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Learn gem-stone setting, why?


#1

As the honour of being a recipient of the “Guinness World records” I
am now asking anyone who is starting out in the jewellery field. do
one thing for me. and that is to learn gemstone setting.

It is so-o important in making Cad drawings, selecting your
gem-stones and arranging for spacing among the stones you need. This
honour is slowly sinking in and now my mind is starting to realize
how important Diamond Setting really is.

I’ve seen on many occasions some Cad designers really mess up a
pattern & then cast it in gold. then discover it can’t be set.
because the cad-drawer didn’t understand setting of stones. Its akin
to a jeweller trying in vain to make a ring in Platinum, but with no
tools.

The Diamond Setting skill teaches you to observe and direct the cad
person to place and form the correct size of prongs/claws. I had one
student get mad at me in front of the class because she wanted some
stones placed anywhere she could get a hole drilled.

I asked her to listen to me about spacing, thickness of metal and
then the number of stones needed and sizes of those stones.

After 2 hours during an off-hours coffee break, she thanked me in
allowing me to resolve her problem. Lastly, to save her great looking
design, if not, it would have been scrapped or worse, cast & ruined.

Moral of this story; If I had no background in stone-setting of any
form, I wouldn’t have had my creation now reach this high plateau! I
don’t care how long it takes, or where you learn this craft/skill
…but it has to be learned!! Thanks for reading this important
essay!!! Gerry Lewy


#2

Hi

Yes very true ! Everyone need to have knowledge of stone setting for
jewelry making.

Kapil Jain.


#3

Folks- Listen to Gerry Lewy. It’s important.

Regardless if you are going to use CAD or make jewelry by hand it is
soooooo important to learn to set.

Even if you never set another stone in your life and farm out all of
your work, you must learn the basics so that you can make a mounting
that can be set properly and worn comfortably.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and state that I believe that you
have to know how to set stones to call yourself a jeweler. Soldering
and fabricating as well.

You cannot design in a vacuum.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#4

And this is why I am making this a main focus of mine. Thanks for
sharing and encouraging!


#5

I agree that being able to gem set is important, that’s why Gerry is
coming to teach me. He’ll spend 9 full days here teaching me one on
one. Will I learn everything? No way but I’ll have a lot of skills
and knowledge that I don’t have now. Seems like a basic skill for a
jeweler to know and be good at some stone setting.

Scott


#6

I’ve been asked so many times to post my photographs of my little
bauble on Orchid. These will be then posted on two luxury e-sites
within the next two weeks. So without any further adieu, here they
are!



Enjoy


#7

Hi

I agree even if you send your stones out to be set you must know how
to set to make the correct settings.

I am not talking theory of setting you must be physically able to do
it.

If you cut gemstones you MUST know how to set!!! Speaking to a
guy who is an opal cutter and also a lady gem cutter today, both
agreed the “hobby” cutters are a pain.

I told them what I hate to hear is “My dad found this stone and cut
it himself.” AKA turned a good stone to rubbish.

Both cutters agreed that amateurs cut like crap. Why? Because they
don’t set what they cut. And when they want to sell their stones want
double retail. They don’t like my honest answers when asked why I
don’t want to buy.

Girdle too thin, facets not even and then what it would have been
worth if a professional had cut it.

I am not trying to put off newbie cutters, just guys and girls set
what you cut you will learn about what setters want.

Here is a tip a learnt from a good cutter, he showed me a flawless
stone well cut looked like smokey quartz.

It was TVITE, cut from an old fashioned TV screen. These tv’s are
hitting the trash right now so plenty available for practise cutting.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and state that I believe that you
have to know how to set stones to call yourself a jeweler. Soldering
and fabricating as well.

I agree with Jo Haemer and having seen her work that would be one
exquisite gem set limb.

please note i have not said you need to reach the level of a master
metal smith or gem setter.

but you must have learned to do the processes physically not
intellectually. when you understand how difficult it is then you will
have learned a very valuable lesson.

Richard
Xtines Jewels


#8
If you cut gemstones you MUST know how to set!!!!!!!!! 

Mr Hopkins,

That is an incorrect statement.

There are many professional gem cutters who have never set a stone
they have cut.

The only criteria is that the girdle conforms to setting norms,
namely not to thick and not to thin.

Secondly you are incorrect in saying that amateur gem cutters ruin
stones.

On the contrary, they are likely to cut them much more carefully and
slowly.

There are far more badly cut stones cut by professionals from the
east than there are badly cut amateur stones.

I know, because I, and everyone else, was an amateur once.

And whilst I am on the subject of incorrect statements, a few posts
ago you mentioned that opal doublets always delaminate–“end of
story”

While I have seen a few delaminated ones in my career, the vast
majority don’t.

It figures, since they would not be popular for long if they
consistently came apart.

meevis.com


#9

I feel that in any craft, the more one understands about related
crafts, and the needs of those who may be using you product later,
the betterable you are to produce a product they can service.

