• Bezel setting a cabochon

    Posted on October 20, 2016 by in DIY/Tutorial, Uncategorized

    bezel-bannerI recently listed the Artemis Moon pendant in my Etsy shop. It’s a new pendant style piece with a bail large enough to slip onto nearly any chain. A large circle gently cradles a smaller, creating a crescent moon type shape, studded with a small 4mm bezel set moonstone. I played with texture on this pendant, which resulted in two different finishes; a close faceted type finish on the small circle and on the larger a wider hammered finish marked with a semi circle and dot finish that reminds me of the surface of the moon.

    I thought about trying to make this pendant smaller to use on earrings but with orders, a toddler and life in general, I just didn’t get to it. Then a sweet customer made a special request; Artemis Moon dangle earrings with mismatched gemstones, a moonstone and an onyx to show the dark and light side of the moon. I love this idea! And this request was just the jolt I needed to get around to trying these as earrings.

    I’ll be setting these two small gemstones…would you like to set them along with me?

    Bezel setting a cabochon

    First I’ll be choosing stones from my stash. Even though the bezel cups are 4mm and the gemstone cabochons (rounded top, flat back) are 4mm, due to variations in size and shape they won’t all fit, so I like to have extras. Luckily, the first I tried of each stone fit just so. The onyx is a slightly thinner stone than the moonstone, so it sits a little deeper in the cup.

    You can see in the photo my two tools, a setter and a burnisher. Because the bezel cups are made of fine silver and fine silver, even after being work hardened is fairly soft, I can use these two hand tools to set the stones.

    I’m working on the onyx first, using my setter to press in at the 4 “corners”, and then between. I go around in an even pattern pressing inwards until the top edge of the bezel cup is fairly even all around. Then I move on to my burnisher and use it to smooth the edge, pressing it downwards flush to the stone. I will sometimes go back and forth between the tools if I see a spot I’d like to press is even closer as I go.

    Once the onyx is in, I simply do the same on the moonstone. From a side view you can see how the metal curves over the cabochon, and there is a slight lip that you can feel if you run a finger over it. Bezel set gemstones should not fall out unless the bezel cup is damaged in a way that compromises it (being crushed or bit for example – never let a little one chew on your jewelry!) Because the onyx was slightly thinner than the moonstone, the bezel cup covers slightly more of it.

    That’s really all there is to it. Bezel setting is fairly simple once you get the hang of it, and using bezel cups is a simple shortcut. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment here, or visit Seashore Design Studio on Facebook and say hi!

    To learn more about the Artemis Moon pendant and see the rest of the collection, visit Seashore Design Studio at seashoredesignstudio.etsy.com