Inside of a bezel from tarnishing?

Hello there,

Cann you perhaps give me the secret of preventing the inside of an
bezel from tarnishing? Some rings I made, with a closed bezel and
clear cabochon stone, are tarnishing in the bezel. I’ve been
thinking of painting the inside with a clear lacquer, but I don’t
think that will last for ever.

thank you for your respons!
Marlein Bong from Amsterdam,
the Netherlands

I work with seaglass, and I used to have the same problem. I use
silver nail polish on the inside, and I make sure it’s totally dry
before setting the glass. Good luck!

alf jewelry & metals

You might try using fine sliver for your bezels if you are not
already doing so. Much less likely to tarnish and a whole lot easier
to work over the stone!

Jerry in Kodiak

Hi Marein;

Nothing like paint is ever going to be really permanent. I’ve seen
people use cut out pieces of CD’s under their more transparent
stones. That should last. However, if the idea of putting plastic
under your gemstones offends your aesthetics, here’s what I’ve seen
done on historical pieces, perticularly under old rose cut diamonds.
They used pure tin, either in the form of foil trapped under the
stone, or actually “tinning” the inside of the bezel, by applying a
soft soldering flux and heating the article until the tin melts (275
F? or so?) then using a small steel brush, spreading it around to
help it adhere to the metal. It can even be burnished to a nice
shine. If it’s reagent pure tin (from a chemical supply company),
it will take a very, very long time to tarnish.

David L. Huffman

Hi Marlein,

You didn’t say what metal the bezel was made of. If I had to guess,
I guess it was sterling.

One of the best ways to eliminate the tarnish is to use fine silver
for bezels. The new Argentium silver would probably work as well.

In addition to being lot’s slower to tarnish, the fine silver is
easier to mold around the stone when setting.


I assume it is not just the bezel itself, but the metal it ia
soldered to, behind the stone, that is the problem. You can’t totally
prevent tarnish on sterling in the long run, even if you deplete it
to fine silver. So the solution is to add a thin piece of something
that doesn’t tarnish. Personally, I don’t like the idea of tin or
plastic. I use fine silver, or niobium. The latter can be polished
very bright, and will never change color or deteriorate.


I mirror polish the background and inside of the bezel and epoxy the
stones and set the bezel before it hardens. That keeps everything

Vince La Rochelle

  I mirror polish the background and inside of the bezel and epoxy
the stones and set the bezel before it hardens. That keeps
everything shiny. 

At least some, if not all epoxies eventually yellow. I don’t think
that would be an improvement. Plus the glue will most likely keep
the back of the stone from reflecting any light, so it makes a giant
window through to the backing. IMO, better to stick to inserting
fine silver or other non-tarnishing material behind the stone.