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Diamond Setting errors

There will be times that we need someone to assist ‘us’ in gemstone setting. I, for one, had this situation where an extra ‘pair of hands & fingers’ were needed! Upon receiving this expensive engagement ring, I saw & encountered many problems. These problems are now being ‘discussed & displayed’ in great detail.

With this newest essay, I’m explaining “how & why” these problems were never fixed! The solutions are so very easy, but sadly that setter never had the experience in preventing such simple occurrences!

I photographed the many problems that were left alone and not even bothered to be ‘fixed’. It’s so sad not every setter knows how to prevent these errors in the first place.

Please understand that these errors should not have been left to the wholesaler (me) to view! If you see any more errors, then don’t have them seen at your bench-peg!

Who said 'Diamond Setting is easy and that prong/claw setting can be learned in ‘one or two’ days/weeks? How about ‘one or two’…YEARS? But having the knowledge of realizing that mistakes can and will happen. This is an ongoing task of educating folks who need to be taught the basics of gemstone setting and fabrication.

Enjoy the pages of text with many important photographs…remembering that all of these pages are for free!!..:>)

I gave this ring to another setter just to speed up the finishing process , I then noticed some ‘irregularities’ (using a kinder word) with his setting.

I took some photographs of the finished ring for ‘us’ to examine and critique! Let’s just say " I am not at all pleased with his setting results". .;>(

He presented me the ‘finished ring’, but his setting of the 1.50 carat diamond was still ‘loose’ in the mounting… OUCH!

The very first thing I would have done is to Bright-Cut the inside rim of the ‘claw basket’. This area just can’t be cut once the stones are in.

There should have been some serious using of a "Triangular file, #4" to additionally round off the “overlapping” sections of the claw-tips. (BTW, just what are those little lines on the inside of the right side of the claw??)

Can you see the ‘rough finish’ of the yellow gold just below the mini-stone setting area? How is this going to be cleaned? I’d use a Bud bur of #006 or even a Bud #007 and carefully clean & remove the ‘rough, casting-texture’!


Can you still see the ‘over-run’ of the Rhodium plating right side and on top of the diamonds that are set?


Why wasn’t the ‘cleaning process’ more exacting? I’d never let this ‘cleaning’ reach this far, so very disturbing to see it ‘finished’ in this mediocre manner!

Why are the claws/prongs so darned high and they appear to be above the ‘table’ of the stone? The “claw-height” could eventually rip the clothing and loosen this stoneagain !

What are those little indentations in the metal on the outside of the settings? These are the telltale markings from the bead-burnisher touching the square area where the diamonds are.

BTW, there was no effort in Bright-Cutting any area before the stones were set!!! This alone would make the stones shine much brighter. Bright-Cutting would have removed all CAD-carving marks.

On the 'bottom row of diamonds’ , you can easily see a little ‘dish’ around some of those claws. Just how would have these marks be avoided?

I would have used a “Pumice wheel of #180 grit” then followed by a “Pink Pumice wheel @ #1,000 grit” to carefully remove those little marks.

In this interesting photograph, you can just easily see how the claw ‘stands like a pole’ and as these are waiting to cause problems while being worn! Please don’t set your expensive diamond in this manner!!!

These claws will cause major problems in the short-term wearing. The bearing cut for the thick-girdle was not taken into consideration. I would have used a #006 or a #007 Bud-bur with the 'same thickness as the diamond girdle’ to carve out a wider bearing cut, thus to allow for the thicker & wider, “Girdle-edge”.

These 'burnisher markings are so easy to see! There was no effort in cleaning after the setter set his stones. You can still even see more Rhodium plating on the top of the setting areas!

I am very critical of my own setting labours. I use a great phrase, "I’ve used this setter twice…first and last time!"

1 Like

I always love reading your ‘gems’ on setting and really appreciate your generosity.
However, I have been peering at your photos pertaining to the shoddy workmanship but in some of the photos, but I really can’t see what you are getting at. Any chance of including little arrows in your photos?

Hi Mieke van Dam

Thanks for your email, I’m not that well versed of inserting “little arrows” in my photographs. But I really and honestly tried to help you in seeing where the problems are. As a Diamond Setter, I was amazed at how (****) this ring looked with an (iPhone) ‘closeup’ feature.

That’s OK Gerry. I was just wondering as my untrained eye (or defective eye) I can’t see some of the errors. I will keep looking :slight_smile:

Do you have any tips for flush setting 1.5mm birthstones INSIDE of a Platinum ring?

Hi D’Ette

I did some “Inside-the-ring Gypsy setting” and the very first question I asked was ***'HOW THICK IS THE RING?***" When I’m setting these 'inside the ring setting" I must make darned sure that the Culet of the stone will not touch the bottom of the hole. This is exactly where the Culet will be located. I read that your stone was only 1.5 mm’s. This is not a large stone to clean afterwards, this might be another problem. After your setting of the stone is done, you need to pumice wheel the outside areas of the stone to clean around the exposed areas. I once worked for a factory and they used the “Casting Stones in Wax” process, in this easier process, as each stone takes about 5=>10 seconds to set!

But for a 1.5mm stone, you need to have your ring at least 2.75 => 3.00mm’s. Why so thick? You need to lower your stone into the ring further, causing the ring to be rather thick as the stone will be sitting at least 2.25+mm’s into the metal! Did I forget the drilled-hole MUST be beyond 2.25mm’s?

Drilling a hole into Platinum, be very concerned about how much resistance will you have in the Gypsy drilling and then using a “156C, bearing-cutting bur”. This metal is so-o different than gold, your bur must be well oiled, all the time! Use your 10xpower Loupe and examine where the stone will be seated. Remember that you are working on a very small stone, keep the bearings inside the hole at the same level. The Table of the stone must never be exposed to the finger, it will be felt, trust me, get that stone deeper into the ring!!!

Have I helped you in this kind of setting? Regards and I apologize for this lengthy reply.

Obrigado Gerry … Obrigado por compartilhar seu conhecimento conosco …



Hi Gerry,
Thank you for getting back with me! I understand the basics for sure, I’ve been a stone setter for 40 years!

There’s plenty of depth, normally what I do is open the hole and cut a seat with a .8mm 90% hart bur, then burnish the stone into place.

I’ve also considered pushing a bead to hold them in place.

Is there anything else you would do different?

Thank you!


Hi D’Ette

I would finally make sure that the “Bead” you are attempting to use is not going to scratch the person’s skin. Just for security, use your Pumice wheel again just where the bead is. I like the statement that you are using a smaller size of 156C. When you are preparing for the ‘bearing cut’, I would just carve out little cuts in the hole, why? This style of setting in the inside-of-a-ring limits your ability to make detailed cuts.

This email will be helpful for others also who are trying to make this a permanent feature in making ‘one-of-a-kind’ jewellery.