Many years ago when I had my own setting office, a client asked me to set his Emerald into a Full Bezel pendant. As I did set all of the diamond setting surrounding this stone. It was me to finish off the project. He said he gave it to two other setters, they both refused as it was too difficult & it might break in setting. There was a noticeable black inclusion near the tip of the stone…in the Pavilion. I replied “Today is Friday, you can pick it up on Monday!!” On Sunday I spent two hours in preparing to set set this beautiful stone.
As this would be the height of my career, I started to take photographs of it during the setting process.
The very first thing I did was to turn off the radio, stop any telephone calls and concentrate 100% on what I was to do. In today’s market in 2017, it would cost well over $15,000.00. In 2005, it was $7,500.00!
Once I put the working area of the pendant on a shellac stick I felt comfortable & had the gold work near my hands & fingers…very important!!
I started to look at the polished facets underneath & wanted to have them not touching any metal during the hammering & pressing over the metal. For each facet corner, I carved a line into the bezel wall. I marked in ink where each of these could touch the metal. As for the point of the Oval, I burred a hole right into the metal, larger that the point itself & and allowed no touching of stone to the metal. This work took loads time & careful examining with my 10x loupe. I then prepared a seat for the girdle, again using a round bur larger than the girdle itself, this carving went all the way around the bezel wall. The cost of replacement never entered my mind, but I was nervous though…;>)
With a large HSS, bur I extended the ‘carving’ below the round bur line. I went into the metal deep but not exceeding 50% into the metal wall. I filed off the outside of the bezel wall so my pushing & hammering wall was thin enough to bend over! I then placed the stone into the bezel. making sure that the stone wasn’t rocking, if it was, it was pivoting on a piece of unwanted metal, that had to be cut away.
$7,500.00 was on my plate!!! I hated to see Emerald dust laying around!!!
Once the stone was sitting & not moving, I started to hand-press the metal at the point of the stone and work further along the bezel wall until I reached & completed the full frame. If I found some spots that needed my reciprocating-hammer, I did use it ever so gently, but on a ‘lowest-pressure’ level.
At the end of the setting I got my Onglette graver #2 & Bright-Cut the very inside of the bezel wall to give the frame an exact width resulting in nice even cuts. I then used my #180 grit Pumice Wheels to clean everywhere, no marks at all…pictures were taken & here they are…Enjoy!