If you are looking to start setting gemstones in your handmade jewellery, the following list of tools will help to get you started! As you progress to more difficult settings you will want to add to your tool collection, but with these few tool box essentials you will be able to create a wide range of beautiful gemstone jewellery designs.
The Bezel Rocker allows you to achieve a professional and neat finish that really gets the setting - normally a bezel (the cup in which your stone will sit in), tight to the gemstone. Using a Bezel Rocker prevents creases or unsightly marks on the metal. This tool can be used on your own handmade bezel cups, pre-made bezel cups, as well as other pre-made settings for cabochon gemstones.
Literally push the bezel around the gemstone, working from all sides and gently rocking back and forth with downward pressure until the stone is secure.
The square metal rod is slightly rounded on the corners and polished no the end to minimise setting marks and scratches.
The wooden handle is designed to fit comfortable into the palm of your hand, allowing you to grip the rode between your fingertips and add pressure with control to the areas of the setting you would like to push around the gemstone.
A Ring Clamp is an essential tool that really helps when setting gemstones in rings or other small pieces of jewellery that are difficult to hold. It also comes in very handy when wire-wrapping!
The Ring Clamp has leather lined jaws which don't make a mark on the metal but allow you to hold a ring ( or other small pieces of jewellery) in place. This really speeds up the stone setting process as well as making it much easier to your design finished neatly.
Simply unscrew the wing-nut to open the jaws, insert the shank of the ring (the bottom part of the ring) so that the setting are facing up. Tighten the wing-nut to hold in place allowing you to to use more pressure than if the ring was being held in the hand.
A Burnisher is a jewellery making tool that gives a high shine and professional finish to your gemstone setting.
When rubbed onto softer metals such as sterling silver, gold and copper, a burnisher smooths and shines the metal. It can be used to polish out marks during the stone setting process. Burnishing can be used for many things but is also useful for hardening metals and for use within metal clay jewellery making.
Simply rub over the metal of your setting - it takes a few moments and the the metal will begin to shine.
Needle Files file down metal and help to make create gemstone settings that are a better fit.
Needle Files are perfect if you are just starting out with stone setting. They can be used to file down the height of a bezel to make it fit your gemstone neatly, they can also be used to to make the inside of the bezel finer and easier to push over the gemstone. They are also great tools for other silversmithing work so you will be sure to get plenty of use out of them. The Needle Files are fully hardened and tampered so are ideal for controlled and accurate filing of metal.
Choose one of the 6 files according to what you want to achieve - each shape will help you to file different areas of your design, and rub against the area of metal you want to erode.
Here are a few other products that we also recommend to jewellers who have just started their gemstone setting journey!
Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy glue is Kernowcraft's most recommended and reliable glue and an incredibly popular choice with jewellery makers. It is super-fast drying, high strength, high quality bonds. It sets clear and is excellent for setting stones in jewellery mounts.
This wonderful book by award winning designer Sonia Cheadle is a clear and practical introduction to mount construction and the processes of stone setting. Suitable for all levels wanting to learn new skills, this book explains how different stones and cuts relate to their mounts with easy-to-follow, illustrated explanations.
If you are just starting up with stone setting then we have the perfect kit for you! Our stone setting kit was put together by our buying team who are all experts in silversmithing, it is aimed at providing you with all you need to get started with stone setting including: Stone setting leaflet, bezel rocker, pusher, stone holder, ring clamp, wet & dry papers and a stone holder.
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 9am-4pm UTC.
Alternatively, for more information and how to's on all areas of jewellery making visit our other Gemstone Setting Advice pages.