Help! One of my co-workers just gave me 1,400 $ worth of
tanzanite to set in a necklace for his wife. This would be a neat
project but its a bit over my head. Any suggestions? Normally I
use cabachons and am a bit leery about these. For a special piece
like this do you all usually hand make all the settings or do you
order them already made? Is white gold very difficult to work
with? Thanks in advance!
Show your co-worker some of your work to make sure his wife will
like your style of jewelry. I was on tenterhooks a couple weeks
ago about a ring I made for a couple- I faxed crude drawings back
and forth, got a budget, shopped for the stones (faceted
sapphire, 2 emerald cabs and diamond mele) carved and finished a
wax casting- luckily it was (very!) well received.
...And tanzanites will look so nice in matte finished 18k yellow
gold bezels.... (selling tip!)- (You could use 18k palladium
white which is also easy to set, can be soldered with high
temperature high karat white solders, and would work with
tanzanite color-wise, or a white/yellow combo which would be
stunning.) Complete the piece if necessary with an 18k chain
(Herco in CA has a nice selection).
It does sound like a project that will either be a great
learning experience or a possible nightmare (a disastrous
In general you should hand make the settings so that they fit
and support the stones correctly- tanzanites are a bit brittle
and a relatively soft stone. Inspect your client's stones for
proper cutting and relatively thick girdles (a plus in this
case)- a knife edged shallow cut tanzanite represents more than a
challenge to setting....
How many stones, and what sizes and cutting shapes, what color
Good luck with it- good easily be a wonderful chance to make a
Richard D. Hamilton
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography