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With the appropriate settings, setting a gemstone in a ring is no more difficult than setting the gemstone in earring or pendant findings. The ring shown above-left is a style of ring that we call a Swirl Ring with a six prong snap in setting. The ring shown above-right is a Tiffany style of ring, also with a snap in setting. In this web page we will provide instructions for setting a gemstone in the Swirl Ring. In the following web page, we will provide instructions for setting a gemstone in a Tiffany style four prong setting.
Setting a gemstone in this swirl type ring is very easy and is a project that it entirely suitable for beginners. What you require is a Swirl Ring Setting like our item 3259 for 10mm gemstones or item 3260 for 8mm gemstones and the appropriate 10mm or 8mm round gemstone. These settings make a size 7 ring suitable for most adult females. The steps involved in setting the gemstone are described in the following paragraphs.
Step 1: Place the "table" or flat side of your gemstone on a table or cutting board as shown at left. You can view the terminology for the parts of a gemstone here.
Step 2: Position the ring finding with the 6 prong setting on top of the gemstone as shown at right. Grasp the ring firmly in your thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand. All six prongs of the setting should be touching the gemstone. If the setting seems loose, the prongs can be bent in individually using your fingers or using chain nose pliers. The goal is that the diameter of the setting should be less than the diameter of the girdle of the gemstone so that the setting will tightly grip the gemstone once it has snapped into position.
Step 4: The final step in making the ring is to visually check to verify that all six prongs are positioned appropriately. View each prong in turn. The groove in the prong should be gripping the gemstone at the girdle of the gemstone. See the picture at right.
Step 5: If you notice a gap between the setting and the gemstone, you can use your chain nose pliers or bent chain nose pliers to gently squeeze the gap closed. Try to position the flat side of your pliers along the opposite side prong of the setting. See the picture at left for how to orientate your pliers. (The picture at left is a Tiffany Ring and it is easier to show the proper position of the pliers on this ring.) Be careful that you do not over squeeze. Also be careful while squeezing so that your pliers don't slip. Slipping of your pliers can leave a "tool mark" on your ring and this should be avoided. Please see page 18 to view how to use our gemstone setting pliers to help bend the prongs on your setting in.
Due to chaos theory it will happen that for a very few rings, these instructions won't work. The prongs in the setting won't be positioned correctly to fit the gemstone snugly. If this happens to you here is what you need to do. First, if you have a jeweler's file, file the notches in the prongs to remove any extra metal in the notch. (This will only work with a jeweler's file because you need a very small file to get into this confined space. If you don't have a jeweler's file, don't worry, you can still set the gemstone.) Second, sometimes in the casting the very tip of the prong is not positioned properly to hook on the girdle of the gemstone. This is the last 1-2mm of the prong. Using your bent chain nose pliers or your gemstone setting pliers, bend the last 1.5mm of each prong in toward the center. Looking at the picture above right with the aquamarine gemstone, you can see how the end of each prong needs to be bent in to hold the stone. You want to make sure that each prong is bent in as shown in the pictures above. Once you have done this, in almost all cases, you will be able to set the gemstone using the procedures described above. Finally, in very rare circumstances you may need to bend each of the individual prongs very slightly in toward the center. If this happens to you, grasp the entire prong in your bent chain nose pliers and bend it a very small amount in toward the center of the setting. Normally, these techniques won't be required.
In the following web page we provide directions on how to set a gemstone in a Tiffany setting.
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Last modified: January 19, 2010
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