Helen- A blue princess cut sounds lovely.
I just finished teaching a workshop in prong setting faceted stones
and the princess cut is a fun challenge. Everyone has their own way
of doing things. This is what works for me.
You don’t need much for tools.
You’ll need a small ball burr. Really small. Like 1/2 mm. You will
also need a flat graver. I like a 38-42 size with a well polished
belly. You will also need a prong pusher and a pair of stone setting
pliers. Tim and I love using the smallest pair of channel lock pliers
they make. We soften the teeth and edges a bit before using.
You can buy them online from Amazon. The jaw is only 1/2 inch and
the full length is 4 1/2 inches. They cost about 10-15 dollars. There
is an article in MJSA Journal from April 2011 “Secret Shop Weapons”
with photos about our use of these.
The first thing I do is blacken the inside of the v caps with a
Then I scribe where I want my girdle height on the inside of the
The marks/ lines show up better against the black background. Then
take your tiny ball burr and go straight into the middle of the v cap
about half way through. This will free your corners so that they
float rather than get pinched. For the stone to have a nice seat I
take my flat graver and remove metal from the bottom of each notch.
I’ll attach a quick sketch.
Once the stone is seated take your pliers and catch just the tops of
the opposite prongs and bring them straight up. This should capture
the stone in place and it should be tight and ready to trim. Do not
try to bend the v caps over. Then with a #2 or finer cut file flatten
the tops of the v caps to the height you want. Then take your graver
and just like setting a marquis clean up the inside of the v caps so
that there is a pretty and shiny inside bevel right down to the top
of the stone. In the process of cutting the inside bevel you may
loosen the stone as you push outward on the inside edges. Don’t
panic. Just push them back with your pliers or a pusher. If it
refuses to tighten I will take a pair of needle nose pliers and very
very gently squeeze the sides of the v cap right at the girdle
height. this will also take care of any bulge you might have in the
v cap where it is bent. Be very careful doing this bit. Then file
your outside bevels.
Before you do the blue diamond I would recommend that you practice
with CZs and silver v caps a couple of times.
Oh and Mazel Tov to the happy couple.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.