How to: simple bezel stone set ring.

This week we have been looking at stone setting.

The first project was to make a simple bezel setting. Bezel settings are one of the most comm0n settings, especially within contemporary jewellery as they allow you to set almost anything.

Here are a few internet gleaned examples of some beautiful bezel set jewellery pieces to show you what a bezel is:

Now, here comes the how to bit!

 

Simple Silver Bezel Set Ring

 

(Materials and instructions given are for an 8mm circle stone set into a D-ring shank)

 

Materials:

8mm circle cabochon (or whatever inclusion you want to set!!)

D-shaped silver wire (long enough to fit your ring size and approx. 4mm thick (your thickness is based on your preference))

Square-shaped silver wire (long enough for the inside of the bezel and approx. 1mm thick)

5mm silver gallery wire/bezel wire strip (long enough to fit around your stone)

0.7mm silver sheet (just larger than the size of your bezel/stone)

Tools:

Various grades of emery paper, files and steel wool

Solder, flux, heat pliers and torch

Pickle, toothbrush, pumice powder and brass brush

Water bowl and fine paintbrush

Round and flat-nosed pliers

Saw

Bezel pusher

Blue tack/stone setting tool

Pendant drill and diamond burrs

Ring clamp

 

This is my stone. It is an 8mm rutilated quartz. Therefore all my measurements and instructions will fit in with this rounded stone. For any other the size and shaped inclusion the basic instructions still apply.

1. I’ve used 5mm bezel wire. This is too big for my stone, which is a good thing as it means I can sand it down to the perfect size. The top of the wire, when finished, needs to sit just above the lip of your stone. So, starting out with wire that is too high is beneficial, as it leaves room for error.

2. Use a piece of scrap wire to measure your stone. Cut a strip of wire to fit your stone.

3. Take your round-nosed pliers and curl your strip of silver inwards. Be careful not to mark the metal.

4. File the edges until they are flat and sit against each other.

5. Solder your strip together. As you can see this one doesn’t quite meet up at one end. This doesn’t really matter because that will be the end that I sand down.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the square wire and the ring shank.

The bezel is on the left. The square wire in the centre should fit neatly inside the bezel, so use the wire you measured your stone with to ensure this wire is to right size. The ring shank is on the right, it is D-shaped wire and has been measured to fit my middle finger (use a ring-sizer to measure your own and cut the wire to size).

Pickle and clean up all metal.

7. Once you have all three parts cleaned up, form them around a ring mandrel until they are perfectly round.

Round!

8. Cut your sheet metal to size. Place bezel wire on the top in the centre, and then place square wire inside the bezel. The two should fit neatly (place the bezel over the stone before this step to ensure it fits. If any part is too small, take it back to the mandrel and hammer until it fits. If the parts are too big, you will need to cut and re-solder them). Cover the edges in flux and add small fragments of solder evenly around inside and outside of the bezel cup.

9. Solder the three parts together.

10. Pickle and clean up the soldered metal.

 

11. Saw the excess sheet away. Be careful not to cut into the bezel. It’s better to cut too little away than too much!

12. File along the edges until you can no longer see the join. And sand the top.

Now the bezel is ready to be added to the ring shank.

14. Before soldering you might want to flatten out the part of the ring being soldered with a file (it makes the bezel sit evenly on the shank). After filing, apply flux and a segment of solder to each side of the shank and solder.

15. This is what it looks like before being cleaned in the pickle.

This is what it looks like after coming out of the pickle!

16. Using a pendant drill and a variety of burrs, clean out the inside of the ring and remove any impurities as these will offset your stone.

17. At this point you can drill a hole into the bottom, centre of the bezel cup. If the stone is translucent, light will come through the hole and play with the translucency in the stone. Alternatively polish the inside to a high shine.

Ensure the full ring is polished and clean before moving on.

18. Place your ring into the ring clamp.

19. Pop your stone onto a blob of bluetack and insert it into the bezel carefully, the bluetack should help you fit it in straight but you still need to ease it in carefully because if the stone doesn’t go in straight your setting will be offset and it is very very difficult to get the stone back out at this stage.

