Prong Settings for Practice

Richard -

Try Tripp's Jewelery - they have the widest
range of sterling prong settings I can find. Since I teach
stonesetting so much, I prefer to use silver rather than gold to
demo. Also, Stuller now makes more of their settings in silver, so
you can order the settings you need. I buy from both. Rio Grande has
a selectionof sterling prongs as well.

Don’t forget you need to buy round ball burs, stonesetting burs, and
a few hart (yes, it is spelled H-A-R-T) burs, probably 70% or 90%
angle. Rather than buy a whole set of burs at $125 and up, order the
sizes you need, like 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, so forth. That’s what I usually

Keep in mind almost all sterling prongs are casted, and pre-notched.
Only a few settings are not pre-notched. A flex shaft is best for
cutting the seat, and avoid using a Dremel, for you need the foot
pedal of the flex shaft to slow speed down. Slower speeds are better
than fast speeds, and try to only cut 40% of the prong away, so that
you have at least 55-60% of the prong left to bend over stones.

You can borrow Stoneseting by John Cogswell from the local library,
or they can get it for you.

Sorry for lengthy message - I’m a jewelry teacher and can’t stop
explaining anymore.


Greetings everyone. I’m not typing on my Ipad for once so hopefully
my word spacing does not appear with errors like it magically does
when I compose email from an Ipad.

1 Like

Joy, I agree with you totally, except, my Dremel has a foot pedal
and flex shaft, so I do use it to cut seats and other uses at slow
speed. the foot pedal is not a dremel item, i bought it and power the
dremel through it (Dremel is set to its highest speed setting, but
that can also be changed to a slower speed to keep a little bit of
max control).


Thank you Jo, Joy, John, and Paf for the settings questions.

And everyone else for all the great tips.

I guess I will try Stuller’s for the 4 prong settings that have the
little peg on the bottom. Tripp’s is a great resource but I didn’t
see any sterling settings that have the little peg at the bottom,
they just had the flat bottom crowns in sterling. The fancier 4 prong
settings with the little peg are only in gold at Tripp’s according to
my search.

That is neat that Stuller will make them in Sterling. Sounds like a
good way to practice.

I will be buying the setting books that you all recommended.

In the meantime, I have one final question for now about setting.

I am trying to set a 5mm cushion cut sapphire in a cushion setting
and I am wondering what kind of gem tweezers or pliers do you
recommend I get to hold it in place when you apply pressure to snap
it down into the prongs?

I ask because every time I try to set the cushion cut sapphire, it
wants to turn since the stone is slightly rectangular. And I want to
keep it tight so it snaps onto the notches.

As for the tapered bezel question, that is cool that they have cone
burs and but burs. I didn’t realize they existed before. I have used
gem setting burs before.

I will be purchasing ball burs in addition to the cone and bud burs.

Thanks everyone,

Correction, I meant bud burs. Not “but” burs. I really need to not
typeon an iPad.

Rick Powell

Glad we could help you.

However, don’t waste your money on cone burs or bud burs. Just stick
with ball burs and stonesetting burs. Bud burs are used for flush
setting and other metal removal applications but they are too long
for prong setting. If you have a closed bottom setting, there is no
way a bud bur will work properly. Cone burs are better for reaming
out holes or countersinking. I’ve never heard of them being used for
prong setting and given the sharp angle on top of the cone, probably
do more damage, cuttingtoo much metal away.

Just a word of warning on burs.


ps - cushion cuts can be a PITA to set - they love to twist. I
compesatete by using a larger setting - measure the cushion from one
corner to opposite corner. It will be longer than if you measure
side to side. I find a larger setting helps.

Sorry for the confusion Joy. I had two questions going. It was my

The bud burs and cone burs were only for my question on
countersinking tapered bezels into ring shanks.

The prong question was about trouble getting my cushion sapphire to
stay straight when squeezing the sapphire into the 4 prongs.

I have 90 degree hart burs for cutting prongs. I Will try to
practice withthem.

Thanks again.
Rick Powell