Silver Settings to practice on

Hi to all,

I am just starting to set stones that I facet and was wondering if
anyone knew where I can buy inexpensive silver earrings or pendants
with prongs that are not prenotched to practice on before I try the
gold settings. All the ones I have seen advertised Tripps, Rio
Grande, etc. are prenotched. I am sure there is a source out there
but I haven’t found it yet. Thanks for any help.


I bought a tool for making (almost) any size 4, or 6 prong settings
from wire (round or square). It’s a small anvil-like device with
different heads for different settings. I think I bought it from FDJ
via the web (but, not positive). You may find it elsewhere but, it’s
not expensive and easy to use. With one of these, a torch and file,
you can crank out settings for the cost of wire & a little of your

Good luck


“I bought a tool for making (almost) any size 4, or 6 prong settings
from wire (round or square).”

Can you post your method for using it. I have one too but I’m afraid
that I’m never very satisfied with the results.

I’m sure that I’m going about things in the wrong way and some advice
would be very helpful.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Randy, other than the practice of cutting the seats, there is not much
to be gained by practicing on Silver. The gold works differently. It
has different elastic properties, and is harder than the silver. Also
the term Practice would indicate that you would like to eventually set
the stone in Gold and would have to remove it from a silver setting at
some time. The process of setting a stone exposes it to some danger
of chipping or scratching. Removing a stone from the setting also
espouses it to some danger. If you want do some practice settings,
ones that would not be used for jewelry, I would suggest that you
purchase some gold heads and set some CZs or Birth stones. If you
crunch one, you haven’t lost much. I am not sure of the sizes of
stones you are talking about but as you facet them yourself, I would
guess that they are 5mm and above. you can pick up a 5mm round head
in either 14KW or 14KY for around $10.00. You can solder it to a
piece of scrap and use that as a practice.   When you are
finished, you can cut the prongs below the stone and sell the remains
of the setting for scrap prices. When you set your own stone, set it
once and don’t mess with it again.

Tony, Indeed, the instructions were worthless and I had the same
trouble to begin with. The one I have is called a "Claw Setting Jig"
I have successfully been making the sizes around 1ct and I’ll try to
explain what I’m doing. 1. Put the appropriate jig (4 or 6 prong) in
the stand. 2. Select a cover that fits down at or below the jig top
to hold wires in while forming. 3. Cut a wire (about 17ga or 1X1 mm
square ) so it bottoms out in the jig slot and will bend at the top to
slightly past centerline. 4. Cut remaining wires the same length and
file both ends. The part that will fold on top the jig will end up
filed at a slight point so they all meet. Confirm your fit/length
then cut as many as you’ll want to make in a sitting. 5. After folding
all togather to fit on top, I set it on an anvil and hammer it to
tighten the fit. You won’t have to spend near as much time fitting if
you do this way. 6. Flux & solder all ends togather with hard solder.
Use pliers to pull off and pickle. Your jig will be very hot and
holds heat long so be careful. (I won’t explain why I know). 7.
Spread and trim prongs to fit your stone size then mount your

You can solder a wire around the setting (halfway down) if you plan
on leaving it tall. That will help its stability.

I hope this helps. After the first couple, it goes a lot quicker and
it is a good way to cover many sizes with smaller stock or make a
quick replacement. Regis