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Setting marquis cabochons


I am making a pendant that incorporates a marquis (navette) cut
turquoise cabochon, which I purchased from Stachura. I have made the
bezel setting and it is soldered to the pendant body. I am concerned
about how to set around the corners as I want them to stay sharp,
and not look like an oval. Do I need to cut tiny slits? If so, how
big? I’ve searched through the books I have, and this forum, however
I could not find any info. on bezel setting of marquis stones.

Also, I am hoping to make a lapis lazuli drop to go at the bottom of
the pendant. I have a top drilled lapis lazuli briolette (which is
approx 20x7mm in size and 3mm in diameter at the top) and I would
like to have the top set in a ‘cone’, but again, I cannot find any
info on fabricating the cone. I tried making my own (from a formula
from a Tim McCreight’s book), however it was unsuccessful, due to its
size, which I would like to be approx 4mm high. Is there a special
tool that makes these cups or maybe I can buy them as a finding?

Thank you very much in advance.
Best wishes,

Hi Lilia,

The following is based on my own experience and figuring out what
works best for me. When bezel setting any shape with corners -
princess cut, pear, marquise - I follow the same rules. The first
rule I use (and this is for any bezel setting of any stone, whether
it be faceted or cabochon, and in any shape) is to only have the
minimum height necessary to turn onto the stone in order to secure
it. If you have too much height extending above the curve of the
cabochon, there will be an excess of metal to turn and you’ll have
great difficulties eliminating gaps.

I personally use a flat faced prong pusher and hammer, using gentle
persuasion from the hammer. I would gently secure the stone in place
by turning the bezel in partially on the stone’s sides. Then I do the
same gentle hammer and punch strike on the corners - VERY GENTLE so
as not to break the stone’s corners. Go back to the centres of the
sides and turn the metal in more. You will then have four gaps where
the remainder of the metal needs to be turned in, between the
centres of the stone’s sides and the corners. It’s very important to
push the metal in the right direction for the desired effect. Using
the punch and hammer, gently push this metal away from the corners,
towards the centres of the stone’s sides. So from just to the left of
the top corner, push the metal towards the stone’s left centre. From
the right of the top corner, push the metal towards the stone’s right
centre. From the left of the bottom corner, push the metal towards
the stone’s left centre and from the right of the bottom corner, push
the metal towards the stone’s right centre. I always look at things
through the loupe at this stage to identify any bits which need
turning/compressing a bit more, to make sure that the bezel is closed
properly. It also identifies any lumps and bumps which need to be
smoothed out, which may not be visible to the naked eye. Once the
metal is turned onto the stone successfully, I carefully go around
with the hammer and punch again, using sideways strokes, so as to
burnish the metal, again going in the directions as stated above.
This smoothes out those lumps and bumps left by the tools and which
were identified with the loupe. This method leaves the corners nice
and crisp and does not necessitate cutting any ugly slits in the
bezel walls. I have never yet found the need to cut slits in bezels
to accommodate corners.

I’m not sure about the cone situation as I’ve not yet tried to make
a cone.


Hi Helen,

Many thanks for your reply and apologies for not replying sooner. I
too think that the slits on the corners look rather unattractive. I
will definitely try your method. I found that the bezel setting I
made is too high, unfortunately :-(, so there will be a sanding job

Best wishes,

I found that the bezel setting I made is too high, unfortunately
:-(, so there will be a sanding job first.

You could consider raising the stone instead of lowering the bezel.
A piece of suitable-gauge wire laid around the inside perimeter of
the bezel will lift the stone, giving more of a feeling of volume.
No need to solder the wire in. Best of all, you can try the stone on
top of a wire (without closing the bezel) and see how it looks, then
make up your mind. Different thickness wire? Sand down the bezel?
Your choice!