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Setting apatite rough crystals


#1

I think I screwed up. I’ve been setting a lot of rough crystals, but
as necklaces & earrings. I got a bunch of gorgeous yellow & pink
apatite cystals & decided to set one as a ring. I forged out some 22
scrap for the bezel-5mm wide & did a pretty fine job of bending,
cutting & souldering the bezel so it would fit around the many sharp
angles at the base of the stone. The stone is 15mm x 12mm x 12mm high
& angles upward so it starts at 8mm before it comes to a point at
12mm. The stone sits 3mm-7mm higher than the bezel. & that I think is
the problem. Apatite has a mohs hardness of 5. But what of the
crystal? How delicate is a crystal? Will this stone shatter the
moment someone bangs a wall w/ their hand? Can I sell it w/ a warning
that the crystal is delicate? I’ve already put more work into this
then I wanted to. The swan song of the metalsmith.

Any help is greatly appreciated,
Cristine McC


#2

well you have some luck; apatite has indistinct cleavage, so it
won’t split along a cleavage plane or two. however, it is brittle and
fractures in a conchoidal pattern (bb shot into glass). advise that
it is soft and brittle.

john


#3

the august edition of Rock and gem had a great article on setting
rough crystals in the craftsman of the month section- you may start
there for bezel setting tips using the stones form as the shape of
the bezel and how to execute it with a natural looking but elevated
edge to protect the stone(s). though the craftsman used his in a
bracelet, you can adapt the instructions to your needs. rer