Detailed Diamond Setting Applications

from the setting bench of “Gemz Diamond Setting” author “Gerry, the

these are not for the novice, trust me! :>)

  1. What is one of the causes of a “rippling or jagged” effect around
    an inside cutting edge in a Gypsy or Flush setting? How can this be
    avoided? When an edge of a cutting tool (of any shape) glances over
    or hits a facet it will ride above that face. In turn, it will
    transfer the difference in angles to the tool and then to the gold.
    So how can the setter avoid these undesirable results? To keep
    cutting back is not the answer! What I do in these circumstances is
    to hold my graver securely and maintain an 1) outward and 2) forward
    cutting motions. This can be achieved by also putting your finger
    right near the cutting edge and with this will have a clean result.
    Do not let any part of the tool touch the facets while cutting the
    bezel inner frame of the diamond. If you do, you are back to “square
    one”. Try and avoid changing the holding pattern of your hand, let
    your ring clamp do the turning, keep your cutting hand rigid and
    don’t change your cutting angles. If you are using a Flat #39 or
    #40graver, reshape the absolute cutting edge to be thin as possible
    nearest the diamond. This also will avoid the unnecessary touching
    of the facets as you are cutting along. Don’t lean too far back on
    the inside cutting angle.

  2. What is the correct filing angle to finish off a large claw? If
    you are using a Triangular file of either #2 or a #4 cut 20 cm in
    length you will notice that either side has a 45 degree angle built
    in. Simple? But why at this angle? The effect is that during
    polishing, the cloth wheel will actually brighten the sides of that
    claw. If the sides are vertical, no way can this effect be achieved.
    If you are using a “Pillar” file, you might not be filing at this
    angle continually. The hand does and can get tired for a few seconds
    so why not let the filing tool do the work for you? To achieve this
    filing stance, is to rest your ‘finger pad’ on the top-flat part of
    the Triangular file, this will automatically give the angle you so
    desire. Simple?

  3. When drilling holes with a twist drill, I generally use only
    three sizes #.9mm, 1.0mm, or maybe a 1.1mm, no more and no less! No
    matter the size of diamond, don’t use a 0.8 > mm or less. When you
    are drilling through the metal, heat builds up rather fast and
    over-heating takes place. Always use an oil-based lubricant. What
    causes the breakage? The hot twist drill binds and stops, but the
    motor still wants to turn. I then decide to activate the motor at a
    rather slower speed than a setting speed.

  4. Do you use a ring clamp when hammering a ring with a bezel If you
    do, you will most definitely notice that the ring clamp is absorbing
    much of hitting action. You should, from my experience, attempt to
    use a ring mandrel. As you are hitting on a solid metal substance,
    for each direct hit will be non-absorbed and little of the hitting
    energy will be lost. Try it …you’ll like it!

  5. Do you use a saw blade when setting a major sized stone? Don’t
    laugh with this suggestion, I use it all the time. When you are
    finished make a bearing cut and attempting for push over the large
    thick claws. You will find only a part of the actual claw making the
    contact. You shouldn’t process in pressing over the claws any more
    than you have to. You just allow much too much stress in griping the
    crown facets, hence squeezing or worse breakage! What do you do now?
    If at all possible bring back that claw just a tad to give more room
    to start the initial saw blade cut.

Lay your #4/0 saw blade on the “Bezel or Star Facet” and with care
draw the cutting blade in between the diamond and the gold and then
proceed with this cutting action till the #4/0 blade comes to a stop
right at the girdle. This ‘stopping’ will be at farthest point or at
the juncture of the metal where it meets the girdle. When you are
using the saw blade try and extend the cut to just beyond the
girdles’ position. If the stone has a thin girdle I would hate to
see the gold squeeze that diamond. Once this line has been drawn,
you may apply even pressure with your serrated, non-slipping steel
pusher and make most of the gold meet the facets. Now you can
proceed with the normal trimming or filing to suit your needs.

  1. How do YOU pick up diamonds? When I was learning setting over 40
    years ago, my teacher taught me a few methods, one of which I will
    explain here. Grind up some charcoal from your bench-soldering block
    or burned wood and mix this composition with Bees Wax. This Bees Wax
    may be bought at any jewellery tool supplier. Charcoal is used as a
    substance that prevents sticking the diamonds to the wax, almost as
    a ‘quick release’ mechanism. I have four little ‘daubs’ of this
    stuff at easy arms reach, if I loose one there is another. For easy
    holding, I roll this wax on to a used large head bur, so the wax
    won’t slip off while in use.

  2. What if the girdle is very thick, so now what? Many times I have
    seen diamonds with very thick girdles. So thick that there is a
    space between the bearing- cut and the stone in question. This is
    not acceptable in any circumstance. Supposing you “the setters” try
    another method of preparing the ‘seats’. I found a method of
    alleviating this problem, try and use a “bud” bur right at the >
    groove. Start the grinding and press this slow rotating bur into the
    gold so the bearing matches the thickness of the stones’ girdle.
    This pre-selection of bud is very important. If the bud bur is too
    large, again you’ll have another “larger and wider” space to contend
    with. I suggest hand picking each bur that will match the size of
    the girdle. As each bud bur has a little point, I call this the
    “leading edge” or “guiding tool”. I will then very carefully place
    the “guide” inside the bearing cut and slowly allow the bud bur to
    make a wider horizontal cut of that claw. Got it? But how far ‘in’
    would you go? You are only making the bearing cut WIDER, NOT DEEPER.
    Now that the groove has met your needs, you can actually push the
    side of the claw right up to the stone and have no space at all. I
    use this method regularly

  3. Checking for security for loose diamonds…! I read in one major
    monthly jewellery trade magazine that is correct to use a pair of
    metal tweezers and grip the girdle and rotate the stone duh? How
    about breaking off the girdle of that stone? I have just one word
    for you DON’T. My friend who used to be a diamond setter was setting
    over 1,000 stones one week and delivered his work. The uninitiated
    “quality control inspector” had no idea about breakage on thinner
    girdles on “VS-G” diamonds. That person used tweezers on every
    diamond, and complained that each one was chipped in two places. It
    was then that 1,000 diamonds were replaced at the companies’
    expense! If you have to use tweezers, please use the plastic

  4. How can you break out CZ’s from “set in wax” casting? I won’t go
    into how they break, they just do! That is not my topic to discuss
    at this present time but they do! The question is how to get them
    out. From many years of experience in this style of unsetting, you
    must use extra eye care. When you are tackling this stone while
    still in the confines of the gold, they have a great tendency of
    exploding. What .exploding? You bet they do, but if you don’t wear
    safety glasses you will be wearing the stones on your cheeks and in
    your eyes. I will use a ring mandrel to hold the ring. The reason
    being is that the wooden ring clamp absorbs much of the ‘impact of
    hitting’ from the hand held hammer. Not to mention that it frees up
    one of your hands. Place the ring securely on your mandrel and seek
    out a broken bur that still has a sharp point. With this end of the
    bur hold the point just 2 millimeters ABOVE the ring. Now start
    hitting the stone with your small hammer. After each and subsequent
    downward hit, great amount of energy is given to that stone. The
    action is now like a “mini-pile driver”! The resulting impact causes
    the stone to explode and the need of “picking and groping” for
    unseen pieces of CZ’s in the gold is greatly diminished. For any
    further removal, I would use a graver and not use a bur, as the bur
    will be worn down from the CZ of 8.5 Hardness

for further on diamond setting from the bench of “Gemz
Diamond Setting” please contact @Gerald or click to

“Gerry, The Cyber-Setter!”