Stone Setting: Top 5 Gemstone Designs to Make Then Wear to the Party

Sparkly shiny things are welcome anytime, but seem to be even more desirable during the holidays. There’s something about putting on a special piece of jewelry with a new outfit that takes the night (or day) to the next level. And what better way to bring that glitz, glam, and sparkle into your life than with gemstones!

ABOVE IMAGE: Chimera bracelet by Roger Halas. Photo: Jim Lawson

Looking for that next great piece of jewelry to make? Wondering what new way to include gemstones in your jewelry designs? The Deluxe Gemstone Setting Collection is here to help! This compilation includes projects for some great jewelry designs and some unique ways to include gemstones, not to mention gemstone information and collections of Colored Stone magazine.

To follow are my Top 5 designs from the collection:

Jewelry for the Family Party
Bronze Fantasy Medallion with Silver Accents and gemstones, by Roger Halas.

Bronze Fantasy Medallion with Silver Accents, by Roger Halas. Photo: Jim Lawson

My grandmother always wore a full suite of jewelry to every party. She seemed to have “just the right” pieces for each occasion, too. I don’t have her knack (or her jewelry collection) and rather, seem to always rely on the same pieces. The Bronze Fantasy Medallion by Roger Halas is now on my list of designs to make in 2018, in honor of stretching my skills and my jewelry collection

Roger Halas doming metal for his Bronze Medallion

Photo: Roger Halas

This piece is not only intricate; it brings a lot of skills together in one amazing jewelry design. One tip from this project: When doming textured metal, Roger recommends you place a couple layers of Gorilla tape on the front of the piece before doming. This helps prevent the steel from marring the metal. Brilliant!

While in Tucson…

When it comes to shopping in Tucson, it’s always helpful to have a few things on the list to look for. You know, something to help get your mojo flowing — that one thing that breaks the seal on your wallet. Since I’m not a lapidarist but am in LOVE with Citron Chimera Cuff by Roger Halas, I now have a few stones to hunt for this February.

And wouldn’t this be quite the piece to wear while shopping on vacation? Look at his cuff (TOP) — it’s magical, mythical, and beautiful! Roger shares a bit about the design: “In designing this bracelet, I fused elements into something that suggests part fish, part insect, and perhaps part mechanism: the point is, it’s so unusual, it’s hard to say exactly what it is. That’s why I call it the chimera bracelet, borrowing the term the ancient Greeks used for one of their fantastical hybrid creatures.”

Roger at the wheel, creating a citron cabochon. Photo: Roger Halas

If you happen to be a lapidarist, like Roger, also included in the project instructions is a how-to on creating the stones for the magical cuff.

More Gemstone Shopping!

Nautilus Wrap by Stacie Florer. Photo: Jim Lawson

Speaking of vacation — I know these would be the perfect accessory to wear this summer. The setting Stacie designed for these gemstone donuts is timeless, so fun, and takes me to the ocean — my happy place.

I’ll add gemstone donuts to the shopping list — maybe a few pair!

Fancy but Not Fussy

Freeform Flair Gemstones by Kate Richbourg. Photo: Jim Lawson

The brass wire seen in Freeform Flair Gemstones rings by Kate Richbourg adds a nice touch of flash to the gemstones in this jewelry design and make these perfect for any special night out. I love how the wires not only form the ring band but also the setting.

Kate shares this tip for working brass and copper wire: “The Smith Little Torch is a perfect way to get the power and functionality of a traditional torch while being able to use it in a small space. Since this torch is used with small tanks you can safely use it in a home studio without large tanks that need to be permanently secured. Brass and copper wire can be difficult to work with, as they need a torch with high and focused heat. A butane micro torch may be used for this project but it will take longer and sometimes the results are not as good.”

Subconscious at Work

You know how  your brain all of a sudden picks up on things it didn’t see before. Like when you buy a new car and all of a sudden you see the same car everywhere? Anyway. I fell in love with Ethiopian opal a while back but never had the budget to own any. Recently, I picked up a small strand of Ethiopian opal beads and now this gemstone is popping up everywhere! Not that that is a bad thing.

As I was looking through the gemstone setting collection, sure enough — Ethiopian opal! And what a beauty this one is — wowza! John Heusler fabricated this ring to suit the stone as well as cut and polished it to shape.

PHOTO: Jim Lawson

John’s tip for cutting Ethiopian opal: “Working with opal is not at all like cutting agate, and Ethiopian opal is by far the most difficult opal I have ever cut. If you are an agate cutter and decide to cut a quick opal, you may be surprised to see just how fast that happens!

“Flat spots and scratches are difficult to deal with simply due to how much stone is removed during cutting. In short, you do not have as much time to get the shape and dome correct as you might with a stone of higher hardness.”

These are my top 5 but the collection holds far more to swoon over. So, whether you’re off to a fun or fancy party, heading to work, or just out for a day of window-shopping, never hesitate to add some sparkle and shine (with gemstones!) to your outfit. Download your Deluxe Gemstone Setting Collection then get making, today.

Editorial Director Interweave Bead & Jewelry Group, Editor Beadwork magazine

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