- You can use it to set stones of opaque or translucent quality.
- It works for most flat-backed stones as well as faceted stones, cut stones, or smooth cabochons.
- You can make the inner bezel from thicker metal if your stone needs a wider ‘seat’ to sit on.
- You can make this setting for most shapes of stones, with a little practice.
- You can incorporate this setting into virtually any kind of jewellery, from rings to necklaces…it all depends on your own ability and skill level.
2. Mark out a strip of metal to the width that you have set in step 1. The length needs to be long enough to wrap around the circumference of your stone but allow much more to play with. The metal needs to be really thin, thin enough that you can easily cut it with scissors, thin enough to eventually rub over your stone with ease, but not so thin that it would quickly melt when you solder it onto your piece of work….this will vary according to your ability and how bulky the item you are soldering onto is.
3. Cut it out with scissors or snips. Now use some narrow flat-nose pliers to bend the strip into a square for a square / rectangular / triangular etc shaped stone. Use round or half-round pliers for round, oval etc stones, or a combination of pliers for unusual shaped stones. Match the strip up to the stone to check you are creating the right shape. Gently anneal the strip if you’ve work-hardened the metal with over shaping and re-shaping.
4. You can see here that I’ve made 2 of the corners for this faceted square CZ stone and I’m matching the strip up to stone before marking in pencil where the next bend needs to be. Decide when looking at your mark at this point, whether you are going to place your pliers on one side of the line, on the line, or to the other side of the line….it can make a big difference to how your setting looks, but notice how many stones are not as geometric and perfect as they may at first appear to be!
5. Here you can see the finished square next to its owner. You may notice that the stone is narrower across the lower length…it is not as square as it first appeared.
6. Here is the stone in its Bezel that we have just made. It’s a snug fit. The bezel was soldered closed with hard solder and a careful, small flame on a crème bruleẽ torch. Now make another one of these squares, but in a thicker metal, and make it NOT to wrap around the stone, but to fit snugly inside the 1st square (bezel). Make it the same height as your stone. It will be the seat your stone sits on.
7. Above you can see the stone, the bezel (1st square) and the inner seat (2nd square), side by side for comparison. Solder the ‘seat’ closed now, or in the next step.
8. Ok, now solder the seat into the bezel with hard solder. You may choose to be soldering the ‘seat’ closed at the same time, all in one go…it’s not hard, it will happen without you even having to try if your inner square fits snugly in your outer square….hang on though, before you go for it, just read the next step (step 9).
9. You are looking at the bottom, the ‘base’, the underside of the setting. Excess ‘seat’ is protruding (we’ll remove it later), but this protrusion is handy for placing your solder against. If you place your solder inside the setting then you are in danger of inadvertently ruining your nice neat, crisp edged seat with excess solder or possibly solder residue from insufficient heating, the stone wont sit happily. By soldering from underneath, you allow for your mistakes or novice ability…and no one will know! Make sure your stone sits so that enough of the outer bezel protrudes above the 'girdle' of your stone, for you to be able to rub over.
10. And here is the finished setting. Snip and file away the underside so it’s neat. Solder onto your piece of work, clean up/polish etc, place your stone in. If your bezel isn’t that thin, then you might want to file the top 1mm or so, in order that it pushes over easily. Push each side over with your Pusher, 1st one side, then the opposite and so on, all the way around. Next, for a tight fit that avoids ‘wobbly stone’ use your pusher to carefully push down on the very lip of the bezel. Just a bit of pressure is needed to ensure a tight fit. The edge of the lip effectively curls over and ‘bites’ into the stone…but not that you can see it, see the illustration here…..;
Finish by rubbing the edge with your Burnisher, all the way around, always rubbing in one direction so as not to stretch the metal, just enough to harden, too much will wrinkle it. This hardens and shines up the setting nicely. Here you can see two of my brooches which each feature a little set CZ stone, one square, one round. I use this setting also for cabochons.