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Flush settings

I often wonder if any glue if every used to hold just a
small stone.

G’day, Dolores; My immediate thought on that is, “If is ever is,
it really shouldn’t be!” What if the work needs repairs that
need heat? Besides, it spoils the integrity of the work and
immediately puts it into the ‘El Cheapo’ box.

There is what is often called a star setting, or flush setting.
A shallow hole the exact size of the stone is drilled in the work
so that when the stone is laid into it, the girdle of the stone
is a little below the metal surface. Then a sharp graver is used,
starting about a centimetre from the stone to engrave a deep vee
towards the stone, pushing up a curl of metal in front of it.
This goes almost up to the stone, but not quite. Another vee is
made directly opposite and then one each side at right angles.
But it isn’t the curls which hold the stone; they aren’t strong
enough, even if a little tool is used to dome them over. NO
indeed; it is the tiny bit of metal which is pushed out over the
edge of the hole in front of the curls and just above the girdle
of the stone which holds the stone in four places. Four more
vees of a smaller size in between the four main ones help to
complete the ‘star’, but these don’t have to hold the stone; they
are for appearance.

No good with a graver? Neither am I but I was able to do this
job after a bit of practice with copper. Have a go!

Incidentally, I don’t know the present definition of ‘mellee’ I
always thought a melee (with an accent) was a glorious
free-for-all scrap between several opponents who are strewn in a
heap over the floor, shouting and raving obscenities at each
other! Like in the pub at chucking-out time. Or don’t you get
those in America? Gor blimey, guv, I don’t believe yer; yer
pullin me 'ole-an-peg! –


Dear John, congratulations on a neat, succinct description of the
essentials of bead setting. I teach gem setting (and other
stuff) in the TAFE jewellery trade course in Sydney, and am often
surprised how even some working jewellers think that it’s just
the beaded burr that does the holding.

The term mele` (spelt with only two "e"s and one “l” in
Australia, with a grave above the second “e”) is a common term
used by diamond merchants to describe a range of small mixed
sizes - 100 per carat to 20 per carat, usually - one pointers to
five pointers. I suppose the etymology of the word is pretty much
the same as a “melee” - a mixed-up mob.

I always enjoy your posts. Kind regards, Rex in Oz