Dressing up briolette attachment

When using side drilled briolettes, I end up creating a wire loop at
the top of the briolette (for attaching to a jump ring or
necklace/bracelet link) using wire inserted through the briolette
side hole. Alltough easy to do, on more expensive stones, I would
like to do something “dressier”. I have looked at “pinch bails” but
wonder how well they hold the stone without some sort of glue. Also,
I am sometimes using quite a few snaller briolettes in a short space
of chain so I am not sure you can even use that many "pinch bails"
in such a small space. I have looked at bead end caps but they are
too wide for the top of the briolette. Cones would also not be an
option because it would add too much weight and metal “color” and
take the focus away ftom the stone. So does anyone have any
suggestions on how to dress up a briolette attachment?

So does anyone have any suggestions on how to dress up a briolette

Catherine - couldn’t you just string them with small pearls between
the briolettes - not sure what you are designing with them - you
could use small silver or gold beads as well. K

Hello, Catherine,

Once when I’d used small briolettes, I topped them with vintage
glass seed beads from the 1900’s to the 1960’s. The holes in the
glass beads were wider than the tip of the briolette, and sat nicely
over the top of the briolette. I then completed the wire wrapping,
hiding the end of the wire under the glass bead. People loved the
combination of vintage glass with faceted gemstone- someone said the
piece looked “Egyptian”. You could try this with gold or silver
donut beads in small sizes, or with other gemstone beads, or glass
beads - if they work with your design.

You could also saw a bicone bead in half, if you prefer a bead cap.

Good luck,
Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations

Catherine, I have some Chinese jade earrings bought years ago while
on a trip to Hong Kong. They are a teardrop of jade with a small
tapered gold cone on top. The stone is secured by a minute and
insignificant rivet through the cone. The cone has 4 downward facing
points on it. If you had only two points on each side instead of
four, the rivet going through these, the metal would be hardly
noticeable, and much more dressy than the bare wire going up to the
top of the briolette.

Elizabeth Gordon-Mills
PO Box 32
Langhorne Creek
South Australia 5255

Try a ball cap, like those used for half-drilled pearls, but without
the post that goes into the pearl. If you can’t get one without the
post, just twist the post with pliers until it comes out. Put the top
of the briolette into the cap, then mark a spot on the outside of the
cap that is the same depth as the briolette’s drill hole. Fill the
cap with something like Jett Set or pitch to keep it from collapsing,
and drill a horizontal hole slightly smaller in diameter than the
briolette’s drill hole, straight through the ball cap. Remove the
Jett Set. Ball up the end of a short piece of wire that fits snugly
into the hole you just drilled. Put the briolette inside the cap and
thread the wire through the cap and briolette. See where I’m going
with this? Heat up enough Jett Set to hold the assembly and press it
into the Jett Set with the balled-up side of the wire in the Jett Set
and the other end sticking out. Trim the wire so that approximately
1/2 mm projects from the cap, then peen it like a rivet. If the stone
you are using can stand the torch heat, forget the first half of this
paragraph and use the torch to ball up the other end of the wire. For
those not familiar with Jett Set, it is one name brand of a variety
of thermoplastics that consist of small pieces that when placed in
hot water become sticky and easy to mold. Once cooled, it hardens
into the shape you made it. Heat it again and it becomes viscous and
easy to remove. It’s great for holding things in place and making
file and graver handles, too. I’ve used this technique on a couple of
blue topaz and aquamarine earring/pendant sets and it works very

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL

I do a wrapped loop that extends all the way down the top of the
briolette to form a cap. I’m also interested in other, more finished

Chris (amateur)

Try making the loop farther away from the briolette and putting a
bead or pearl on top of the briolette. You might need to drill the
pearl hole larger. If you use a bright gold or silver bead or a
crystal it would stand out a little but not too much and add another
texture that could be a contrasting color or the same color,
depending on what effect you want.



So does anyone have any suggestions on how to dress up a briolette

You can go to the website fragments.com and look at the work of
Melissa Joy Manning She has a very simple, elegant way to attach
drops and briolettes. I think that she forms a hoop from thin wire
(briolettes can have really tiny holes), threads the bead onto it,
packs the bead in heat insulation material, and solders the hoop
closed. Then it looks like she flattens areas of the hoop by gentle

Best Regards
Kim Starbard

Hello Catherine,

I was working with some side-drilled stick pearls and it’s a similar
problem. The stick pearls are consistent with some wire wrapping
techniques, but I don’t think briolettes would look “right.” Here’s
an idea - use the pinch bail and a small soldered jump ring. After
the pinch bail is in place,slide the ring down over the sides of the
bail to keep them from slipping out. Obviously, you need to carefully
size the ring so that it doesn’t slide past the “pinch” part of the
bail. Then ever so gently and slightly, pull the sides of the bail
out away from the briolette, above the ring. That sould keep the ring
from working up and off.

I haven’t done this, but in my mind’s eye, it looks rather nice…
especially if the jump ring is more of a band. Just an out of the box

Judy in Kansas, where it was a gloriously cool weekend and my
butternut squash vines are trying to take over the world.