Meet Tube, Gypsy, Crown and Bead, the Four Types of Nonbezel Stone Settings

We’ve talked a lot here about creating perfect bezels and making bezel settings, but I think the other types of stone settings are getting jealous–so let’s take a look at them, shall we?

ABOVE – Left: The coming of spring was a dream when DelDuca created this pendant of spring colors set with drusy chrysocolla, amethyst and tsavorite. Right: Amethyst bullet-shaped cabs form an equal partnership with chrysocolla drusy set off by tsavorite in these 14k yellow gold earrings. Photos courtesy Eileen Quinn DelDuca, Eileen Quinn Goldsmith.

Beyond Bezels
Try your hand at other stone settings

by Helen Driggs

Below are the basic types of nonbezel settings. This is basic information, and settings for your particular stones might need adjustments to the process, but this is a good starting point for learning. There are spiffy design modifications you can add to the basic construction of these settings, but take my advice–practice the basics over and over until you can create a clean, well-fabricated setting.

When choosing practice stones, remember that round stones are the easiest, followed by oval, pear, marquise, then trilliant, and finally square. Remember, this is practice–you will end up scrapping your work after a time, so use end cuts or other scrap metal to play with. I made a bunch of 14-gauge ring bands just for setting practice. There are bead, pave, gypsy, channel, and tube-set CZs scattered around them. As I get better at stone setting, I go back to them and add stones to keep my skills up.

Tube Setting

This setting gives you lots of bang for the buck. It is relatively easy, and the most important thing to master is keeping the setting bur perpendicular to the tubing walls so the table of the stone remains level.


Gypsy Setting

The gypsy setting positions the stone’s table flush with the surface of the surrounding metal, giving the appearance of a stone suspended in the metal, as if it were cast in place. The most important thing about a gypsy setting is a tight fit of stone to metal.


Crown or Coronet Setting

The crown setting resembles its namesake–viewed from the side, it looks like a miniature crown. Usually, this setting is made from a tapered cone, so mastering the fabrication of a cone is the first step. Most prong settings are based on this construction method; some use wire rather than sheet as the raw material. Once you understand the math, fabricating the setting is relatively simple.


Bead Setting

Bead settings rely on skillful use of the graver, beading tools, and positioning of the stone seats. Beads can hold adjacent stones–in the case of pave–or just one. Bead settings can also be enhanced by cutting a star in the top of the beads with the graver around the setting to create an extra flash of shine around a small stone.

–Helen Driggs

Batu Manakarra (Grape Agate) Jewelry by Lexi Erickson

Unusual settings in Batu Manakarra (Grape Agate) Jewelry by Lexi Erickson. Photo by Jim Lawson.

To learn more about stone settings and how to set gemstones in beautiful jewelry from a variety of experts, turn to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. Back issues of LJJA are available in convenient annual collections.

P.S. You’ll find general instructions for creating the four stone settings mentioned here in our free stone-setting eBook.

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