"Gerry's Essays"

During the past few days, I’ve been in contact with a few people…(no names here) They both said I am using too many photographs and showing too many errors in setting in my essays. My side of the story is that nothing will be free of problems for the beginner while executing the most difficult or even the basic setting steps. There are many jewellers who explain setting techniques, I’m sure that they are good or even great.

(When I was learning my apprenticeship over 60 years ago. I spent 6 months to just learn how to fashion a graver and polish it on 6 grades of polishing paper. Stone-setting took me another 8 years more to learn.) I didn’t have essays to read or view the techniques.

I want the reader to see just how a stone can be mounted…“step by step”. Many times, in one essay I took well over 50 photographs and edited them down to only 35 pictures. I don’t want anyone to just ‘guess’ how the stone will eventually sit in the metal.

Another point of interest is my showing my own “demo-pieces”. YES, They do look horrid, but that is not what I’m concerned about, I’m showing and explaining the setting techniques, If I wanted to show pristine rings or pendants, so be it (I don’t have any of the regular polishing machines at my home-office).

As of today, ** there have been 24,037 viewers and a total of 112 essays.** My point is that these essays are there not to have my name in print, but to explain some of the difficulties that can be associated with diamond and gemstone setting.

I use photographs also as a tool in showing how a stone will sit, why so many? Many of my readers are not only from North America as they come from many countries where English is not their main language. I am gearing my essays to them and photographs are an easier method to teach!

I am constantly using the program named “Grammarly.inc” as my punctuation and grammar guide while writing.

My latest essays on “Gypsy-Setting a Pear shape Amethyst stone” was the most tedious and problematic essay that I’ve written in a while. In it, are 36 pictures, how in blazes can I show all of the problems with only 10 photo’s…:>? As one person wrote to me “Fewer pictures are better”, not in my books!!!

Why am I writing so many essays? It’s because I can and I hope to write many, many more! Call this my obsession in helping the next generation, what’s wrong with that?

I was in a class and one student told me that her teacher left out one important setting manoeuvre, she asked him, “how do I do this?”…his reply “***I’m not telling you, now ***go and research it on the internet”. OMG & good grief!!!

****Enjoy your reading. Trust me, **I am doing this on my own time & at my own expense and only for YOU! **

Fondest regards to everyone and I now ‘rest my case’!

***Gerry Lewy ***


Gerry, your essays are wonderful and I for one really appreciate your multiple photo approach. As an educator myself, I agree with your inclusion of missteps - quite often this is the info one only gets through live demonstrations and books tend to show the way things 'should ’ go perfectly, and only some steps of a process.

It is much easier to scan through lengthy instructions and take what you need, than try and figure out missing steps :slight_smile:


Hi there Gerry,

I love your essays! And I think it’s important to have multiple pictures. It really does help a beginner to view the details to go along with the written descriptions. I don’t have that much experience stone setting and I was delighted to have discovered your essays recently. They gave me confidence to start experimenting with settings I’ve never tried before.

So go for it! The next generation of jewelers will be all the richer for your attention to detail and all the time and effort you put into these tutorials.

Thank you so much for the gift of all your love for the craft and hard work.


Just keep doing what you do! People don’t realize what they need until it is no longer available. I know I’m not alone in saying I appreciate your work immensely.



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Gerry…Keep doing what you are doing and know that it is appreciated. Thanks…Rob

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Thanks, Robert

I was very hurt (inside) upon reading the two letters sent to me from a director of a jewellery institute…(no names here) I was told from another close friend "to turn a new leaf and forget it’. I will but I’m much stronger with all of the great accolades emailed to me in the last few hours.

That person suggested, “I do this and that”. but I will never change my writing style just to suite ONE PERSON! As of now on Friday morning 24,084 readers is the reason why I’m continuing on.

I have written reams of articles fo the BENCH, AJM and MJSA magazines with not one person suggested I do something different, I will continue writing as I have done before. Do I have any experience in writing YES?

Writing is in my “genes”, as my Mother was a prolific writer in her days in Manchester, England and I have much to be thankful for. *I might be full of words in my essays, heck, it’s my style, get used to it…:>) *

  • BTW, I am Dyslexic and this is my reason why I never use the word dis-ability, but ABILITY. *

Let’s give this topic a rest, as I have many more essays to write!
Gerry, on my iPhone


Dear Gerry,

Definitely continue, there are always people who love to tell others what they should be doing, regardless of what they themselves are accomplishing.

