Setting Odd Shaped Stones In A Bezel

Jewellery Design

In this video, Prof. John Ahr explains how to correctly set odd shaped cabochon stones in a bezel. Knowing the proper procedures for setting different shapes of cabochon stones will prevent unnecessary gaps in bezels.
The secret to success in most operations is in knowing how to initiate the setting process. Generally, pushing at the corners of a stone first will eliminate any possibility of developing puckers or gaps at the corners of the bezel. For stones without corners, begin pushing the bezel at the cardinal or compass points of the stone.
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Hi Carissa, I take it from your one word comment that this video answered the questions that you had about tricky bezel setting situations.
Thanks for watching! : )

This was very helpful thanks. What I’d love to know is how is this type of stone?: (especially the 4th photo) It almost looks like a larger bezel cup was used and then the stone was dropped in with heat applied to the bottom and sides. Not sure how you wouldn’t wreck the stone though.

Notice that you cannot see behind the stones in any of the photos. That’s because the seller doesn’t want you to see that the stones are glued onto the rings. The appearance of what looks like a bezel on the stones was created through electro-forming or plating. The stones were painted with a conductive paint and given a thick plating. I hope this answers your questions.
Thanks for your support! : )

Thank you for answering my question. Okay this makes sense. Saw another jewellery with this done in copper and just researched electroform copper to see how it was done. So I’m guessing anytime I see this cool wrinkled look around stones it’s done with either the gold or copper option. Is there a way to work with rough stones like this and use a bezel cup of some sort. Or is the best solution doing something like wire wrapping?

I have really been enjoying your videos Online Jewelry Academy! Thank you for all of your knowledge John Ahr. I have watched a lot of what you offer here but still would love to know how to set a double faceted stone. Stones that are the exact same size – rounded and facete on each side. I assume I would just solder a bezel wire to size, solder on a bail and then push down both sides of the bezel to hold the stone but I wonder if this is how it’s done normally. Do you have any videos or information on how to set these kinds of stones? Thank you!

Hi Margo, Thanks for the compliments. The OJA does not have any videos in it’s playlist where I cover the type of stone setting that you mentioned. But, your description of how you might do it seems in the ballpark. You might consider using a step bezel wire. That way you would only have to push down on one side. You could also frame the stone with a wire and solder prongs that you could push over the stone. Good luck with your projects.
Thanks for your support! : )

Dr.Ahr instead of adjusting a bezel with a file wouldn’t it be better to dry fit the stone and remove it and turn the bezel upside down on a flat surface with fine grit sand paper and sand it to the right height ? That way your bezel remains true and square with no chance of damage to the stone or collapsing the bezel if the file was to “catch” on the bezel.

Hi Ricky, I’m not a doctor. I’m just a professor. : )
I’m sure that it would be possible to perform the sanding operation that you described. But, if you use a fine cut file you shouldn’t have any problem adjusting the height of the bezel. You can also mark the bezel to guide you in your filing/sanding. Good luck with your projects.
Thanks for your support! : )

Hi, first thank you for your prior advice on using bailing wire. Worked perfectly. I have a tear drop stone that I am going to be setting. I had read some advice about filing the bezel down on the end before pushing the bezel. Now I am confused. On the point end do I just push the point only, not the sides immediately next to it? What about filing the point before pushing it and how would I do that? Thank you so much for your time.

Glad to hear that my advice worked for you. When you bezel set any stone that has a corner or a point, the first push against the bezel should be at the point that will come into contact with the corner/point. If you don’t set that point first, you will ultimately end up with a gap at the corner/point. Carefully push TO the corner/point (not ONTO). You can begin to start to push on either side of the corner/point. Then push TO the stone at the base. Work in opposition around the stone pushing TO the stone. In the second round of setting you will repeat these steps but pushing ONTO the stone. Some setters might not agree with me. But, if you file the bezel at the tip you’re just weakening it. There should be no excess if the height of the bezel was measured correctly. Some setters will saw through the point. But, setting with a split will either leave an open seam at the corner/point or result in an overlap. If you choose to try filing, use a barrette shaped needle file so that you don’t scratch the surface below the bezel. Good luck.
Thanks for your support! : )

Thank you again for your quick reply! So just to make sure I have this. Push the end of the point first up to the stone but not onto it. The push the side immediately next to the point up to but not on to the stone, then go to opposite side from point push again up to the stone , then to sides, east west. Second round, back to point push on to stone, followed by side immediately next to point then to opposites . Does that sound right? Fingers crossed, lol. The little engine that could ” I think I can, I think I can” lol

Hi! I see so many cornered cabochons set with the corner squeezed into a pinched look. It looks bad to me…. like it would collect moisture and dirt. I filed my first corner attempt down, and it looks good, but you say below that it makes it weak to do that. I don’t like sawing into it, cuz, I feel like it could catch on clothes. And you say, if the bezel it the right height, it shouldn’t look bad. I feel like I’d have to make the bezel too low. Are you saying you never do that? How about if it’s a fabricated bezel? Would that be stronger, to allow filing dawn corners?? Thanks!!

Hey Huskyfluffy, If you remove material from the corner of any bezel you weaken the structure slightly. And, in my opinion, it looks bad. That’s why I recommend pushing the bezel material to the corners first when you set a stone with angled corners. You can always seek the advice of a seasoned stone setter in your community. Good luck!
Thanks for your support! : )

I bought that hanger about 25 years ago. I’m not really sure where I bought it. But, you should be able to find something similar if you shop online.
Thanks for your support! : )


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