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Design advice for rings with settings


Hi there all

Some of you have read my previous posts and from them have gleaned
that I tend to do big stuff in silver with an odd assortment of
tools, and you would be right. I have, in the past had occasion to
make the odd earring, pendant or ring, usually in silver or gold,
which has involved setting small stones and making collets (both for
cabs and faceted stones), but I find myself possibly with a rather
more, ahem, elaborate personal project which involves making
something a bit more grand, and I would like some advice on design.

The intended recipient has small fingers (UK size M or smaller), an
exuberance which I imagine is hard on personal jewellery and an
undue fondness for the colour pink. I will be making this form
fabricated sheet, wire and tube rather than wax, using an alloy of
18ct gold, platinum or palladium, mostly because I am a masochist J

To get some pink into it I am toying with using a 6-7mm round pink
sapphire or a ruby as the centrepiece. I also have access to a
number of 3 or 4mm diamonds from a crazy grandmother’s earring which
it would be nice to work in.

I am planning to use a crown collett for the central big stone (the
one shown in the step by steps here by Hans Meevis looks like fun)
and either crown collets or tube settings for the flanking diamonds.
Any hints or tips on stone geometry or metal thicknesses to work with
in order to have a pretty but robust finished article would be great,
(eg how thick and wide should a prong be to work, and when cutting a
bearing what percentage of the metal should be removed?).

I am going to make a test version in silver or low carat gold using
fake stones before making the real one (and I will contract out the
setting the real stones) but an idea of any rules of thumb around
making lasting jewellery would be great, and any advice from setters
about pet hates in ring design would be handy as well.

Kind regards
Chris Penner



I just love your personal venture. Consider stabilizing the top of
the ring so it does not tend to want to follow its weight and go
between the fingers.

I have seen two finger designs, or some that reach across 2 or 3
fingers so The width prevents the shifting. How wonderful to let the
imagination free flow.

I wish you great success with both the intent of the ring and its
final resolution. Make certain we know your progress.