While one does not need to be a setter to cut a gemstone, it
certainly helps if the cutter understands the setting process,
instead of just following "The only criteria is that the girdle
conforms to setting norms, namely not to thick and not to thin. "
guidelines.

I have worked around designers who were clueless about the actual
craft of the jeweler, and I have also many times had to set stones
where the cutter really had no idea what it would take to hold their
"creation" securely. Either one just made my job that much more
frustrating.

As you suggest though, some “professionals” can be just as bad as
amateurs, but a truly skill cutter can imagine his or her creation
being set, and plan their work accordingly.


#10
Both cutters agreed that amateurs cut like crap. 

Utter nonsense. Experienced “amateurs”, in general, cut and polish
stones much more accurately than the so-called “professionals” whose
main criteria are speed and weight retention.

Al Balmer


#11
Both cutters agreed that amateurs cut like crap. 

Utter nonsense. Experienced “amateurs”, in general, cut and polish
stones much more accurately than the so-called “professionals” whose
main criteria are speed and weight retention.

That is a blanket statement, with which you try to paint every
"professional" with the same tar brush. Are there 'professional’
cutters who only seek maximum return and speed, sure there are, but
to say every professional is doing that is to ignore the fine
quality gemstones being cut for their beauty by true Professionals.
A ‘professional’, the way that you seem to be using the term, is
being applied to anyone who is being paid to cuta gemstone, while a
true master of the craft is the ultimate Professional who is not
just a hack being paid by the weight, for volume work to meet the
needs of mass markets.

Try as hard as one can, an amateur in any craft is still an amateur,
unless and until they have mastered their craft, at which point they
are nolonger amateurs. Before they reach that level of expertise
their work can not begin to touch that of an accomplished Master of
his or her craft, nomatter how closely they follow the “formulas”.

As I see it, right now way too many amateur cutters are being paid
as ‘professionals’, and the current level of poorly cut stones is
the result ofthese paid amateur cutters working in a volume industry
that does not reward, or even recognize a need for the true
Professional cutter.


#12

Hi Hans et al

perhaps my post was simplistic

If you cut gemstones you MUST know how to set!!!

That is an incorrect statement. 

OK change to YOU MUST KNOW WHAT A SETTER WANTS.

Secondly you are incorrect in saying that amateur gem cutters ruin
stones. 
On the contrary, they are likely to cut them much more carefully
and slowly. 

Maybe where you are but 99% of what I see is rubbish. Also they
probably have better teachers than where I am. This is the nature of
the hobby land in Australia, it just gets worse.

There are far more badly cut stones cut by professionals from the
east than there are badly cut amateur stones. 

Don’t know where you get your rocks from but there are many high
quality cut stones coming out of Asia now, far better than any
amateur work I have seen. Guess my gem dealer does not touch crap. So
I never see it! Those bad cutters from Asia I thought went out of
business when the Americans set up shop in Thailand. They cut tons
and everyone is happy with their work. High quality low price and
fast return.

If I can remember I will get their address to post from some rock
hounds I know.

Are you confusing amateur with student?

And whilst I am on the subject of incorrect statements, a few
posts ago you mentioned that opal doublets always delaminate--"end
of story" 

An opal doublet given time will delaminate due to changes in
temperature and moisture. This is the nature of the glues used.

And why they are sold with the proviso DO NOT GET THEM WET!

I asked an opal miner what he though about doublet opals reckons
they look almost as good as the real thing. And as long as they are
bezel set they should last for a long time, before they delaminate.

That said my daughter has a doublet opal I set in an 18kt band and a
fine silver bezel. She swapped it for 3 silver and gem set rings she
somehow acquired from me. It is 2 years old and has not delaminated
yet and she is not gentle and does the washing up with it on. Even
though I told her not to. I reckon within 10 years it will
delaminate. Time will tell

Having said that have the glues used changed? And now will not
delaminate like the old ones did? If so I am wrong, and it won’t be
the first time.

Hans I looked at your web page 2 words about your jewellery,
beautiful and quality! Except for your plique-a-jour enamel fairy
pendant that I would call exquisite.

This is what I like about Orchid we get differing points of view
from different parts of the globe. While Hans’ doublets may not
delaminate many done in Australia still do and his amateurs sound a
lot better than we have here in OZ. However the rocks he sees from
Asia are not as good as the ones I see here.

Richard
Xtines Jewels


#13
As I see it, right now way too many amateur cutters are being paid
as 'professionals', and the current level of poorly cut stones is
the result ofthese paid amateur cutters working in a volume
industry that does not reward, or even recognize a need for the
true Professional cutter. 

I have a client with a giant (maybe 8ct) aquamarine that is set in
massive prongs.

There’s a chip on one of the points where two facets come together,
one step (?) down from the table.

She’s asked for a referral to a professional cutter.

If sure a person exists on Orchid or if one of you can refer me to
such a person, please post their name and contact

I would prefer to not have to unset & reset this stone.

