One of my friends uses a lot of raw stones in her fabulous jewelry.
She uses prongs for some of the stones, and bezels for others,
depending on the shape and cut of the stone. She said there are no
hard and fast rules as no two stones are the same. For prong
settings, she lays out the stone on the metal, and marks around it
with a fine pointed sharpie, indicating where to solder on some
prongs to hold it.
She then fabricates the piece, soldering the prongs in place, and
then sets the stone. She usually uses 18 gauge wire, but sometimes
thinner, according to the stone. It is important to place the prongs
where they will really hold the stone in place so that it cannot
For bezel set, she cuts her own bezels making them very wide, as she
will trim off sections as necessary to fit the stone. She carefully
makes the bezel, solders it in place, and inserts the stone. With a
fine pointed sharpie, she indicates where the bezel is too high, and
trims it with a pair ofmanicure scissors.
She does wonderful work, and considers each stone a challenge in
deciding whether to use a bezel or prongs.
Hope this is of some help. Alma