Stone Setting Question

Hi everybody! This list has been extraordinarily helpful in the
past, and I’m hoping it can come through for me again. Thanks to
everybody who’s helped me out so far.

Here’s my question: I saw, the other day, a stone that was set
oddly (oddly to me, anyway). It was a small round brilliant
diamond which appeared to be set below the surface of the
metal. Closer inspection revealed four tiny triangular spurs
which presumably held the stone in, although they were nearly
invisible from a distance. I ran home to look through my
textbooks, but couldn’t find anything matching the description…
it sounded like a cross between a gypsy setting and a half-done
bead setting (i.e., without the bead).

What is this kind of setting called, and how do you do it? I
liked the effect of having the piece studded with little diamond
stars, and would cheerfully attempt it if only I knew how. Help
please! :slight_smile: Thanks in advance to those who are older and wiser.


Hi Kieran, while I’m not precisely clear on what you saw, it
sounds like a kind of “fake” gypsy set, where they burred the
seat into the metal and drew beads with a graver straight down
onto the top, rather than burnish the metal over the edges of
the girdle. To try this, you’ll bur a seat just like you would
for a gypsy set, with the table of the stone just about even
with the metal. If possible, anneal your metal first, bur the
seat, and with an onglette graver - I prefer the 02 - grab just
the inside of your tubular hole and draw a tiny bead straight
down over the edge of the stone. Don’t push too hard at first -
draw your next bead directly opposite from the first, and then
finish the other two. You may wish to practice this with
synthetic stones at first, the graver just loves to slip out and
damage your stone. I hope this is clear enough and what you’re
looking for. If you prefer, shoot me an email and I’ll sketch
up a more precise diagram, scan it, and ship it off to
you. Happy setting, Mike

What is this kind of setting called, and how do you do it? I

Some of us call it “fake” setting… Some setters in a great
hurry and with little care as to the durability of a piece
sometimes will cut a plain seat for a stone, as though they were
going to burnish it in, or raise proper beads and all. But then
instead, using a flat graver, they pull those little spurs from
the wall of the seat. Very quick. Actually in some antique
work, it was considered appropriate technique, and you’ll
sometimes see old rose cut diamonds set with those little spurs
holding them in. Other times, stones will be loose, and the
nature of a setting may be such as to prevent proper raising of
new beads or tightening of old ones, and these cases, such little
spurs may also be of use. The spur raising process itself is
similar to that technique of raising what is called a “french
bead” in some books. It can be packed down into a decent looking
bead in addition to being left as a long thin spur of metal.
But it suffers from the fact that it is still just a thin curl of
metal held at only one small point, and there, by highly stressed
metal. In short, they’re not real secure. But they may,
sometimes, still have their place. Just use them with an
awareness of how light duty such a thin spur of metal actually

Peter Rowe

Hello Kieran, What you were looking at is actually called star
setting. Just cut a seat for the stone low enough so that it sits
below the surface of the metal. Dig a pointed graver into the
metal out from the stone a bit and push directly towards the
stone. You will raise a tiny bit of metal. When this little bit
is pushed against the stone; stop immediately. Bad things happen
when you push too far. You can raise as many of these bits of
metal as you like. If you raise four, start the bottom one out a
bit further from the stone. Then it will really look like a star. Have fun. Tom Arnold

hi, at first read this sounded like a star setting, but a staar
setting usually has large ‘rays’ extending away from the diamond.
i would suggest that it is what some call ‘french beads’. the
little triangular beads are raised from the wall of the hole with
a square graver.

best regards,
geo fox