Invisible setting question

Hi Mary,

The set stones you are referring to are “invisible set”. Someone
correct me if I am wrong in this but I read the stones are held
flush together by hooking the edges together (like tongue and groove
hardwood flooring). This keeps the stones locked together and you
have an illusion of a large single stone. I think this is a very
beautiful way to set stones.

Hope this helps clarify for you


Actually, the stones are not locked together, rather each stone is
grooved below the girdle and, depending on the kind of setting it is,
is either snapped down into a grid type setting or slid into a series
of channels made of ‘T’ shaped runners and locked in place by the
last stone. The ‘grid’ style is normally cast while the channel
style is fabricated.

The channel style holds the stones much more securely than the grid
type which, if it gets slightly out of form, seemd to spit stones out
quite regularly!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1

    The set stones you are referring to are "invisible set".
Someone correct me if I am wrong in this but I read the stones are
held flush together by hooking the edges together (like tongue and
groove hardwood flooring 

Hello Anna, and Mary of the original post;

You are partly correct. The stones have grooves cut along the
edges. The groove follows the edge of the stones, sometimes on one
side only, usually on two. This notch is slightly below the girdle
of the stone. When you look down at these settings, you don’t see
the “rails” that run between the stones. Running the length of these
rails are thin flanges on either side near the top. The stones are
set down between the rails and the flanges, which start out tipped
upwards slightly, bend downward and into the grooves in the stones,
locking them in place. The degree of precision required for this
technique is daunting. And it is best accomplished in shops where
there is a set up for making little “adjustments” to the diamonds,
trimming them slightly to fit, as any pressure of one stone against
another will cause damage to the stones. These grooved diamonds are
rather fragile along the notch. I seem to remember an article with
excellent diagrams and explanations of the process in AJM magazine a
while back. If not that, it was JCK or Professional Jeweler. But
this is not a technique you’ll be able to easily add to your
repertoire. I don’t think there is any likelihood you’d have success
picking it up unless you were an accomplished setter to begin with
and you happened to find a shop producing those settings and could
spend some time there. This method of setting was at one time only
occasionally done in the fine old houses like Van Cleef and Arpels,
etc. The look is popular, so naturally, there are a lot of poorly
made versions available that are far less expensive. If one of the
now prevalent mass produced versions of this technique come in to
your shop for repair, or even cleaning, I recommend you send the
customer back to where they bought it. Just putting it in your
ultrasonic can open the proverbial can of worms as the cheap versions
of this style of setting are lucky to get out of the store where
they’re sold without missing a stone or two. To steam them is to
weep as it is then your problem.

David L. Huffman