I’m looking for a way to hold an emerald in place with it’s delicate
gold setting (a sort of cage structure) whilst I push the prongs
over to complete the setting.
Let me see if I’m getting this. You want to rigidly hold the emerald
while you push the prongs over? Correct?
If I got the picture let me say imho, this is a recipe for disaster.
Do not ‘push’ on an emerald. Cajole and tickle the metal over the
stone. If the stone is rigidly mounted(wax, thermo, crazy glue,
whatever) you have very little warning when things aren’t going
right. You may think its going fine, umm until you hear the most
sickening little click. Don’t ask me how I know.
If the stone kinda ‘floats’ while you’re setting it, you get a much
better gauge of what stresses the stone is under. Do each opposite
prong just a little bit at a time. You gently settle the stone into
its seat, gradually. Always work on the high side of the stone.
For emeralds in particular, I find it a great aid to make the prongs
extra long. This lets you use less tool pressure because of the extra
leverage of the prong. Less tool pressure means when/if the tool
slips you won’t have that pressure suddenly crash down on the
emerald. In a perfect world tools don’t slip, but we are not in a
perfect world. Pull the prong from the opposite side, you’ll get a
better feel for things. Once fully seated trim the tips as you see
If you feel you must have something to bed the stone into try bee’s
wax. Take a glob and roll it around in your hands to warm/soften it.
Then roll it around in some rouge dust to get it a bit dirty and less
’sticky’. Knead thoroughly then press it in the setting and then the
stone goes in (BTW this makes great wax stick for handling stones).
It will keep the stone from being floppy yet has enough easy 'give’
so you limit stress. Well, you can limit stress by not setting
emeralds but that’s another discussion. When you’re done, bee’s wax
is simple and painless to remove. Pick most of it, paint thinner or
easy steam the rest if need be. Obviously you need an untreated stone
If I misunderstood your intent I’ll just slink over into the corner.