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Claw setting size

Dear All

Any advice on claw settings…I have a cross pendant in 9kt white
gold with diamonds 2pts each, total dimension 15mm x 10mm. Client
wants the cross to be claw set entirely with diamonds so here is the
question. If a 2pt stone meassures 1.70mm then what size should the
setting be? I am going to make the settings with small round tubes
and solder claws to them. So please any advice would be welcome as
soon as humanly possible.

Thanks for your time in advance.

South Africa

With stones of that size I wouldn’t bother with making individual
settings at all.

I’d first carefully draw the cross to scale and then draw the
diamonds as circles to see exactly where they will be placed. Draw
the claws as circle too (0.5mm diam would be about right) and place
them as desired to make the pattern you want - you can probably
arrange some claws to hold two stones.

Mark the centres of each circle and transfer them to the actual
cross. Drill holes at each mark - 0.5mm for the claws and about 1mm
for the stones. Its up to you whether to drill all the way through or
not; personally I wouldn’t for the claws.

Cut up some 0.5mm wire to make the claws, place them in the holes
(even with tweezers this is rather fiddly) and solder them in. Then
cut the seats for the stones by opening the tops of the 1mm holes
with a suitable burr - this will also shape the “insides” of the
claws. Clean it all up and set the stones.

I hope this helps.
Regards, Gary Wooding

If a 2pt stone meassures 1.70mm then what size should the setting

I am sorry but the right answer is “it depends”. If you work in
platinum and you can fit your stones really well, you may get away
with 2.5 mm. (0.4 mm per side, after setting and polishing 0.3 mm )
Other metals would require more bulk. On the other hand, claws can
be a decorative element and then you may want to use 4 mm as a
starting dimension, or even larger.

Leonid Surpin

to make the settings with small round tubes and solder claws to

If you mean you’re going to individually solder prongs onto

Boy oh boy, that’s a lot of solder joints all close together.

This would be the time to use diestruck findings. Or a cast strip.

But generally about sizing, it depends on whether your settings will
be straight or tapered.

If straight, make the tubing the size of the stone or slightly less,
recess the prong into the tube enough so that the centerline of the
prong is just a bit outside the girdle of the diamond.

If tapered, you want the stone to fit inside the prongs so that after
you cut the seat down with a bur you will have enough prong above the
stone to properly bend over. Personally, on something this small I
like to have a lot of prong above the stone because short stubby
things do not bend so well, I like the extra leverage of a long
prong. But on a tapered setting, viewed from above you should not
see the base of the setting after the stone is set.

Its up to you whether to drill all the way through or not;
personally I wouldn't for the claws. 

Gary’s is a good way. Another way that is a slightly different look
is to solder the tubing together - in this case it would be the same
OD as the stones - file it down even on the top, drill for prongs
and solder. This is definitely a case of having many solutions.

Mostly, I’ll say that I would drill all the way through for
soldering. Blind holes don’t solder very well, and there are various
other issues, too - oxidation stuck inside and stuff. It can be done
either way, but I’d drill it…

Hi Raakhi,

I would consider making a solid cross and carve the claws out or add
them on. The cross can be cut from a thick sheet, or assembled from a
length of bar by soldering the two cross arms to the upright of the

One method of carving is to plot, drill (small holes so there is
more metal in the body), and seat all the stones so the girdles are
0.5mm below the surface. If the cross must look like tube settings
soldered together then file little 'v’s on the sides and round them
off leaving a uniform rim around the seats. Carefully saw away metal
to the depth of the girdles leaving behind the claws. Depending on
the orientation of the claws the bars would need to be 2x0.3mm to
2x0.7mm wider than the diameter of the stones.

If the claws must look like wires soldered on the outside, then I
would make the cross as described above but the width of the bars
will be the same as the diameter of the stones. Plot, drill and seat
the stones level with the surface. Carve the edges of the bars until
they follow the seats already made - now it will look like tubes
soldered together perfectly. Saw or file grooves down the sides for
the claw wires and solder them on.

I find the above methods are quicker in the long run, the arms of
the cross will be perfectly straight and level, and the body will be
stronger with few soldered joints.

Regards, Alastair

Hi everyone…

Just wanted to say thank you for all the help. It has been most
insightful and eye opening.

Will try it and and let you know how i did…

Kind Regards
Raakhi Gadodia
Jewellery designer
South Africa