Stone inlay methods

Wondering about methods for inlaying gem materials into jewelry–are
there mechanical/design methods for shaping the material so it can be
incorporated into the piece without glue?

Has glue become an acceptable jewelry fabrication technique?

When you receive inlay jewelry that needs sizing or soldering, how
do you deal with glue?


Bill, to my mind inlay is more a matter of design than technique, if
you were to mechanically set the stones you might as well set cabs
which are much more friendly to setting than straight sided pieces of
stone cut to fit into an area for inlay. In inlay the metal is made
then the stone cut to fit the metal so an epoxy if some sort is the
only way to adhere the two different materials together. To
mechanically set stones the metal must be pushed in some fashion over
the edge of the stone.

Glue as a way to join inlay into a channel prepared to receive inlay
is really the only acceptable reason to use glue unless you are
making fashion jewelry which will hang on a rack in a department
stone. The use of glue in jewelry is only a fix (a poor fix in most
instances) or an attempt to keep costs to a bare minimum with labor
which is not trained to do actual inlay or mechanical stone setting.

When a piece comes in for repair which has inlay the inlay must be
removed with solvents prior to any high heat repairs being done.
Repairs usually involve high heat if they are done to last and the
piece is not riveted together in the first place.

Sam Patania

I do intarsia (and incorporate into jewelry). The individual parts of
the intarsia are glued to each other using CA glue during
construction, and asingle solid backing piece is used, with 2 part
epoxy. Of course, high quality adhesives are used. Over 15 plus
years, I’ve never had any issues with anything coming loose using
these methods. I suppose that after afew decades, any type of glue
might start to degrade a bit. There are methods of construction that
help secure the individual pieces mechanically, in addition to the
adhesives, as long as the edges are held by a continuous bezel.

Todd Welti Living Color Opals and Intarsia

Glue as a way to join inlay into a channel prepared to
receiveinlay is really the only acceptable reason to use glue... 

Sam, I inherited a Frances Begay sterling belt buckle with turquoise
and coral inlay. Is there a particular type/brand of glue used in
these types of inlays?

Linda in central FL

Five minute epoxy. Clear.


Linda I use 5 minute Epoxy for my inlay.