Setting round stones into titanium ring

Hi all,

I’ve never worked with titanium and today a client approached me to
have three stones (round, approx 3.5mm) set into a titanium band. The
band is domed, like a wedding band, seems to have been turned on a
lathe, and is already provided with three funnel shaped holes where
the stones would go. One stone is to be an amethyst, the second a
garnet, the third a sapphire. The first two are comparatively soft. A
first round of googling suggests that titanium is seriously brittle
when & requires considerable force to deform which in turn could put
the softer stones at risk.

It seems to me there are three options. One, I could set in a tube
of softer metal & gypsy/flush set the stone into that in the usual
way. Two, I could take my chances working the titanium and bead set,
three, I could take my chances with the titanium and the softer
stones & gypsy/flush set.

For the sake of the look of the thing I’m inclined to favor the
gypsy set. But - is that do-able at all? What would be the risks, and
are there any special “tricks” in gypsy setting into titanium? In a
more general way, what would you guys recommend: inset a softer metal
tube, or bead setting, or gypsy?

Cheers all and thanks in advance
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

I have tried various methods, I would not recommend ‘gypsy’ setting
unless you have an air graver as the force you need to raise the metal
is extreme and you cant make mistakes with titanium.

For small stones I have drilled a vertical setting so the stone will
sit some way down on a prepared seat, I then take a very sharp fine
graver and working at a shallow angle raised a ‘hair’ which is pushed
down on to the pavilion area close to the girdle by raising the angle
of the cut. Do three or four of these and you will be hard pressed to
remove the stone, I have heard it called a ‘moustache’ setting.

I have also made chenier bezels that fit into a vertical hole in the
ring, I leave a small seat just before touching the base of the hole,
then run a diamond shaped burr (lots of lubricant) round just above
the seat and burr out a fairly deep groove going down to the seat to
about 1/3 of the thickness of the ring. The chenier should be tightly
fitting in the hole, cut off the required length about 1mm above the
top of the hole and using a small prepared cone superglued on to one
jaw of a pair of parallel pliers. Insert the cone into the hole so
that it touches the chenier, apply pressure with pliers to the
protruding top of the chenier, The cone should open the chenier to
lock it into the hole. Proceed as with a normal setting. I call this
method reverse setting with chenier. This technique may require a bit
of practice to get the proportions correct, in other material. I have
done some fairly expensive rings like this. Perhaps a touch of
superglue in the prepared groove between the titanium and the

David Cruickshank (Australia)

It is time to decide where you want your business to go, I turn down
all titanium and steel jewelry. I did sell titanium wedding bands a
short time and after spending two hours with a customer for a $75.00
band I pulled them all and no more titanium. If you decide to take
the job you need to charge what you would normally charge for setting
a diamond in a gold ring. Just because it is a $50 titanium band does
not mean you should work cheaper. If someone wants me to size a
silver ring I charge the same for sizing down that I do for a gold

Bill Wismar