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Ready Made Settings vs Making Your Own Settings

Stone setting can be a daunting task for those who are beginners at jewellery making, however it is something that we all need to learn in order to develop our skills and collections.

There are a lot of great pre-made settings available these days to make this stage a little easier and your creations really come to life. However these are often limited to certain shapes and sizes and you may want to venture into gemstones that vary from these standard restrictions from time to time.

We have had a good think about each of these two options and have come up with pros and cons for each, now it's down to you to choose which best suits you and what you would like to make. 

Pros for Pre-Made

Neat & precise

Pre-made settings are neat and tidy, often machine-made so the sizes are quite precise and secure.

East to set

They are often easy to set and are great for beginners on their jewellery making journey.

Strong & sturdy

They are well made and strong to withstand soldering onto other components.

Variety

They are available in a range of sizes that are popular in gemstone cutting so you should always have a large selection of gems to choose from to fit into each of the setting options.

Time saving

Pre-made settings are time-savers! If you are under a tight deadline and find a setting that works well for your design, a pre-made may well be the way to go. 

Great for matching sets

If you need multiple settings all the same to make a matching set or intricate piece pre-made settings make life a lot easier! 

Cons for Pre Made

Restrictions

With a pre-made setting, you are restricted to the shapes and sizes that are available (although there is a great selection on offer) you may have found a great stone that you would love to turn into something special but it just doesn't fit into any of the pre-made sizes. 

If you are looking to make something totally unique a pre-made setting is possibly not the best way to go as others can also buy these same settings. However you can still customise these, adding a bit here, removing a bit there.

With a little imagination and a creative flair you can utilise these settings to be something of your own. 

May need adjusting

Although gemstones that are calibrated to specific sizes generally fit most pre-made settings, because these stones are natural they do vary in their depth meaning that some pre-made settings may not be suitable. However, as in the point before, you can adjust these settings - for example filing down the edges for a more shallow stone.

Pros For Making Your Own Settings

Possibilities are endless

Making your own settings means that your options are limitless. You can take any stone, piece of sea glass, broken china or even shells from your favourite beach and make it into something to wear. 

Tailor made

You can tailor your settings to fit whatever you are making meaning that your creations can incorporate or blend the setting into your piece easier that with a pre-made. 

Make it unique

By making your own settings you can create a look that is unique to you, even adding a certain finish or texture that people will instantly recognise as yours. 

Cons For Making Your Own Settings

Time-consuming

Making your own settings takes time. Getting the shape, size and depth correct for the stone can be a very time-consuming task but if you stick at it the results are worth it. 

Mistakes will happen

You will make mistakes... and it is very frustrating, but just remember everyone makes mistakes and it's part of the process of learning. Without making mistakes you won't know how to do it better next time, and as they say - practice makes perfect!

Shop Loose Settings

Find bezel cups in a range of sizes and metals to suit your designs. You will also find loose claw and pre-notched settings that can be soldered onto your designs.

Read our soldering advice pages

Shop Cabochon Settings

Cabochons have a domed top and a flat bottom and are great for setting in a bezel setting or in glue-in settings. Explore our wide range of jewellery settings for cabochons in a range of styles, shapes and sizes. We have a wonderful range of ready-made settings including rings, earrings and pendants where you simply need to glue in or push the setting over your chosen cabochon. 

Explore our range of cabochons

Shop Faceted Stone Settings

Faceted stones have flat, polished faces called facets and a pointed bottom, usually set in a claw setting. Discover our wide range of jewellery settings for faceted stones, including rings, earrings and pendant settings where you need minimal tools to set your chosen faceted stones.

Shop our range of faceted stones

Follow Bezel Setting Tutorials...

How To Make A Backless Sea Glass Bezel Setting

Follow our step by step photos on how to make this setting that you can use to set sea glass or a cabochon stone. Find all the tools and supplies you need to make your own with Kernowcraft.

Follow our step by step photos on how to make this setting - perfect for setting free form cabochons. Find all the tools and supplies you need to make your own with Kernowcraft.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you some advice through Facebook, Twitter, Email or simply calling us on 01872 573888 8.30am-4.30pm.

Alternatively, for more information and how to's on all areas of jewellery making visit our other Gemstone Setting Advice pages.