Paf Dvorak


#14

Hi

guys like Al and Hans know what they are talking about, in AMERICA.

But here in Australia amateurs really do not cut well. And the
professionals who last in business do a very high quality job.

I should state which country I am talking about, I apologize for the
oversight.

The professionals who do cut badly don’t last long in OZ we are have
a very small population 22 million and word gets round the trade
quickly.

Richard


#15
Try as hard as one can, an amateur in any craft is still an
amateur, unless and until they have mastered their craft, at which
point they are nolonger amateurs. 

There is a book “Faceting for Amateurs” where this subject is
explored.

To cite from this book " Professional is someone who turns his time
into money, while amateur into perfection. "

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#16

Stone setting, and doing it well, is just another advanced
skill/talent to add to one’s overall skill envelope.

One of the things that attracted me to this field when I was 16, was
noticing that all the dozen old timers around me, talented very
knowledgable as they were, did Not know everything, and they all
knew that. Everyone could set stones, and do it well, and a few were
absolutely incredible.

It is something that one cannot intellectualize about to achieve
individual success. It’s hands on for all stones have their own
unique qualities, weaknesses and strong points, hardnesses, and
softness, one must learn and navigate through to achieve a fair
degree of mastery.

Same goes for faceting stones. For about a 12 year spell, I pursued
the higher knowledge there, not only cutting my own stones, but
repairing damages from wear, or by my fellow jewelers/setters
screwing something up. Each stone has it’s own unique qualities and
characteristics.

Point is?..knowing both fields with deep and broad hands-on depth,
and how hard it is to do both arenas to highest standards, heightens
one’s ability to focus to the best of their abilities, and pay
extreme attention to all things, when setting, or in Making the
setting/project in the first place.

One foot in front of the other, otherwise one is actually
handicapped, or at the mercy of others, to finish a part of their
task.

Generalizing about stone cutters, is just too Archie Bunker. Better
to judge each person who lives in that arena for what they do and
how well they can do it. After all, there’s Lots of mediocre
(ahem)…“jewelers” out there as we all know too well.

Jewelry is a field where one can learn new things for the rest of
their life. Keeps one young at heart imho. Pick a category within
the field, and spend some years trying to master it completely,
without question.

The more abilities you acquire/master in your personal skillset, the
more you can do. The more you can imagine. One’s creativity is
directly impacted by the ceiling of their own skills envelope. Or in
many cases, handicapped to various degrees.

Learn everything you can, and be nice to one another. It can be a
tough field to survive in for many. Help when you can.

Marko


#17
That is a blanket statement, with which you try to paint every
"professional" with the same tar brush. 

Not a “blanket” statement. I did not say all professionals, nor
did I say all amateurs. In fact, it was Mr. Hopkins who wrote the
categorical “amateurs cut like crap.”

I define “professional” as a person who makes his living in the
field, not as a degree of expertise, as you seem to. The fact remains
that the majority of stones on the market are still “native-cut”, and
the goal is speed and weight retention.

I personally know a few professionals who are unequaled, and I know
many amateurs who have cut prize-winning stones.

Al Balmer


#18
There is a book "Faceting for Amateurs" where this subject is
explored. 

Glenn and Martha Vargas. First published in 1969 and a very
important work, though the techniques are mostly obsolete now. Much
of the data is still useful.

For me, modern faceting began with the work in mathematics of design
and ray-tracing by Robert Long and Norman Steele, who introduced the
techniques of meet-point faceting. Robert Strickland then developed
the GemCad software which made that mathematics accessible to
everyone with a computer. On the hardware side, there are people like
Jon Rolfe (aka Gearloose) who have developed machines and
cutting/polishing laps and materials which make faceting far easier
for both the professional and the amateur. All this took place in the
last 35 years, a short time for a revolution. All these pioneers
except Norm Steele are still with us.

Al Balmer


#19
But here in Australia amateurs really do not cut well. 

Interesting, especially since Australia has some of the best
faceters in the world and they host probably the best-known
international faceting competition. Perhaps it’s more popular there,
and more unskilled hobbyists take it up?

Al Balmer


#20

I have to agree with several people on this subject. It is hard to
be the best at both skills. A good stone cutter cuts good stones
most of the time agood stone setter sets his stones good most of the
time. I am almost sure we all, some time can look at a job we have
done and say it is not my best but it is good enough to sell. And I
have more jobs that are pressing me to get done and people are
waiting…

I have been guilty of that more then once in my life. I still
remember those pieces and wish I had just said now. I Have to redo
that piece… that for some reason I needed to let go. Am sure stone
cutters do the same…

That said a good stone setter can take someone’s mistake and set it,
withoutit looking like what it really is. A badly cut stone. that
was pushed out the door. Takes a lot more time and is frustrating
for sure have set a manyof one of those stones in my 40+ years in
this field… No one is always perfect…