How To Set A Bezel Setting - The Basics

Bezels are an essential component to jewellery making when learning to set gemstones. A well-set bezel setting will show off it's encased gemstone by having a neat, smooth finish and not coming too far over the stone. Learning the basic technique of how to set a gemstone cabochon in a bezel will help to create a neat finish in all future designs.

The following step by step instructions will help you to get started with basic bezel setting. However, it is important to be aware that different bezel settings require different or more of certain techniques. Some bezel cups are thinner and therefore require less filing or sanding on its edges, whereas bezel cups that are cast, for example, have much thicker sides and require much more filing so that the edges of the cup seat neatly over the gemstone with no lip.

Tools Needed

You will need a set of needle files, wet & dry sanding sheets, pusher, burnisher & a ring clamp if you are working with a ring or bezel cups if you are soldering a loose bezel to your design... You may also wish to use a bezel rocker instead of a pusher. You will also, of course, need a gemstone cabochon!

Step 1

Ensure that you have roughly the same sized Bezel and Gemstone Cabochon and then make sure that the gemstone sits level (not to tall) on the base of the setting.

If not, remove a small amount of the metal using a needle file or graver until the setting is the correct size for the stone.

Step 2

File down around the edge of the bezel to an angle and remove any file marks using sanding sheets.

The aim here is to ensure that the edges of the bezel lay flat against the gemstone and there is no lip. This way your stone will be nice and secure as well as ensuring the finished piece looks nice and neat. 

Step 3

Using a pusher or similar tool, ease down a small amount of bezel on opposite sides of the gemstone until it is secure in the centre of the mount.

Then ease over the rest of the bezel until it is flush with the gemstone.

Finishing The Bezel Setting

Smooth off the top of the bezel using a burnisher, taking great care not to mark the stone. Your setting is now complete and the gemstone should be held securely in place. 

Loose bezel cups are ready to solder onto any design, whilst other pre-made settings have bezels already incorporated. 

The following designs are two great examples of how to incorporate a bezel setting into a design, click through to view them on our  'Make The Look' pages an get step by step instructions.