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Question on how silver turquoise component was formed

I’ve been down the rabbit hole and back: how to make these little round nipple-like silver structures with a small turquoise, part of a vintage (40’s?) silver linked choker. (An obsession at this point but good news is I’ve learned lots along the way including good info on Native American silversmithing but no solution yet. Am trying to resist the urge to saw one in half to really look at it.)
I can’t see any seam around the stone that looks like a bezel seam, or a connection between the inner bezel and its outer rim. Is it 1 or 2 pieces? They are soldered to a round backing.
Looks like a bezel rises out of or sits on top of a …. Hollow round?

I tried to duplicate it by sinking a ready-made bezel cup into a domed ‘washer’. It works, but height is finicky, and the ‘washer’s’ domed sides should be more vertical. I don’t know how to create a cup-like ‘base’ with vertical sides that would hold perhaps a tube bezel stone.
Attached are pictures that I hope illustrate well enough.
I could use tube bezels as a workaround but can’t give up the quest yet and thank you for any help.

silverpic3.pdf (64.9 KB) silverpic2.pdf (48.3 KB) silverpic1.pdf (100.1 KB)

One more thought - could these be some sort of a rivet with a stone in the top?
pic4.pdf (62.7 KB)

Busy looking at it, it appears to have been made in two pieces. The outside, larger diameter bezel cup. That was first soldered to the double wire in the center of the bracelet. The tube bezel with the turquoise was closed into place with the outside bezel cup. That smaller bezel has a ring, seat or tabs that secure its alignment in the outer bezel. I’m guessing that there is an insert- maybe wood with a center seat for the smaller bezel. It probably has a curved lip that supports the soft radius of the outside bezel.

Certainly it’s a composite. I know that often sawdust was used to even out the back of an uneven stone for setting turquoise. Why not a button ring of wood? That’s what i’d try.


Thanks for reply - I’d never thought of an insert but now have read up on the lively forum topic of ‘sawdust’. A button ring of wood is an interesting idea - to make sure I understand - that insert would be inside the outer ring - that would raise the smaller bezel in height, the width of the smaller bezel would be the diameter of the larger one and also have a curve or flare that would support it?

I will mess around with this. The lower bezel has such straight sides nicely rounded on top - I’m assuming that’s achieved just by the dapping?
Again, thank you. Crazy how these little mysteries stick in the mind!

Now you’ve got me exploring the mystery, too.

Think the wooden insert as a piece of dowel with a centered hole partially drilled to support a tube setting. The partial hole is fixed nest so that the turquoise bezel will not move.

The wooden insert sets flush into the larger bezel cup that is pre soldered to the wires.

Some sort of securing for the center tube setting would need to be engineered for simplicity: a set of tabs for the top bezel ring, or an epoxy in the wood. Maybe a soldered wire around the tube.

Then the outside bezel is pushed over

Or thinking harder about the mystery, this is a higher probability.

An outside bezel cap made with a punch and dapping block using a piece of sheet. If it reduces to a tube / cylinder, it was probably gently hammered into a tubular jig.

The center tube has a wire core to support the set turquoise. That tube is hard soldered simultaneous to the bottom of the large bezel. Then it’s soft soldered to the structural wires. Then the turquoise is set last.

Whatever the original silversmith did almost 80 years ago, it was really a certainly a simple set of production procedures.

I’d put a couple of dollars that the inside diameter of the outside bezel is EXACTLY a smallish dapping punch.

Back to work.

Just a couple of thoughts, and I had fun thinking about the mystery.

When you figure out a successful process, take pics and share them please.


My thoughts. Get sterling tubing in two diameters. The ID of the inside piece should be large enough to allow you to cut a seat for the turquoise cab. The ID of the outside piece about 2 mm greater than the inside OD. Cut the outside pieces to length, allowing about 2mm for the curve. Put the outside piece in a dapping block and gently tap the piece into the block, rounding the top inward. Cut the inside piece to length and cut a seat for the cab. Sweat solder them onto the base at the same time with medium. I would solder from beneath. Interesting project. Good luck.

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Thanks for all these thoughtful ideas - I’m messing around with them all and will post when I figure it out.