How do I put a rivet through a stone?

How do I put a rivet through a hole in a stone and not chip or break the stone while finishing the rivet heads?



quick question…what are you riveting the stone onto?..or, what is the rivet’s function in the piece?


Hi Julie

The stone is decorative and the backing is a piece of metal. So the rivet will be used to hold the stone onto to the metal backing. The stone will range in size from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The type of jewelry is a necklace.


Lary 1047

Now that I own one, I use my PUK 5.1 to ball the end of silver wire into a rivet. A little work with a hammer and it is set. In the past, I have used tube rather than a solid rivet. You can then flare the end of the tube using a nail set or tapered tool that you make. This looks very nice and is repeatable. The real trick is boring a hole into the stone. I use diamond core drills, a small drill press and lots of water. Buy lots of core drills because you will use more than one. Once you see the end glow, the drill is shot. Good luck…Rob


If you want a flush rivet, be sure to enlarge the end of the hole to make a conical recess. I have not done this, but I would make the rivet proud of the stone’s surface and use a bead burnisher to round it. After it is mushroomed over, if you want a flat rivet, you can file it down, always being careful not to scratch the stone if it is softer than a file or buffing compound…-royjohn



just a thought…no experience with this…

perhaps you can add a small, decorative “washer-like” component between the stone and the head of the rivet…

to “spread” the force over a larger area?

to allow for you to “counter-sink” the end of the hole, to allow for space for the head to spread into, using a ball bur larger than the wire

to possibly allow for a smaller hole at top, where the actual rivet head can be smaller, and allows the decorative washer to “carry some of the load”.

i think the idea of using a beading tool to mushroom the head, in conjunction with countersinking the hole sounds less aggressive and promising

i think i would go with adding a decorative washer, secure everything down really well…maybe thermo loc…, and use a very slightly concave, un-polished punch on the top of the rivet wire, and tap very lightly with a light hammer…possibly making a decorative ball head for the front, and setting the river/ tapping on the back of the piece…

a 1”-2” stone sounds like a cabochon, which is better than a stone with facets…

oh! also search “cold connections”… for ideas…

would love to see your final solution


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If you are going to rivet a stone in place you should peen from the back of the piece, not from the front.
Make a good-size head on the rivet, slide it in from the front, place the piece upside-down with the rivet head in a purpose made anvil with a depression the head fits into, then peen the rivet from the back. The anvil should ensure that only the rivet receives the shock of hammering, and not the stone.
Since the stones are going to be so large you can easily make a round head screw fixed to a nut on the back. And you can add just a tiny drop of clear epoxy to fix the nut. This will ensure that the stone won’t crack while setting it.
Making small screws and nuts is a worthwhile skill to develop.

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A question in another thread just reminded me. You could also use tubular rivets. Take a tube, solder on a head of one sort or another, pass it through the stone and backing, then flare out the open end of the tube. This is not as strong as a solid rivet, but stresses the stone much less.

There is something called a knife makers rivet (in the Tim mcreight book) where you make the two sides of the rivet with one side having a post and the other a tube you push fit the post into. So all of the forging is done away from the delicate thing. Or you could really cheat and use a similar approach with a bit of added epoxy glue to keep it whole if time is an issue.

I agree A tubing rivet is the most logical solution. Much safer than a solid rivet, cheaper with less skill needed than a screw.
The tube should fit the hole in the stone snuggly. I really takes very little taper to secure a piece to the stone.

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Good Morning everyone!!

I want to thank everyone who gave me suggestions and ideas to my question of riveting through a stone.

Thanks again!