Safe stone setting is more about the seat than the metal holding
This is a great point Jo. This is something I really need to work on.
I've put so much work into perfecting my bezels, but my stone seats
leave a lot tobe desired. They're fine if I'm setting a precision cut
round, faceted stone into a bezel I've made, as a setting burr will
sort out the seat nicely, but for fancy shaped stones or something
like a fragile opal, I wouldn't knowhow to go about making the
perfect seat! I'm guessing that a fragile stone set into an imperfect
setting, with one accidental tap on the stone, you'd belucky if you
didn't end up with your lovely opal being broken. Food for thought! I
shall be watching out for any tips to do with this.
I will pass on one tip, that Kate Wolf teaches in her wax carving
classes, and one I have seen Blaine Lewis use for stone setting in
one of his video tutorials.
First mark you stone and the setting with a sharpie, so you will be
placing the stone into the metal in the same orientation ever time.
After you have roughed out you seat for the gemstone, mark the
inside of you bezel, or other setting with black ink. A sharpie or
art pen works.
Then place your stone back into the setting, carefully letting bind
or rock. Now remove the stone and under magnification study the
bezel or setting, to see where the gemstone has removed the black
Those "cleaned" spots are your contact points, and there is where
you need to focus you removal of metal.
Repeat this process as often as it takes to get your final tight but
perfect fit, removing just tiny bits of the offending metal each
I use this technique nearly daily when setting valuable, fragile of