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Flush - Gypsy Setting

I’m hoping to gypsy/flush set a round faceted stone for the first time, into a silver ring cast in the delft clay system.

Advice abounds on the internet but some of it is conflicting. Can anybody advise whether there’s an upper limit on the diameter of the stone? Most sources do not mention a limit but one mentions 4mm.

Any definitive advice in the whole subject would be welcome.

John in Dartmouth UK.

Well John, any high dome is going to be limiting the stone diameter.

Have a word with Gerry the Cyber Setter. he probably has pages on the subject.



We have a ton of info on the main Ganoksin website (which is free, and supported by paying Orchid members). I am sure @gerrylewy18 can post some more in this thread, but the resources below (I think) contain most of the information from his notes. He can correct me if I am wrong!

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The upper limit is not defined by the stones diameter but by its depth. It can not be deeper than the ring is thick or it will stick out the backside and into the finger or even worse get its cullet broke off the next time it is slid up a ring stick.
The most important tip is to cut the seat with a bur that is just smaller than the stone and then to under cut that seat. then trim the opening with a graver till the stone can be set on the hole at an angle and popped into place by pushing down on it with a hard wood stick. Takes practice!! Then burnish around the edge with a pointed burnisher till it is tight. Some bees wax on the stone and metal will help lubricate the burnisher to prevent scratching the stone with the burnisher.

Today (Fathers Day) I will write a detailed ‘post’ on how to set a stone in a Gypsy Setting.
Although there are many other techniques, but mine has proven to be quite successful. It is quite easy and some rules should be followed. I’ll supply as many photographs as I can on relatively short notice…:wink:
The Scale of Difficulty is about a 5-out of 10!

Gerry! from my mobile-phone!


Thanks all for the fantastic tips! Tomorrow I shall brace myself and give it a go. Worst way the ring gets remelted and cast again.
Regards from glorious Devon.

I’m now writing a long “Megillah” a.k.a. Hebrew for "long Gypsy-setting
essay’ on this. It’ll be posted in an hour or two…:>)

Gerry Lewy
Toronto, Ontario.

Thank you Gerry. What a fantastic Fathers’ Day present!

No matter what name you give this procedure, it’s still the same, setting a stone with no visible claws.

Let’s start with the size of the stone, what is the optimum size to use. I ‘feel’ comfortable with stones between 2.00 <-> 3.50 mm’s. As you get larger in the width, the deeper of the ‘culet’ & thicker of the ring and in return, heavier of the metal.

What tools/burs would I use? I would use a Carbide bur of 80% of the diameter of the stone. With a 2.5mm stone I would use a 156c bur of size #021, or #022 I would totally shy away from a HSS bur, as this bur will be too coarse and have a shearing effect & remove too much of the delicate metal needed. A Carbide bur has many teeth and does a great job of cutting only where you need it to do the cutting as compared with the HSS that only has few teeth, this bur will literally destroy the inner-wall. As with the undercutting or hart-shaped, you will have more control over the cutting process. Let’s call it by it’s generic name, a “156C”.

The other tool of my choice is a riveting-hammer. My hammer has a weight of 85.00 grams, NEVER USE A RECIPROCATING HAMMER! It will leave deep dents all around the small hole, very difficult to remove after setting. The chances of the ‘pounding’ hammer-anvil could very easily jump around and sometimes hit the stone!! I need a thick wall to Bright-Cut afterwards & that kind of hammer actually ‘squeezes’ the metal into a fine sheet to hold the stone. Please refer to my photographs & drawings.

There are many details, but once understood, it will become easy to master! The Hammer face must be smooth as any hits or marks will be transferred to the metal upon being hit!.

Now to start this interesting process, open up your lower section of the hole with a round bur @ #015, just enough to allow exposure of the culet & Pavilion. DO NOT DRILL THROUGH but drill just enough to have the stone ‘sit’ on some metal!

How deep do you want the stone to sit? So very easy answer. The “table” must at the same level as the surrounding metal no higher, or the table will get ruined by constant “wear & tear” & your polishing!!
If you look at your 156C bur, the teeth stop just above the widest part of the bur. That widest part of the bur is just where you should be drilling out your bearing cut. Lower your bur down and start the burring out for the bearing-cut, I do this at 1/3 increments, drill, turn the ring, drill, turn the ring & finish at the same depth as where you started!
Open up the upper-most rim of the hole with a round 2.00 mm bur to allow the stone to slide in at a 45-degree angle. This is the ‘testy’ part, allowing the stone to fall into place, Once the stone is sitting level, get your hammer & “tap” at 12:00 and 6:00 o’clock just to steady the stone, once done…continue all around the bezel. Once completed, use your ‘Right-Sided’, Bright-Cutting Onglette #2…(not a Flat graver!!) Having a Bright-Cut leaves a clean inner-cut all around the stone, (I do not use any burnishing-implement!)

After your setting is finished, use your Flat-Faced, Pumice Wheel of #180 grit & clean up any marks you might see…do not use any files in this process. My drawings & photographs will help you to understand this process further!


Thank you Gerry. I’m honoured that you should take the time and trouble to give such personalised instruction. I shall re-read and digest fully before displacing one molecule of silver.

If you’re ever in Devon…

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I will add just tiny bit to what has already been shared.

It is also possible to set stones this way using small burnishers, and not hammered at all.
The inside edge of the metal is burnished out, which while trying to push the metal away from the gemstone, actually pushes the metal downward and locks the gemstone in place, at the same time creating a brightly polished"ring" around the gem.

This bright ring can also be further shaped and polished even further with a sharp, polished flat graver.

This Memorial pendant was given to me last week, to flush set the Diamonds from the wife’s original wedding set into a heart pendant, that had been made by another jeweler from the lady’s late husband’s wedding band.

This technique is also one way to create the gypsy or flush set look when the surrounding metal is too thin to use a hammer and punch without distorting the piece.

I learned to flush set without hammering. Just snapping the stone into
place with a brass pusher and then burnishing the edges with a tiny home
made burnisher. That said we only do this with diamond melle. Sometimes
corundum if it’s precision cut.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer