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!!