Microcrystaline wax

This wax is often referred to as sticky wax or setting wax among
stone setters. It is used to hold stones in a level position at the
beginning stages of setting when tightening the stone in place. If ,
for example, you are setting a round faceted stone in a bezel, once
the bearing has been prepared by using a setting bur or graver and
the stone is dropped in place; roll out a very small thin snake of
microcrystaline wax and gently place it around the stone just
in-between the bezel and the crown of the gemstone. The wax should be
pushed down to the point that it secures the stone in place without
obscuring the table or impeding your ability to keep an eye on the
levelness as you begin to set. You can begin to tighten the bezel
with a hammer and setting punch or a bezel pusher, working evenly from
opposite sides a little at a time (north and south/east and west). As
the bezel begins to move down and over the stone, the wax will begin
to squeeze out. Be careful to keep the stone level as you proceed and
not to work one side too much at first as it will be difficult to
correct if you tap it down too far at this point. Once the stone is
slightly tightened and somewhat secure in its position you can remove
the wax (in ultrasonic or with a soft toothbrush and warm soapy
water) and check thoroughly before completing the bezeling process. If
the stone is at all loose or spins in the seat re-apply the wax and
continue. Sometimes it may be necessary to replace the wax numerous
times as caution and carefulness are the setters most reliable
companions. Good luck.
Michael David Sturlin