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