and making sure at all times, that the stone is level.


I’ll just tap on the metal where it’s needed. As stated, this is not an easy setting process. It DOES TAKE MUCH PRACTICE and nothing in this setting can be rushed just to get it done fast!

As you can see where the Culet facet is positioned in my “Inside Ring Clamp”!


I can see how irregular the sides of the metal look, it needs much cleaning . Don’t expect to use a file or any bur, these techniques will never work!


Only a Flat #40 graver will accurately clean up the four sides of the opening. Just make sure that the underside of the graver is polished and smooth. Starting at the corner and work across the wall.


The angle of the cutting should be almost perpendicular/vertical to the surface of the metal.


Here is the finished result of “putting a square stone into a round hole”.