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How to Set Trillion Cab Set


Greetings to all… I need some help. I have a pair of moonstone
trillion cabs that are not perfectly matched. My client wants them
as earrings anyway. I have set a mismatched pair of trillions before
using a standard bezel and the extra silver around the stone just
accentuated the mis-matched-ness (huh?). I thought about using three
prongs, but as the lower two ‘corners’ are rounded, I’m not sure how
to go about this. Also, one of the stones is more rounded at the
bottom than the other. These are lovely stones, very clear with
brilliant blue shimmer when moving in the light – this is what
attracted them to my client. She is pretty set on earrings and a
pendant (I have an oval cab for this); I tried to steer her towards
a three-stone necklace 'cause they really aren’t a ‘pair’.
[Confession: there is a little voice in me saying I should ask her to
wait until I can find a MATCHING pair of stones. On the other hand,
trying to make a mis-matched set look like a set will certainly
provide me needed skills and experience – I’m relatively new at
this. And she knows all this.] What ideas do you wise and wonderful
people have for me?

Beth Schmitz


Try bezel setting the two cabs on matching silver backings-- that
should minimize the visual disparity.

Lee Einer


Re: mismatched cabs. If it were me , I think I’d go with a mis
matched look- don’t even try to make them look too matched. Use one
for the top of an earring, with the post on the back. U\For the
other earring, use the other stone for a dangle, using sterling or
gold domed disk or whatever for the top of your earrings. If you
work it right, earrings that aren’t identical, but complement each
other instead, can make the problem work for you instead of against
you. Anne Stickney


Beth, I have set many stones that are mismatched for earrings, just
set each stone in mtg that is appro. for it’s correct size…you’ll be
amazed once on the ears how the difference disappears to the eye…
good luck lisa mcconnell


Hey Beth! If this was my job, I’d try to sell her on a set of
earrings that were matched in style but not identical. Accentuate the
fact that the stones are different. That sounds like more fun anyway.



Beth, You could make the earrings deliberately different, which will
actually make the stones look more alike. I don’t know what style
you work in, but here’s an example. If you started with 2 “fan
shaped” pieces of sheet as the basis for the earrings, and you’re
going to fuse multiple decorative shapes onto that base, set one
stone in the upper right of one earring and the other in the upper
left of the other earring. Use the fusings, decorative sweat
solders, shape, setting, and other elements to “balance” the pieces
and make it obvious that they are a pair. Tie it together even more
with the pendant, which should echo both earring designs, but be
different in some way on its own.

Another approach is a “moon and stars,” where the earrings are
different shapes, but the relationship inherent in the shapes give
meaning to the whole (e.g., one’s a moon and one’s a star, or one’s a
crescent and one’s a circle, etc.).

Of course, all this depends on what the client wants and what style
of work you do. If it lends itself to this approach, it can be a
good solution. The human eye won’t detect the differences in the
stones very easily because they won’t be next to each other, and they
won’t be symmetrically placed.

Good luck!
Karen Goeller

 I have a pair of moonstone trillion cabs that are not perfectly

Hi Beth, I’d still go with a bezel setting, as opposed to prongs. I
wouldn’t worry too much about the stones being mismatched, unless
it’s pretty dramatic. The earrings will (usually…) be worn on
opposite sides of the head and a casual observer will never notice.
It’s not nearly as obvious as when the earrings are sitting next to
each other on your bench or on an earring card.

It’s also okay because the customer asked you to do it… not like
you’re foisting a mismatched pair of earrings on a customer. <Sorry
to non-Americans if “foisting” is slang. It basically means coercing
someone into taking something they don’t really want.>

It is an opportunity to challenge yourself from a design perspective
to come up with some asymmetrical designs that compliment each other
to become a pair, even though they’re not identical.

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA) <

"the extra silver around the stone just accentuated the
mis-matched-ness (huh?)". 

Hi Beth,

It has been my experience when designing that it is unwise to ever
try and “HIDE” anything. When a design problem throws you a curve,
embrace it, take it as creative inspiration, and continue on with
that element as an INTEGRAL part of the final product. As an easy
analogy, if there was a knot in some wood you were carving, you
wouldn’t try and overpower the knot, and pretend it wasn’t there, you
would acknowledge the knot and perhaps center the entire design
around it as a sculptural feature. For instance, in this situation,
perhaps making the two settings similar, but distinctly different
would be appropriate. The two earrings should definitely look like
they came from the same set, that they obviously should be together,
but what if you move the setting prongs around in different
locations, or use slightly different surrounds? Even just using a
particular design that carries down one side of the stone, and then
reversing it for the other earring would probably be enough to offset
the obvious differences in the stones.

In other words, the viewer might say “of course the two stones aren’t
alike, they’re obviously supposed to be different” rather than ,
“hmmm, those stones aren’t exactly the same”. This is the time when
listening to the materials and circumstances allows the piece to
create itself.

Good luck!

Andrew Horn
The Master’s Jewel