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Diamond setting Vs. Other stones setting

Hi Gerry. Why don’t you explain to those of us who don’t know, why
diamond setting should be so different from setting other faceted
gemstones that it needs a separate organization. Pat

Hello Pat Hicks and all on Orchid(,eh!) Well to understand that all
diamonds, (mostly all ! ) have a tendency to have certain layout
ratios of cutting angles on the crown and pavillion. These ratios
are mostly the same. You can buy burrs that again, almost match these
degrees of cutting or polishing. So here, our life is totally easy in
preparing the seats or bearrings for these well made stones. Now
comes the ‘fun’ part of Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds where these
uniform angles are thrown out of the window, totally. These just
named stones have a almost barrel shaped under-belly or pavillion.
They do not at all conform to the degree of cutting to the mass
produced burrs we all find. So what do we have to do in preparing
the seat for these so much loved stones? I for one, just relish to
waste time on grooving out the seat so the bearring cut absolutely
conforms to the pavillion of that particular stone. Time, tedium,
experience, waste of burrs, but in all of this the job gets done. It
has to ‘we’ have to set that stone without breaking it. I start to
use a bearring-cutter along with a small bud burr or even a very
small round burr to cut the claw to get the shape of the stone. I
initially make the bearring cut. Heres the trick… Please all rely
on the smaller sizes of burrs Round 006- 009, Bud 005 - 009, and
even a 156C 009 and up! These are your “new tools” for these stones.
I, with greater ease love to mould the claw with my favourite bud
burrs. I make the first cut with a guide using my 156C then using
this as a “starting plan” use my budd burr to gradually angle down
and finish my cutting at the lower part of the claw. This is done
with every claw that is needed. Isn’t this fun,eh? …:>( Extra
care is now given just for the lovely delicate Emeralds, where any
gold not adhering to the shape of the stone can break this stone when
pressure is applied to the top or side of any claw. Ever hear an
Emerald break? great sound isn’t it? I check the claw and "woops!"
extra unused metal was still there. People, always use a loupe to
check the formation of these claws, place the stone in, does is
match the stone? if not, take it out and check and re-groove again.
Replace the stone afterwards, if the stone isn’t rolling around, set
it with great care. and do the cup burring with greater care on these
delicate stones. Use a pumice wheel to clean up and “plier or pusher"
marks. Do this now, don’t leave it for the polishing procedure. Are
all of the claws aligned up in neat straight rows? Stones straight,
and not tilted? Is there an element of pride in your work? Pat, have
I made this setting procedure interesting for you and the rest of us?
I will be re-printing this article and handing it out to my school
class for tonight. So in closing diamond setting is so vastly
different from stone setting, trust me! I will also starting to do
"in-shop training/teaching” at your store, office, shop around
America staring in January/02. Is anyone interested?
“Gerry, the cyber-setter !”

Hi all Does any one know the process of setting stones without using
a flex shaft.


Hi all Does any one know the process of setting stones without
using a flex shaft. 

Yes Gary, The process used in the old days involved the combination
of the saw, some files, gravers and pushers or pliers. I sometime use
this process when setting into very large prongs and want to maintain
a tight, gap-less fit.

Dan Biery - Esoteric Artist/ Craftsman/
Master Goldsmith/ Industrial Designer/
AWI Certified Watchmaker

‘The early bird may get the worm,
but the second mouse always gets the bait’

oh my gosh Gary, Now that is one heck of a question, well I have at
my bench the answer, really! Its called a “Bull Stick” it was used
long before the flex-shaft machines came around. How did they do it?
They ‘us’ setters used to create a hole in the metal with a “pump
drill” and carve open the hole BY HAND! Imagine using a graver to
carve out a hole, and fitting in this hole the round or “Mein-Cut"
diamonds, or even a Rose-Cut stone? It was done for many decades. A
"Bull Stick” looks like a #3 onglette graver but cut in a way similar
to a “Right-sided” styled graver. This graver is shaped very
differently to the normal gravers we all use today. There is only the
’right-side’ that does all the cutting action, okay on this? So the
flex-shaft is one of the newer inventions in the life of
stone-setters. If you wish to have a picture of it, send me your
e-mail and I’ll send you the digital pix’s of them…BOTH! oh, I
have it here! “Gerry, the cyber-setter !”

Gary In the absence of a flex shaft I teach my students to hold the
burrs in a little hand held vise. It is a little more time
consuming, but on the other hand the chance of getting the burred
hole too deep is minimized. Previously I have also self used a hand
held electric drill with good results.

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a compact drill for your jewelry projects? We recommend:


Be clear as to what type of set you are doing, bezel set can be done
without a flex shaft. What type of stone are you setting?


Hi Gerald

I sell Jewelry I don’t repair them or set stones yet I am very new
to this business so please forgive me on not knowing the answer to
that question. But if you would like to send me a pic of the tool
used for setting the stone please do.


Gary, sorry for the late response. I am just catching up on my mail
and had to comment on this one: When I was an apprentice diamond
setter some 30 + years ago I was first taught to cut bearings
(seats) into prongs with a flat graver. The prong tips, then
referred to as claws, were filed. This instruction went on for my
first 6 months of a 4 year apprenticeship before I was introduced to
more modern techniques. It is has proven for me to be good basic
training with hand tools and procedure. After that experience, I
think that I can cut bearings into prongs in the dark. Now, of
course, there are a variety of burs and power sources, but I
occasionally still resort to some of those older techniques. So, yes
you can set diamonds by hand as jewelers have
done before the Industrial Revolution…Robert R.Wooding