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Help! Trillion Bezel Setting


It’s so great to have this resource when you run into a problem.
Here’s the problem— I’m attempting to make two 6mm trillion
full bezels from 18k step bezel wire. Can’t seem to get the
length and the curve of the sides together so that I get a well
fitting setting for the stone. Don’t know how to figure the
proper length taking the curve into account or how to get the
proper curve to match the stone. Any suggestion would really be
appreciated. Thanks Dess


Try not bothering with calculations. work directly off the
stones to make the settings. Start by bending the wire to a
gentle curve. The curve of a ring mandrel in the larger sizes is
often about right. When that fits, then use a divider with good
sharp points, set to the point to point distance of one side of
the stone to mark two lines on the bezel ON THE THIN, UPPER
PART, NOT THE STEP. These marks are on the insde of the bezel.
Use a square needle file to file two grooves such that you cut
all the way through the step, and about half way into the upper
level of the wire, still leaving enough thickness to bend without
breaking. Your original scribe marks should end up just barely
still showing to the side of each filed groove. measure the next
side of the stone with the dividers, and placing one point right
at the edge of one of these filed notches, mark where the edge of
the next notch you file will be. You’ll end up with FOUR filed
notches, and three marked out sides between them that match the
stone. Snap off the wire, by sawing or by bending back and
forth the two outside grooves, and you can now bend up the two
remaining grooves. Because the sides of the trillions are
curved, the three joints at only 90 degrees are often about right
to be able to close up around the stone. If the curved sides
are very shallow curves, meaning the actual angle at the corner
is less than 90 degrees, you might have to open up the notches
just a hair to let them bend a little tighter shut. Since the
sides will already be bent up by the time you’ve discovered this,
open the gap just a bit more with an 8/0 sawblade, to allow the
bezel to close up completely. Solder the two bends first, then
check the fit of the stone. Sometimes, you have to just trim the
bevels on the remaining seam a tad, if cutting them left a burr
that leaves that end too long…

Take your time. This type of setting is easy to mess up if you
get a measurement just a little off.

Personally, I find it a lot quicker in the long run, to not use
step bezel wire. Among other things, it’s easy to make yourself,
so you don’t have to pay an arm and a let for commercial step
bezel wire, which is a pain to make yourself. I use plain flat
wire and make a seat seperately afterwards, or just use a heavy
enough thickness of straight bezel wire to allow cutting a seat
when setting the stone. The latter method is the fastest, as it
allows the greatest leeway for errors in measurement and still
end up with a gold bezel with the right outside shape and enough
metal inside to cut a seat and set the stone with… The setting
job is more involved this way however… Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


Hello Dess, If you cut three pieces of bezel wire too long you
can bend them all to the right cuve by trial and error. When you
are happy with the shapes. solder two of the pieces together by
laying them out on a soldering block at an angle that matches the
stone. After soldering, adjust until the stone fits into the
corner thus formed. Now, cut off the excess. File the ends until
the third piece of bezel fits snug against the other two, thus
supporting the stone on all three sides. Solder this last piece
to the other two sides, trim off the bits that stick out over the
ends and your bezel is complete. Quick, huh? Have fun. Tom Arnold


If you remove the step with a burr or file from the corner you
should be able to bend the bezel around the stone quite easily.
Start with the end of your bezel wire in the middle of one of the
sides, mark where the corner will be, remove the material, bend
the bezel around this first corner and mark where the second
corner will be and remove the material etc… Ring bending pliers
can be used to put the proper curve in the sides.

Steve Howard

 I'm attempting to make two 6mm trillion full bezels from 18k
step bezel wire.  Can't seem to get the length and the curve of
the sides together so that I get a well fitting setting for the
stone. Don't know how to figure the proper length taking the
curve into account or how to get the proper curve to match the

Hi Dess,

I think you may be making this more complicated than it is be
trying to calculate the length via the curve. Just bend the bezel
to match the first side and mark the corner, score it at the
corner, file the miter and bend it around the second side and
mark the corner, score it, miter it and bend it around the third
side and cut it to meet neatly at the starting point. Keep
checking the fit as you go. Scoring and filing the corners is
the only real problematic area. You have to keep in mind the
corner is going to be where the two top edges of the miter that
you are filing meet, the corner is not where you make you saw cut
half way thru the bezel. That saw cut just a hair down from where
you want the corner to end up. Hope that makes sense.

Mark P.

I'm attempting to make two 6mm trillion full bezels from 18k
step bezel wire.  Can't seem to get the length and the curve

G’day; My usual trick with making bezels to fit - regular as
well as unusual shapes - is to cut a length of masking tape about
3-4mm wide and wrap it around the girdle or edge of the stone so
that the ends overlap. Using a sharp scalpel or craft knife, I
cut across the middle of the overlap, then having carefully
unwrapped the tape, I measure the metal off against the tape,
adding the thickness of the metal plus a tad more to allow for
cleaning up and squaring the cut ends of the bezel strip with a
fine file. With properly annealed 18 ct gold or fine silver,
you should have little difficulty in bending the bezel wire
precisely around the stone. This method is excellent for the
numerically challenged, like me. It is difficult to hold small
stones whilst doing this, so I sometimes attach the table of the
stone to a small piece of bamboo skewer (strong and the right
thickness) with a tiny drop of instant glue. This is easily
removed with acetone or the commercial remover (probably acetone)
Professional setters used to use a drop of pure melted shellac,
and remove it with alcohol. Cheers, –

       / /
      / /
     / /__|\
    (_______)  In sunny temperate Mapua NZ -

Autumn’s here… and it’s still very pleasant.


Measure the stone, cot a tiny saw cut to the length of the side
one cut on each end wrap that around the stone side an run to the
center of the third side making one more saw cut at the bend of
the second side then join in the middle of the third side cutting
eliminates the X factor (rate of expansion at the bend) then
solder and possibily cut the corner of the bezel for a better fit
…Hope this works for you …Ringman


Dess, One way to do this is to cut a narrow strip of masking tape
and wrap this all the way around the stones girdle, then take a
sharpie or ink pen and place a dot on the tape where the points
are. Take a razor blade and cut the tape and remove it from the
stone, then place the tape on your bezel wire. Measure the
thickness of the bezel wire, do not include the step portion in
this measurement. Add the thickness of your bezel to the length
of your tape and you’ve got it. The dots on the tape tell you the
exact place where to miter and bend the bezel wire for the
corners. If I have trouble getting the right curve into the
bezel, especially on irregular shaped stones one thing you can do
is to super glue the stone, table down on top of lets say 16 or
18 gauge silver plate. Using the stone as a template scribe a
line onto the plate with a razor blade. Lift the stone off the
plate then carefully saw out your template, file to the exact
size then form your bezel wire around it. Another way to do this
for a trillion is to build your bezel and force a round mandrel
into it. Hope this helps.

Blaine Lewis
New Approach School for Jewelers