How to use tubes as claws in a setting

Hi, it’s me again. I’ve got a question for everyone. I’ve run across a few things where tube set stones were then used as claws to set a much bigger stone. I’ve found a few examples, but I haven’t been able to figure out exactly how they did it. I want to use this technique to set several 15mm round brilliant cut stones with 3mm stones going in all the tubes around the bigger stones. Here’s a picture of an example of one that I found.

So the book I have that shows this particular ring in the images above says that the inside of the tubes were all burred out with a groove to accommodate the girdle of the larger stone just like in a claw setting, the larger stone was put in the center of all the tubes (the tubes were carefully placed and soldered in to allow the bigger stone to drop down in the middle of them). Then it says the tubes were levered over to hold the bigger stone in place. This is where I’m getting stuck. How would you go about levering over a tube? Because the tubes have to be placed far enough apart that you can drop the bigger stone straight down the middle of them. But how would you lever over the tubes without damaging them? You wouldn’t want them bent over to a noticeable point, they need to stand up straight, but enough that it would lock the big center stone in position. The other thing is, what does the pavilion of the big stone rest on? Or would the tubes with the grooves be enough to hold it and it be ok? I haven’t been able to find any pictures or explanations of how the inside of this setting looks like. I imagine you need to support the bigger stone underneath some how.

So if YOU were to make this setting, could you explain how you might go about doing it and what considerations need to be made? I very much want to use this on a large piece I’m doing, but I also don’t want to set all these tubes, get to setting the larger stone, and then damage everything because I’m not doing it right or taking into consideration certain things like what the pavilion of the larger stone is resting on. Now his stone in the pictures that he used (Dauvit Alexander) is a trillion cut amethyst. I’m planning on just using round 15mm stones, so they’re pretty big. I figure not only would it look awesome, but the tubes are very sturdy, possibly more than claws, they’re larger, and would offer more security to the big 15mm stones if I can successfully set it this way. I’ll have to admit, I’ve been trying to work this out for about two months now, just trying to think it through, but I don’t feel confident I’ve planned it well enough to actually try to do it yet.

Any ideas, help, or insights you have would be much appreciated!!!


a few thoughts…

the prongs are burred/ filed to accommodate the shape of the girdle…this “seat” holds the stone in place…other than just below the girdle, the pavillion is not supported or resting on anything

the prongs might be thick walled tubes…or they may be solid round rods…i am thinking tubes would be open at the seat and allow for water and such to collect in the tube…so i think solid rods might make more sense…and if solid they would be less prone to damage when being moved in toward the stone…using a prong pusher or small cross lock pliers modified for use as setting pliers…

i would guess that the stones on top of the prongs are burred and set after the center stone



That’s a good idea! So use rods instead of tubes and just bur out the top of the rod to make a seat for the smaller stones? You’d just set it in the usual tube way then, push the edge of metal over onto the stone? I would feel much more comfortable levering over a rod than I would a tube onto a bigger stone. Like it’s doable buuuuut there’s just too much that could go wrong there, and it’s an unnecessary risk. Now, if I were to use tubes I would drill a hole in the backplate right in the center of the tube because yeah the thought of gunk getting trapped in settings grosses me out, I always try to do settings that are open in some way underneath the stones so you can clean it, and theoretically it’ll let more light get to the stone. Mostly I do it for hygiene, though. All right I may try this approach. You don’t think the pavilion of the bigger stone needs extra support, though? Should be ok suspended from the girdle?

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Here’s an idea that might work for you. Insert tightfitting wire into the tubing below your small stone, so that it’s not hollow where you need to burr it out and push over the large stone.