20. Using your bezel pusher tool, push in the sides of the metal without touching the stone (or it will scratch), you might need to hammer it gently if your metal is quite thick, otherwise the pressure from your hand should be enough. Start at 3 o’clock then move to 6, then 9, then 12, go back to 2, 4, 6 and 8 and finally 1, 5, 7 and  11 o’clock and continue to follow these steps until you metal is fully pushed over and straight.

 

First Bezel Set Ring (Rutilated Quartz and Silver) smaller

Ta-dah!

 

I hope you found this little tutorial useful! If you have any questions please comment below. Hopefully I’ll have more tutorials for you soon…. are there any you’d like me to cover?

 

Chloe out.

14 thoughts on “How to: simple bezel stone set ring.

  1. Who is a clever girl then! Looks fab so far, looking forward to seeing the finished product, love Mummy Cougar Cupcake! :) xxx

  2. I am interested in learning how to bezel a stone into a ring setting that is premade. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks Loved the tutorial! Dedee

    1. I’ve personally never used a pre-fabricated setting before but, I know from making my own bezel setting that it is ridiculously important that you get the sizing right… down to the very last point! So talk to the people you are getting the bezel ring/stone from before buying to make sure you get the sizing right.
      Also don’t shove the stone into the setting! If it is too tight you could damage the stone (unless it is a diamond… diamonds are wonderful that way!) or the ring and if it is too loose the stone will move around and could fall out once set.
      Other than sizing, setting should be pretty straightforward with a premade setting if you have all the right tools!
      I hope that helps! Let me know how you get on?

  3. That looks lovely…one question I have ishave you stone set onto a wide ring before? If so, how do you get the bezel to follow the contours of the ring so there is no gap?

    1. Ah, good question!
      You basically need to flatten the ring shank on the part where you want the bezel to sit. Hammer your ring CAREFULLY! you don’t want to alter the shape too much. By doing it this way, there will be no gap when soldering and your stone will still sit perfectly (there is a method in which you can curve the actual bezel, but i am no expert in that field! and wouldn’t recommend it over this method).
      Hope that helps?

  4. Hi Chloe, great job.
    I have just started experimenting with silver work so I can introduce it to my students. Quick question, I have made a solid silver ring before but now I want to add a bezel. In the past I never used pickle but buffed my silver ring on a buffing wheel on the mandrel. I am a bit nervous about pickle but I can’t think of another way to clean up the oxidisation after soldering the bezel on. My question is this, do I need to clean of/file off the oxidisation before I solder the bezel on to get a clean solder? Also, do I solder it over the original seam of the ring or will that mess up the existing soldering?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Thanks for reading my post, glad you liked it :)

      Don’t be afraid of the pickle!! Pickle is wonderful! If you’re a little nervous, I’d suggest using safety pickle. You can get it from the cooksons website, it’s called Picklean or something… but it’s great, essentially non-corrosive and well, safe!

      YES! Clean up your oxidized metal! It needs to be clean for it to solder properly, any bits of dirt or grease can prevent a clean solder flow. Pickle the oxidized metal, rinse it and clean with an old toothbrush and some pumice powder. Simple as that! No filing or buffing necessary!
      Soldering onto the seam? Personal preference I guess. I tend to keep it as far away as possible… but others like to concentrate their clean up to one area and solder over the seams. I’ll leave it up to you! But my tips would be to set your ring up to solder with the seam in the shank pointing upwards, pop a little layer of technoflux over the seam and solder the other end to the bezel. This way you don’t have to worry about the seam melting and the nice shank that you cleaned up will still be nice!!

      Hope that helped?

      Chloe.

  5. Is there any other silver colour metals that you can use other than actual silver? Doesn’t need to be for a ring, I do ceramic jewelry pieces and I’ve set my first one into a bezel on a pendant but I’m wondering if there’s a cheaper alternative that will still look nice.

    1. Not really….!
      There are obviously other silver coloured metals out there, but none you can solder. However, I believe you can solder steel, but I don’t think it would work for something as intricate as a setting… and I’ve never tried it so I can’t really give you any tips there!
      The alternative would be to make your setting in copper and get it silver plated (or you could even silver leaf it).
      Hope this helps?

  6. Hi,
    Can I ask why you placed the square wire inside the bezel? Is it so the back could be open? If so, I get it. If not, is it just to raise it?

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