I hope you can advise me. I got this commission to build a custom
setting for a 60 carat custom cut rock crystal that the client wants
to give his girlfriend. They saw my work at a gallery and liked the
aesthetic. This rock was cut by the client's dad in Australia. Took
2 months to cut. It is six sided, like a big triangle with the points
cut off. Every facet on it is a triangle. Every single one. The
stone is very deep and steep.
There is no "table" on the stone, per se. There are triangular facets
on the top. There is really only a "girdle" on the 3 straight sides.
The 3 sides where the points of the triangle would be have been is
fat, wide, low, equilateral triangular facet which reminds me of a
pediment on a Greek temple.
They wanted a minimalist setting, so I built a cradle out of 3 pieces
of 12 ga round wire. This would go up the long triangle facets on
each of the short sides and around the triangle facet (where the
girdle would be) and hold in the stone. Plus they wanted an
aesthetically balanced bail. Which I made, with a small ruby at the
I filed the inside of the cradle flat on all 3 sides so it would sit
against the flat facets on the stone's sides. I carved a seat for
the bottom of the pediment facet and realized I needed to carve out a
place for the point of the pediment. So this I did. I had to attach
the bail to the cradle and I did that, putting it up on a ring so the
ruby can be seen, as the stone is so steep you would otherwise not
You know where this is going, right? Setting the stone, using finger
pressure only to bend the carved prongs over, I chipped one of the
pediment facets! A pretty good sized chip. My chest hurts and my
stomach is in knots.
The chip could be covered by a prong and the stone would be
completely wearable - you would not see it. And how do I tell them? I
cannot replace the stone, it is custom-cut by the dad! I put it aside
while I looked in the medicine cabinet for poison (just kidding!),
and went back down to look at it again and I am afraid to touch it.
Clearly this plan did not work. What other kinds of prongs can I
make for this thing? If I manage to set it, I will give it free. How
could I possibly charge them for it?
What do I do?
Mary Ferrulli Barker
Pianeta Jewelry or (maybe formerly Pianeta Jewelry)
To begin with, I have been setting all kinds of stones for almost 30
years and I would NOT have touched this unless they knew it was "At
customer's risk ONLY"! Also I would have told them about the risks,
but that is, as we say, "looking up a dead cat's ass!" The stone is
still chipped. Tell them ASAP! Then work on solutions. There are
custom stone cutters out there that may repair it if the customer
Can you send pictures? And what is the stone?
Steve Cowan Arista Designs LLC
Oh Mary- By the time I got through the first paragraph I could feel
my stomach lurch and heart rate rise. I knew what was coming. I so
feel your distress.
Call the customer and tell them what happened and then contact a
GOOD stone faceter and have the chip repaired. Then buy a very nice
stone/rock specimen stand and a glass dome like they hang old watches
under for display only and give it to them. It'll cost you maybe 100
bucks to make this right, but your reputation depends on how you
handle situations like this.
This falls under the "when to say no" rule that I wish someone had
taught me when I was new in the jewelry biz. I never set a stone I'm
not willing or able to replace without an informed release from the
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
try a tension setting. since i have no idea what the stone looks
like or your "aesthetic" i can't help! just use channel or half a
tube to make a channel for 2 sides of the triangle or points on the
stone. Use the flexshaft to carve the angles of the stone so it
appears tension set and use spring metal if you don't want to use
bezel strip, gallery etc.
stick that on "your aesthetic" bail. main thing sounds like light
from all sides so a mounting around the centre only in a cut corner/
modified trilliant setting - photo would help