Hello members on Orchid !
Here is MY version on “How To Set a Four Cornered Stone”. Lets put
away all of the lessons about the Princess Diamonds and their method
of setting. This method you will learn is totally different. This is
almost like a Four-Sided, bezel. It’s just that plain and simple.
What tools do you need to have at your bench? Not too mention their
variations, well here they are.
Pillar file #1 cut
Pillar file #2 cut
Round burs of ranges from #006 - #010
Pumice wheels of #180 grit, Flat edge and ‘Tapered Point’ edge.
Secure ring-holding device of YOUR choosing.
Metal pushing tool, preferably not copper…(too soft)
Do not use any Hand-Held, or Reciprocating Hammer! Metal pushing
device should have a serrated edge, on its pushing ‘face’.
First of all make very sure the stone in question is not
overpowering the bezel walls. WE do not wish to alter the bezel in
any way shape of form. This stone must almost sit inside the bezel
walls. Prior to letting the stone be placed inside and sometimes they
will get stuck inside and cause you much grief. Examine with your
10x power loupe at times. Examine that all of the internal setting
areas are totally free of any casting irregularities, bubbles, extra
shards of gold, or any defects caused by the casting process. This is
more than important, this allows no adverse setting problems, or loss
of the stone due to breaking or chipping.
I would ask you to now to use a randomly selected round bur and
remove any extra gold that does is not needed. These pieces can occur
right at the bezel base or at the junction of the wall. Let your bur
run fast and this way it will almost polish as it’s drilling. I would
also run a bur along the base of the wall at the same time.
Please examine the stone in question, do YOU feel that the stone is
going to meet at the corners of the bezel? If not, YOU should adjust
the bezel wall…not the final shape of the stone. Both the stone and
gold must meet at the same location, just prior to tightening. Here
comes the easy part, with your Pillar file #1 (rougher cut) thin out
the very top of the bezel wall. This must be only at the very top,
why? Glad you asked, so ‘we’ the setter won’t be pushing too hard as
to damage the with undo pressure and break the stone. I normally file
at a 45degree angle on the outside bezel wall tip. I want to press
over with just enough pressure as to not to break the stone. Now
comes the very important area of this whole process. The Four
Once you have ascertained that the stone can be placed INTO the
bezel. Allow some time as to see just exactly where the corners will
meet, it is at this axis or section at eh bezel is just where you
must now drill a hole. This hole will prevent any touching of the
stone to the bezel wall. I call this the “Floating Corners”. NO METAL
MUST COME IN CONTACT AT ANY TIME DURING, OR AFTER SETTING. Let me
just say that it is the sides of the bezel wall that is 'holding
Have you done your homework and judged for yourself how the bezel
wall and the base is cleaned. WE do not want any undo breakage of
this stone once the pressure is being put against the stone while
setting. I would at this point allow a smaller round bur and create a
side or oval opening of the four corners. This will allow some wider
distribution of the girdle mass of the stone and along the
bezel…I will now request that you use a #008 round bur and create
a bearing cut, or groove to allow if the stone has a slight girdle.
We are not speaking of a Cabochon in this case, but a faceted stone,
To identify a ‘well prepared’ stone setting, please make sure if the
four corners are matching against the bezel walls. Are your newly
made bearing cuts in line and not deviating from the symmetry of the
girdle? If this is accurately accomplished, I would now place the
stone in the bezel. Hoping that the stone is not ‘rocking’…this is
due to an absence of the cleaning care with your round burs during
the preparation process. With this “hand-pushing” you can easily even
set an Opal, baring any internal inclusions.
Place your stone in the bezel, Now with your metal pusher, not the
hammer at this point. Start to press the filed metal right beside the
actual corner, NOT AT THE CORNER at this moment. We are now pressing
over a total of “8 contacts”, not just four.
These two “contacts” are just on each side of the bezel corner, got
this so far? You will have little difficulty with the metal being
shaved off at a 45degree angle. Your pushing tool must be rocking
over the metal towards the stone. Do not let the metal pusher
actually TOUCH the stone. With any bezel, make sure all the gold is
over and touching the facets of the stone.
Now once the stone is being totally tightened all around the 4
sides, GENTLY and with great care, lightly press, or mold over the
actual corner and let the gold “sit against” the stone. But with
extreme care not to push hard over the stone, trust me, you will have
great anxiety if the stone breaks. Those strange words cannot be
mentioned on Orchid…:>)
Once the stone is now set and secured, use your finer cut, Pillar
file #2 cut and file to smooth-over the gold and remove most of the
"pushing marks". Use a file against your finger pad, try not to let
your file touch the stone. Another way to damage the stone too. Once
most of the marks have been removed, use now your Flat edged Pumice
wheel with a #180 grit, and smooth the surface. There should me no
marks at this point to look at. With your Tapered, Pumice wheel just
do a ‘touch-up’ on any indentations surrounding the setting.
Remember, the FOUR corners are to be used only as an illusion, the
maximum holding is done by basically the FOUR walls.
Hope that this has been a help to all. Also remember this is my
perspective on “How set a Four-Cornered Stone”. This can be used as
an ‘alternative’ stone technique…