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Stone setting and enamels

Hi. Hoping someone can offer me some advice. I just joined this community after a long break from something I deeply love - and that is creating jewelry. I am currently inspired to work on an enamel pendant on fine silver, and would really like to set a six mm faceted stone in a bezel setting as an accent. My question is, will the bezel wire hold up under the firing process if it is a round oasis surrounded by the glass? Is it recommended to drill a hole on the plate to add vibrance and light to the stone? Also, assuming I solder prior to the first layer of enamel, what solder temp is recommended? And, what is IT solder, an unfamiliar term which I saw suggested someplace else…? I know it’s tricky as so many stones are sensitive to heat but I’d love to include stones in my work. I’m looking for any advice, ideas, and suggestions! Thanks so much!



I highly recommend getting the following books on enameling to get you started:

“The Art Of Enameling” by Linda Darty

“Enamels, Enameling, Enamelisys” by Glenice Lesley Matthews


There are a number of threads in our archives regarding enameling, Eutectic solder and IT solder. Click on the magnifying glass located on the upper right to begin a search.

Another option when using fine silver is to fuse the bezel on the backplate, no solder needed.

In addition, Barbara Lewis’s version of torch enameling includes information about allowing the enamel to attach and hold together pieces of metal, instead of using solder. This idea vaguely reminds me of cloisinne, but I doubt a bezel would remain securely embedded in the enamel when you push on the bezel wire to set the stone.

Setting the stone would be my last step after the enameling is finished, and I would never heat the stone.

I wonder if drilling a hole in a fine silver backplate would contribute to undermining the strength of the entire plate? I’m thinking specifically about stretching enough to lose the stone. I would consider setting the entire enameled piece into a bezel.

In addition to our archives, you can also search our learning center. Here is an example, a search for enameling:

Stones need an opening underneath them but not for light. Most modern cut
stones reflect light back because of the angles of the facets.
The hole is needed to get the stone clean when necessary.
As for the bezel, make it out of fine .999 silver. Fuse the side seam of
the bezel and then use IT solder to solder that to the base.
IT solder is made to stand up to enameling temps as well as containing
very little if any zinc so that the enamel will take to it.
Stones cannot withstand the enamel temps so the stone should be set after
the piece is enameled.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer

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Another option is to make the bezel a mechanical connection that is done after the enameling. I see this in many older pieces. the opening in the back depends on the stone. Is it a clear faceted stone then yes. Is it an opaque cab then no. Is it a translucent or transparent cab, depends, look at it on backgrounds and without.