Michael Boyd's Basic Stone Setting and Bezel-Making Tips
Setting stones in bezels isn't necessarily hard to do, it just requires more precision and attention to detail than possibly any other jewelry-making technique I can think of, except maybe cutting the stones themselves.
Whenever I venture to create a bezel "from scratch," I try to remember to approach it in simpler steps: first, cutting and soldering the bezel wire in perfect alignment, then soldering the bezel to the back plate, then actually setting the stone. When you approach each step one at a time, it's much less daunting. Here are some words of wisdom on those steps from master jeweler Michael Boyd. –Tammy
Stone Setting: Basic Bezel-Making Tips and Techniques
By Michael Boyd
In our shop, we make hundreds if not thousands of bezels each year–sometimes twenty, thirty, and even up to fifty bezels for one piece of jewelry! Bezels offer the jewelry maker a nicely integrated gemstone setting that is secure as well as attractive. This type of setting is also particularly useful for unusually shaped stones and stones that need a little extra protection.
Basic bezel settings consist of two parts: a wire that wraps around and holds the stone (what is basically the bezel itself) and a plate onto which the bezel wire is soldered, which can then be soldered onto the piece. In fact, we cut out most of our bezels flush and later attach them to our pieces. We think this gives our pieces a cleaner look.
Read on for a few basic guidelines to help your pieces will also look well crafted and clean.
If you're ready to tackle bezel making, there are great new projects in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop that feature creating bezels and other ways to use and set stones in your jewelry designs–and Michael has a video workshop out now on cutting cabochons!