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Smooth Clean Bezel on Soft Stone

Hans Durstling

Hans, The first recommendation that I would like to make is to use
fine silver for your bezel. It is a lot softer and easier to work than
sterling silver. Two or three mm x 30 ga. bezel strip works well. Make
sure that the bezel fits the stone very well. The sides of the bezel
should be high enough to hold the stone securely but not so high that
the metal would crimp when you set the stone. Drill a small hole in
the seat of the stone so that you can place the stone in the bezel and
check the fit, if you need to make adjustments just use a tooth pick
in the hole to push the stone out of the bezel. Do as much finishing
on the edge of the bezel as possible BEFORE the stone is set. When
sanding the edge of the bezel sand in a circular motion to get a very
flat edge.

When you are ready to set the stone use a very smooth and highly
polished burnisher. On one side push the bezel over onto the stone go
directly across from that spot and push the bezel over onto the stone.
Do this one more time at the top and bottom of the stone. Now your
stone should be stable, you can complete the setting process with out
worry about the stone shifting. As you work to completely push the
bezel over onto the stone hold the burnisher at an angle so that you
are touching the metal not the stone. This should give you a very
smooth edge on the metal and protect the stone.

Cathy Wheless