This is one of my favorite setting styles, generally a flush mount
but not an actual gypsy ring in a good while. I recommend you have
sufficiently small burnishers to concentrate the pressure on a small
area as you work and as the burnisher is moved around on the inside
of the seat.
The one definite change I would make is to take a hart bur and cut a
slight undercut just where the girdle of the stone will be. Of course
this requires a faceted gem with a girdle in the first place. The
undercut should not be deep and should be open enough for the girdle
fit safely. Larger gems need a bit more care in contour of the
undercut if the girdle is thick or thin.
Cut the hole ever so slightly too small for the gem to drop in.
Then, take a bud bur or other tapered bur which is at least the size
of the stone diameter somewhere along the taper. Turn the bur slowly
(even by hand is ok) and try the gemstone, moving is gently to see
if it will drop in, perhaps at a slight angle or when perfectly
aligned over the hole. When the stone goes in, you will have a bit
of a hassle removing it with this low tolerance fit. Try to be sure
the seat is level as you want it. You can work the stone by moving
from behind to remove more easily.
Why the undercut? More work is put into the seat cutting than in the
burnishing. The upper rim of the undercut will burnish neatly down
on the gem fairly easily.
If you are having a terrible time with the metal on the outside, you
might try hammering a polished setting punch and save your wrists.
This does necessitate more clean-up and I reserve the hammer for
larger stones of a tough sort. For small gems, the slight undercut
and internal burnishing is all that is needed.
All the tools can be shaped from bur shanks or old beading tools,
etc. The diameter is just right.
Best success wished! Oh, if your do hammer, try flowing a bit of wax
on the stone to keep it from bouncing out until you get some metal
My wrists don’t allow me to do much of this sort of burnishing
anymore, not on gold. Silver and platinum are ok but only for limited
times. Take care of those hands in this sort of work. That is my 2