Tube setting 101

Hello all,

I have a few questions regarding tube setting (sterling for now) a
faceted stone. Have already armed myself with Charles’ great
detailed tutorial but not sure about the tubing itself. Is there a
thick walled tubing that’s generally used for this purpose? And
where can one get it? I’d like to try setting a 4mm peridot first,
so how do you order the right size of tubing from a catalog for that
size of stone without the benefit of tubes physically in hand to
match the stone to? This is probably more simple than it looks from
here, sure hope so anyway. I also plan to insert the tubing into a
hole drilled in nephrite, so no soldering will be involved.

I will be grateful for any helpful suggestions anyone is willing to

Thanks so much, Carol

I guess you could literally set a stone into standard tubing - maybe
some do. I believe, though, that you have a misunderstanding. There
is a setting that is called a “Tube Setting”. It looks like tubing,
but on the inside it has what looks like another piece of tubing
that is a bit lower than flush, forming the beginning of a bearing -
it is one piece of metal, though. You could actually use tubing, but
the precision necessary to hang a stone by it’s girdle on thin tubing
is daunting. Those settings are supplied in mm sizes, too.

A simple search of the Orchid Archives entering “tube settings” in
the search field reveals there are at least 100 archived posts
referencing this topic.

Take a few minutes to read through some of them, it is quite likely
there is some very helpful on this subject already
available in the archives.

Michael David Sturlin

Hi Carol,

Could you please let us know where could we find this Charle’s tube
setting tutorial, until now I have been trying to set some stones
but I worked the silver around the proper size mandrel. I would like
to know which is that other tutorial.

Thanks to all,
Thor Hedderich

Why don’t you just buy the bezels from someplace like Hoover and
Strong which are effectively just like tubing with a predrilled seat?
Then you don’t have to worry about the other issues.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi Carol

so how do you order the right size of tubing from a catalogue for
that size of stone without the benefit of tubes physically in hand
to match the stone to? 

I have done lots of tube setting, but usually with smaller stones,
say 2 mm No reason why you can not tube set a 4 mm stone. The trick is
to get a tube that will give you enough tube wall to provide a seat
for your stone as well as allow you to have enough left over on the
outside to push over your stone (like a bezel) to secure the stone. I
am assuming that the stone you want to set is round ie brilliant
cut. You need to measure your stone diameter with a calliper in order
to make sure that it is really 4 mm in diameter. The inner diameter
(ID) of the tube must be smaller than the stone diameter. The outer
diameter (OD) of the tube must be larger than the diameter of the
stone. For a 4 mm stone I would recommend a wall thickness of about
0.4 mm or more. This would mean that the inner diameter would be
about 3.6 mm and the outer diameter would be about 4.4 mm Wall
thickness is (OD-ID)/2

I looked in the Rio Catalogue The closest I could find was their
0.188" tube (item #100-905). Note the catalogue is in inches and not
millimetres Unfortunately, this tube is not suitable for a 4 mm stone
The tube has an OD of.188" (4.77mm), and ID of 0.156" (3.96 mm) and
a wall thickness of 0.016" (0.4 mm) This tube would be suitable for a
4.3 or 4.4 mm stone

I could not find anything in the Rio catalogue that would work on a
4 mm stone.

You will have to check other supply houses for a tube with the
dimensions that I suggested.

Good luck finding the tube you need.

Milt Fischbein
Calgary Alberta

H Thor,

You can see articles on setting at Ganoksin here:

the tube setting one is here


Hi Thor,

The tube setting tutorial is right here on the Ganoksin website at
the following link:

Hope it helps you out, Carol

I think you might be able to get suitable tubing at

And you might be able to ‘fake it’ by using nesting tubing if you
cant find suitable thick walled tubing.

Of course, you could always make the thick walled tubing yourself.

Ivy S. Fasko
Contemporary Handcrafted Jewelry

I have had success in special cases by soldering a closed jump ring
inside a tube of the right diameter before cutting a seat This was
for larger stones


I’d like to extend thanks for all of the responses to my questions
about tubing used to tube set a stone. Looks like Metalliferous
(thanx again Ivy!) has a variety of heavy-walled round tubing and
they even tell you what mm size of stone each one is suited for.
Excellent! can’t ask for better than that.

Thanks again and by the way I discovered this weekend that the
latest issue of Art Jewelry magazine has a “how to” article on tube
setting that starts on page 66 if any other beginners out there are
interested. Talk about serendipity!

Orchid rocks, Carol in New Orleans