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Gauge for making bezels wire

Why is bezel wire such a thin gauge? It just seems like that would
not be very sturdy. What gauge would I use to cut my own bezel wire?
Could I use a thicker gauge?

Also, are there any really good resources for learning how to make
bezels for unusual and various shapes?


Ok, I am prefacing ALL of this with: IN MY HUMBLE OPINION… thin is
easier to work… much less resistance in “moving it”. In a well
designed and well executed bezel, this should prove sufficient. That
said… play with thicknesses. Personally, I REALLY like thick metal
for bezels… but it can be a REAL bear to move a thick piece of
metal a small distance…

Please, not at all an attempt at self promotion… just to show you
some possibilities… go to facebook, search: peaceman jewelry. I
have been pretty good at keeping my pic posts up to date… there
may be an “encouragement” or two there.

It takes a lot of hand strength, for both control of the tool in
working, but more importantly just to move the metal. I don’t like
the thought of hammering a bezel “home”.

Hope this helps… and, feel free to give me a holler if you have a
question… I don’t know a lot, but I’ll share the little bit I


Yes, commercial “off the rack” bezel wire is usually extremely thin,
often a 32 ga. This ultra-thin bezel stock is very difficult to
solder the ends together accurately without melting the bezel stock,
and great care must be taken when sanding and polishing, or the
bezel can almost disappear in spots. So not only is the thickness of
bezel important to the strength and “richness” of the set stone’s
appearance, but the height of the bezel needs to be different for
each type and size of stone being set, as well. A larger, higher
stone would need a thicker, taller bezel.

Setting a cabochon stone in a thicker bezel requires another few
steps to get the bezel to set down more easily against the stone for
the tightest fit with the least effort. The best trick I know is to
cut a small groove around the top inside edge of the bezel, which
weakens that top edge of the bezel. After the stone is fitted into
the bezel, the bezel can then be driven or pushed into the stone,
and the groove makes that top edge of the bezel bend into the stone
much easier than trying to push the entire bezel wall up against the

Many would say that making your own fine silver bezel requires too
much time and effort. I thought about this, and over a year ago, I
made a short clip of me making a fine silver bezel in my studio. I
wanted to see how long it would take me to make it, from first
turning on the torch to melt the silver, to having the finished bezel
come out of the rolling mill.

This entire process of making that hand-made bezel took me exactly 2
min. 35 seconds, from start to finish. The clip, entitled “Fast
Silver Bezel” can be found on Youtube.

Can someone out there make a fine silver bezel from a poured ingot
in less than 2 1/2 min. It is certainly possible, I’m sure. I’ve
thrown down the gauntlet!!

Jay Whaley

It doesn’t really need to be sturdier than 26-30g, because a bezel is
holding the stone at every point around it’s circumference. A prong
setting is holding only at however many prongs there are, let’s say
at only 4 or 6 points on the stone, but a bezel holds (let’s pretend
it’s a round stone) at 360 points, 360 degrees, all the way around
the entire stone. That’s a lot of contact! And once the stone is set
and the bezel is pushed in all around the stone, you’d be surprised
at how strong that 30g strip is.

Amy is right. It doesn’t take a lot of metal to hold a stone if it
has been seated properly. A perfect fit is very important.

When we do thick bezels we always file a small 45 degree angle on
the top outside of the bezel. That will make it want to move over the
stone and not just mushroom flat on the top when it’s hammered over.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer