Gem setting is the art and skill of securely (and attractively) mounting a gem
in a piece of jewelry.
It's been mentioned to me that we've talked about gems and we've talked about
mountings... but we haven't covered how the two become a piece of jewelry.
So we'll cover it in this issue. I'll walk you through how our 7 mm studs are
We start by having a large number of colored stones of various kinds cut to
The size is 7 mm, the shape is round, the cut varies... some are brilliant
cut and some are a mixed cut (usually with a brilliant crown and double step cut
Then we order 14k yellow gold stud mountings and
backs from a high quality US producer.
Then we take 100 gems and mountings to our goldsmith to have the gems set. If
we take more than 100 pieces at a time it makes his eyes water!
Now you need to know a little about a goldsmith (also known as a bench
jeweler or trade shop).
These craftspeople perform most of their magic at a specialized work bench
called a jeweler's bench, surrounded by their specialized tools.
of the most used gem setting tools is a flex shaft machine. That's it standing
above the jeweler's bench at left.
The machine consists of a motor at the top, a flexible shaft that turns when
the motor turns, and a hand piece on the other end of the shaft.
The hand piece ends in a set of adjustable jaws (like a drill) that holds
tiny drill bits, saw blades, and burs... something like a dentist's drill.
Burs are rotary files used in gem setting to cut notches in the
side of gold prongs.
To set a gem in a stud, the goldsmith test fits the gem between the prongs. (If
the gems weren't all exactly 7 mm, he might bend the prongs in or out a tiny
He notices, or maybe even marks on the inside of each prong, where the girdle
of the gem meets the prong.
He uses the flex shaft machine and a bur to notch the inside of each prong.
He then removes any stray gold filings from around the notch.
The notches must be...
- The proper size to fit the girdle of the gem being set
- The proper shape to fit the gem being set
- All cut at the same height on each prong, so the gem sits level
- Far enough down the prong to form a bent tip above the gem
- Far enough up the prong to keep the gem's culet from touching the
He places the gem's girdle in the notches, and using special pliers bends
each prong over gently until it touches and holds the gem.
completes the job by using a cup shaped bur to round over the tip of each prong.
Finally he does a quality check to make sure the prongs won't catch on hair
You can now buy birthstone rings at The Dorado Company. As usual, these rings
are a great deal!
Each birthstone ring proudly displays an oval shaped 6 x 4 mm birthstone in a
beautiful 14 kt yellow gold mounting.
These beautiful rings are executed in a lovely bypass design, with two
diamond accent stones.
See them now at azgem.com.
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