Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Loose stone in bezel


I set an oval shaped (domed) cab in an 18k gold bezel. My
measurements seemed fine, until I pushed the metal over the stone.
The metal isn’t bending enough to touch the stone. Now the stone is
loose within the bezel and is making a “clicking” noise. Any
suggestions on how salvage this piece? Will brite-cutting help secure
the stone in place?

I would greatly appreciate any help.


The metal isn't bending enough to touch the stone. Now the stone
is loose within the bezel and is making a "clicking" noise. Any
suggestions on how salvage this piece 

At the stage that you describing, any attempt to tighten could lead
to stone fracture, so the best way is to start over.

Leonid Surpin

Assuming that the bezel actually fits the stone properly, it would
appear that the metal is a little too thick. You could try carefully
filing it until you can bend it using your usual method, or you could
try using a hammer and punch to gently tap the metal into position.
Gentle tapping is usually enough to persuade a recalcitrant bezel
into submission.

Regards, Gary Wooding

Sounds like your bezel is too high or thick. If possible reduce its
height and or bevel the outside top edge so that you are pushing less

Or just wack it with a hammer (or chasing tool and hammer). If you
don’t hit the stone it works well on even delicate stones, with
harder stones you run the risk of diamond dust and re-finishing your
hammer :slight_smile: I can’t even remember bezel setting without a hammer
although there might still be a bezel pusher buried in the back of a

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing


Start out with heavier bezel stock. I generally use 24 gauge fine
silver or 26-27 gauge karat gold. It is a bit harder to push over
the stone, but stays in place once pushed. Thinner bezel has a
tendency to spring back.

Measure the length you need and wrap it around the stone. If you can
force the ends to overlap, mark the overlap and then cut or file a
bit off the length, then solder. After soldering, fit the bezel to
the stone. If the stone seems loose in the bezel, most likely it will
be loose after soldering the bezel down to a base plate. Cut the
solder seam, cut or file a bit off the end, then re-solder. Re-fit
the bezel on the stone and check again.

Before setting, make sure the bezel is just high enough to just rise
above the curve of your cabochon, or the girdle of a faceted stone.
If you make it too high you will have problems setting it.

When you push the bezel over, first press towards the stone and if
it still seems loose, press directly down on the edge of the bezel to
tighten. Be sure to protect the stone and base around the bezel with
several layers of masking tape to prevent damage if the setting tool
should slip. The pressure you apply to setting the bezel will depend
on the fragility of the stone you are setting.

I take a coarse file and tap the end of my bezel pusher with it to
rough up the surface before I start setting a bezel. Helps it to bite
into the bezel a bit and tends to keep the pusher in place.

Steve Brixner

It’s possible that the bezel is too tall. If it’s too tall, it’s got
too far to travel in order to close onto the stone properly. The
metal will only travel and compress so much. I have found this from
my own experience (read previous mistakes)!


Any suggestions on how salvage this piece? 

Lift the bezel, clean it up, pull the stone. Cut a light groove
inside the bezel at an appropriate level then reset. If you’re using
a thin bezel strip this may not be possible. Anneal first if you
can. This is where a thick bezel is a great help, its not as springy
and you have room to relieve if needed. With ovals I usually start
pushing or hammering at the apex. If you start on the sides the
slack moves up to the apex, making it harder to bend the metal,
because now you have more material to jam into a smaller space, if
that makes sense.

I am a novice on this topic and don’t have my first bezel setting
class until later this week, but if the problem is a too high bezel
and your design permits, why not try to remove the stone and place a
bit of metal under the stone, raising it up in the setting?

Mary Partlan