I am looking for a book on advanced stone (+) setting, I found one
(I thought) but when it had a two page description of a jewelers saw,
I knew it was hopeless. I have taken GIA stone setting classes and
read books for years, but there is just so many ways you can describe
bezels, prongs and channel setting with round or square stones.
My favorite book is John Cogswell’s book, 'Creative Stonesetting.'
It covers all types of settings, well illustrated and written and
reasonably priced. 200 pages and certainly not for beginners.
Everyone that I know that has this book is happy with it.
Another good author is Wooding. I have his book on Bead Setting
Diamonds with Pave Applications. 180 pages on this narrow subject.
There’s a fair amount of repetition as he describes each stone
shape. He also has books on channel setting, diamond setting, etc.
I got the John Cogswell book and find it very helpful. Lots of
detail, and illustrations. I agree with Jamie that it is well written
and easy to follow. I certainly recommend it.
Here is a book I can recommend, it is called; “Diamond Setting: The
Professional Approach” by Robert R. Wooding (Author).
it is printed in the USA so just google the title to find your local
booksellers. I can also recommend a DVD which is sold by The
Goldsmith’s Company in London as part of their Masterclass set of
There is a DVD masterclass called “An Introduction to Diamond
Setting” by David Basford who is one of Cartier’s diamond setters.
James Miller FIPG
The ganoksin archives have lots to say on the subject. One of the
best things you can add to your tool set is the Foredom Allset
Master stone setting system- it takes a day to master and in 15
minutes from opening the box and viewing their DVD you get an idea of
how to begin cutting perfectly level seats for calibrated stones.
Hand cut stones require more of a learning curve but nonetheless a
good digital cailiper set will aid you tremendously in getting the
system set right for given stone’s seat. I use it almost daily and
find it invaluable in terms of not wasting metals as the kit does the
work for you with the aid of a standard #30 handpiece ( a must for
using the allset system- hammer handpieces can be used for after the
seat is cut). Othewise try make magazine’s website there are many
stone setting videos on it- and the bench media site as well. Most
books fall short and the GIA stuff is geared towards manufactured
mounts and setting not art jewelry. Nanz Allund’s website I believe
has some video material on the subject as well- better to take a
course though (for example with Patsy Croft at John C. Campbell
Folkschool or Arrowmont or Harold O’Connor wherever you can find him!
They are the two top teachers). rer
I taught at GIA and have been a setter for 35 years. In many ways,
the tools you were given from GIA and other resources are all done
pretty well. The issue really becomes two-fold. Number one in my book
is to always match girdled edge and pavilion when cutting the seat
for any stone. This gives maximum support with little error for
breakage. Number two is tightness and cleanup. Well if the the seat
is correct the tightness will be there and the method of cleanup
before and after the stone is set is paramount to a professional job.
Techniques vary on how to set the stone, but one should not…the
girdle and pavilion thickness and angle respectfully.
I just came from a major player in manufacture and watched in horror
while I watched center stones being set with a hart bur and vector
set…OMG…quick, easy, painless, and clean, but will NEVER stay
tight. And I don’t care if the prong is over the large crown
facet…makes no difference.
I remember once in my trade shop receiving solitaire after solitaire
coming in with a loose stone to be tightened…bags of them. Whoever
cut the seats did exactly that…hart bur and vector set. The stones
had to be ejected and the seats re-cut to even think about getting
As far as more books and techniques, try them all but don’t vary on
the two parts that are very important.
The Jewelry CAD Institute