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Step bezel


I have recently purchased some step bezel wire from Rio to make open
back pendants. I must be doing something wrong because I cannot get
the bezel to form over my stones. The whole assembly bends over
rather than just the top part of the bezel. Does anyone have any
suggestions? I like the look of the step bezel but I need to get it
to hold the stone in place.

Gerry Koshman


Step bezels are a bit tricky. The fit must be really snug around the
stone so much so that you’ll actually have to apply pressure to push
the stone into the bezel form to seat it on the step. When forming
the metal around the stone with your setting tool (I like a brass
bezel rocker), apply pressure to the opposite of side of the bezel
form to keep the shape of the form. I’ve found that round and perfect
ovals seem to be easiest to set with step bezel wire. Another way to
achieve an “open back” setting is to solder bezel wire to a flat
sheet that has been punched/sawed through. The back will not be
totally open, but for stones like rutile quartz or amber, there is
enough light coming through to really show off the beauty of the
stone. Keep trying - I ruined a good ounce of step bezel wire before
I succeeded in securely setting a piece of piece of jasper.

Andrea Krause


In the step bezel the stone should set on the ledge. You might need
to reduce the height of the metal over the stone and also thin it
out with a file if it is too thick to bend over. Putting a back on it
would definitely help with keeping the base of the bezel stronger


Gerry- I need more info to help. How large and what shape are your
stones? What are you using to push the bezel over? Are you securing
the base of the bezel in shellac while you set? Have fun and make lots
of jewelry.

Jo Haemer


I am actually starting work on mounting an intarsia in 14k gold
stepped bezel. I started to bend the bezel around the intarsia, like
I would if it were fine silver that I normally use, then stopped. I
haven’t used step bezel before and not tons of experience using 14k
bezel. The bezel is onthe thick side (.012" step thickness), and I
don’t want to solder to a back plate (too heavy). SO, I am
interested in this subject too! In my case the piece to be set has
very sharp corners, adding to the difficulty I guess. I thought
perhaps I should file a notch in the bezel at the corners to make it
bend easier. I could round the corners of the intarsia slightly I
guess. Any other suggestions welcome.

Todd Welti Living Color Opal and Intarsia


If you have sharp corners Definetly put notches in the corners for

You can cut them right through to get cleaner corners, then solder
them back together. Leave a little extra length on the edges cause
nothing is worse than making a custom bezel and the stone won’t fit
in it when your done.



Why would you pierce the bezel wall? It is quite favourable to use a
#007 round bur. Then you can drill a little hole into the corner of
the bezel, but not through. I suppose you’re setting a square stone,
am I right? If you decide to cut through, the solder might squeeze
(when it’s solid) the corners of the stone & shatter the Princess

Gerry Lewy


Not pierce but mitre the corners. If the wire is thin enough to get
a clean bend then don’t. The ball bur makes room for the corner of
the gem.

That’s setting, that’s next


Maybe just cut through the step part (at the bottom)? Might not look
quite as neat though. I would rather just thin the stepped bezel at
the corners, but not sure how much to remove.