Protecting soft stones from scratches?

Hi, all–

Oh, no, I’ve done it again. Bought cabochons of a really soft stone.
Maybe it’s time I learned more about stones, so I don’t keep doing
this. But anyway, I purchased a couple of small malachite cabochons
at a local stone shop, intending them to use them for a pair of
earrings with bezel settings. Then I looked up malachite online, and
found that it measures 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale. Ouch!

Now, the stones were cheap, so financially it’s not really an issue,
but they are nice-looking stones, and it just feels wrong to let them
gather dust, so I’d like to do something with them if I can. But I
feel I should do something to protect them from damage in the
finished piece. There are 2 ideas that occur to me: one would be to
surround them with some sort of metal cage that would form part of
the design. But I don’t really like that for the particular earrings
I have in mind. The other thing is some kind of hypothetical
scratch-resistant coating–resin, perhaps? Does anyone do that? Or
have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Matt Gushee
Studio Yanagi | Original Art Jewelry

Matt. Go ahead and make the design you first had in mind. Stones in
earrings sustain little wear. Just don’t damage them when you are
setting them.

Jerry in Kodiak