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Setting Princess Cut Diamond

Hi Everyone! I really need a little help on this one. I have to set
a .72 ct. princess cut diamond in a custom engagement ring I am
making. My problem is I have never set one before! Yikes!! The head
I am using is a 18 k 4 claw Princess Center Head, it has the little
V-corners and sits fairly high. I really don’t want to send it out
because I have no guarentees if they chip it plus I need to learn it
anyway. I am casting the ring today and then have to do the bead
setting so if you can answer me fairly quickly so I have the answers
before I try to set the stone. (I thought I saw a thread on this
before but when I went to the archives I couldn’t find a detailed

Thanks in advance, Tara from Vancouver, BC Canada where it’s an
absolutely awesome day

Hi Tara,

Use a small drill or ball bur to make a small relief hole in each
prong where the point of the princess will sit. Use a 45 degree
bearing bur to cut your seat in each v-prong, making sure it will
align your princess point with the open hole it will sit in. Make
sure your culet isn’t going to touch the bottom of your crown and set
your stone into the crown. Pull the opposite prongs together (very
slowly and carefully)until the stone “raises up” into it’s proper
seat. You then pinch the v-caps together to tighten your stone. Be
careful - those little points sure do break easy.

Mike Rogers

There are a couple of safe ways to do it so your choice should
be based on the draft angle of the prongs and the quality of the
stone. Any way you do it, the trick is to apply the pressure to
the girdle away from the points and not on the crown and pavilion
as you would with most other stones.

Check the corners of the stone for fractures or any other
weakness you can find and look at the eveness of the girdle. If
you find a weak corner (fractures, etc. from cutting and
polishing the stone), make sure you know where that is when you
set the stone since that is the corner you don’t want to apply
any pressure on. Also, knowing where the girdle is thickest will
tell you which corner can apply the most pressure to all the
others. Mrk the setting with a magic marker for all the weak

Then determine where you want the table to land when finished so
you know where the points must seat. With the stone in the
setting about where you want it seated, either scribe a line
across the two points of the vee or mark a small relief hole in
the crook of the vee with an 005 or smaller ball bur. (I normally
scribe a line since I have the stone in place and can’t get to
the crook.)

Take an 012 to an 016 hart bur and cut into the vee vertically
until the edge of the bur just reaches the center of the crook.
(this will create a little football standing on end.) The reason
for the vertical cut is to provide some relief for the both the
crown and pavilion keels allowing the facets themselves to hold
the stone.

Try the stone now and see if there is any friction on any of the
points or resistance on any of the pavilion keels. If it is a
good stone, this is all the cutting you should have to do but if
you have a weak corner, you can now add an extra cut (but you
don’t have to do it to all the corners).

Take the same hart bur and now cut an horizontal mark out to
about two thirds the distance to the edge of the vee. (put the
cut in the center of your vertical football). This will move the
pressure outwards along the girdle and away from the weak corner.

Open the setting up so that two of the touching corners can
slide into their seats allowng the other two to drop down into
theirs. (Don’t ever try to “snap” the stone in.). Move the
diagonal prongs closer together until the stone is either tight
or at least locked into the seats. If the stone is tight, don’t
do anything else. If it is not, don’t keep trying to squeeze them
together. Instead, draw the individual vee’s together by
pinching them slightly where they touch the exposed part of the

Center and finish off the prongs as you normally would. There’s
a million ways to skin a cat, this is the way I normally do.

John Gavin Findings, Inc.

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