I've just finished cutting a large oval turquoise cab and
bezel-setting it into a sterling silver ring. In the course of
that, I met with a recurring problem, actually a set of problems,
namely, scratching the stone when cleaning up the top of the bezel,
and getting the bezel top perfectly smooth even and uniform.
Try cutting narrow strips of masking tape (4 or 5mm wide). Carefully
press the tape right up to your bezel and protect your stone by
pressing the tape down. It doesn’t matter if there are little crimps
in the tape over the stone so long as the contact to the bezel is
perfect. You can then cut a piece of tape to cover the center portion
of the stone.
The tape provides a little protection against inadvertant scuffs. I
use extra fine plastic-backed sanding discs that I buy through my
dentist to get rid of tiny flaws. My dentist lets me look through his
catalogs and orders my stuff when he puts his regular orders through.
Apparently, the dental suppliers will only sell to licensed dentists.
I then use felt plastic-backed snap-on discs from Gesswein (purple
felt) with various compounds to prepolish the bezel. Then I use a
very sharp SHOFU brownie silicone (Frei and Borel carries these dental
trade mounted silicone abrasives)wheel and touch up the edge. Finally,
I use soft MK brushes with rouge to polish. If at any time the tape
is getting a bit thin, I retape. The whole gist is to protect against
very minor, fleeting contact with the stone. I feel that files, even
with a safety edge, are dangerous. I use these tactics with black
coral, opal, mabes, lapis and other fragile, easily scratched stones.
Hope this helps, Donna Shimazu
P.S. Hanuman, I hope you get the contribution I mailed on Monday. I
mistakenly spelled the road Sutisam instead of Sutisarn. Please let
me know if you get it within the next week or so. If not, I’ll put a
stop and mail another check. Thanks for all you do for us.