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A picture tells a thousand words.
Most creative people are visual learners.
Pics allow the reader to see the steps without questioning the words. It’s like having you next to me at the bench.
Thanks for the essays.

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Hi Gerry,
I’m guessing that those couple of criticizers don’t even fabricate jewelry; thus, know little about what you’re explaining.
Of course more photos are better than fewer, and more explanation is better than less, and examples of less than perfect (or mistakes) are very helpful !
(Just an aside, I’m terribly nervous about installing something new or upgrading on my computer because, although instructional steps are given, it never fails that -always- some alternative or question of this or that comes up in the process, which deviates from the instructions and cannot be found in them. Then, I’m stuck in the middle of the operation.) This can happen somewhat with jewelry fabrication too. Or a mistake that needs to be fixed.
Your instructions help very much to avoid this kind of obstacle.
You’re a superb teacher.
Barbara in northern California

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I think most of us a visual learners ( I know I am!) and the more photos, the better! I’m not at the stage yet where I can do what you do Gerry but those photos are imprinted in my mind so when I do start to set, I can go back and re-read and SEE what you are doing. Please ignore the negative messages. I immensely appreciate what you do and how you do it. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

Barbara “in Northern California”.

Teaching a very difficult skill and it is no easy task. I too, know exactly what you & many of the readers are encountering…problems…errors and how to fix them at their benches. Even to this day, I rely upon my decades of experience to get me through a tough situation. After some time, it comes naturally for me to solve a problem. When we are dealing with expensive items, “errors” are not in our vocabulary, but be very aware that sometimes they can happen!

So getting to another point, my style of writing is in the ‘First (I), or Second (YOU) Person’. I’m talking directly to YOU, the reader as if I was right beside you guiding your hands and watching what you are doing. The best teacher is your experience! Never shy away from wanting to learn a new skill, let’s use this as a ‘learning curve’!

We just never, never stop learning no matter the age, agree?

Regards! Gerry Lewy!

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Hello Gerry,
I would like to thank you very much for your generosity in freely giving your time and effort to share your knowledge and vast experience with the world, and helping to keep the skills of the trade alive.

I especially want to acknowledge and express appreciation for all the skills you are taking the time to learn, such as photography, grammarly, writing, computer, website, and more, which has improved your essays greatly.

Your passion inspires me every time i read your words. I love to learn.

Thank you so much!

You are a very generous gentleman!


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Hi Gerry - from Guildford, Surrey, in the south west of the British Isles,

Your essays are the best. Whatever you do, don’t stint on the photographs because one photograph is worth 100 words. I feel really humbled by the generosity of people like yourself who teach others so much and make so much freely accessible. I have been through the comments above and I started “hearting” all the ones I heartily agree with but there are just so many! I think you have a few fans there, Gerry :smiley:
All best wishes,

Agree with all above, especially the last sentence :smiley:
Hilary `

Hi Hilary! in England, aka the “U.K.” aka “The British Isles.”

As I was born in the Northern part of London, I still totally enjoy the aroma and taste of “Marmite” (yeast extract). I even use this delicacy on bread & left-over remnants of Matzah (after our Passover) I always say there are two kinds of people in this world “Those who love Marmite and those who don’t”.

But I make darned sure my fingers are clean of this stuff before I do my essay writing. :>)

"T. T. F. N." (Ta-Ta For Now)

Hi Gerry - Yup! Marmite rules! OK? There was a foodie program on the TV last night that went into the factory where Marmite is made and took us through the whole process of making it. It’s amazing stuff and not a single animal died in the making of it as it’s made from yeast. I shall stay on the look-out for your essays <3

If they think they can do better, maybe they should submit some of their own videos here ! :wink:

Videos are good, but getting ultra-up close photos prove to be much better. I’m now working on two more essays and each will be so up-close you can almost see the molecules and atoms jumping around!
As I don’t have a video-studio at my bench, photography with my iPhone is still easier for me. This way you can print all of the written pages and view them at your discretion. Videos can be seen only on a small screen.
I’ve seen some videos and not everything was shown. I have one video made for Orchid with Hanuman many years ago. While nothing was missed in wax carving and then the stone-setting.
Gerry, on my iPhone

Dear Gerry, I am a less experienced setter than you and was a teacher of setting in the professional goldsmith school in the Netherlands. I love to read your essays and see your photograps. I so recognise your effort to convey this beautiful craft and I very much appreciate what you share with us. It lookes excactly like it is supposed to look when one is explaining the steps one by one and at this magnification.
and difficult as it is, to show exactly what you mean. Keep on going as you know how best. Kindest regards, Sabine Bekkers