Pushing Stones or the “just push it and it will stay” setting technique

Soooo, stone setting. Yeah. I really want to know how to set stones.

I looked at so many videos online but they all required many tools I didn’t have or equipment I couldn’t afford/fit on my computer desk.

I tried making some sterling silver pendants with holes so I could hang some tourmaline beads, garnet beads and fresh water pearls with wires I had. They came out nice – and when I say nice I mean they’re good to give someone as a present and brag about making it myself but they were still quite amateurish and wonky. Definitely not something I could put on Etsy.

So I decided to make a pendant and set a faceted ruby I had in its center, by carving a hole of the same diameter. I figured that after I get it cast I’ll just push around the edges with a burnisher and it will make it stay.

Well that failed miserably. The stone just fell out.

In my frustration and self-pity I pushed a rainbow moonstone cabochon I had into the hole, and it miraculously stayed there! I dropped the pendant several times, testing the durability of the “setting” and it worked!

I tried making another pendant, a hamsa, and carved the exact same hole – and voila! I managed to set another moonstone in it.

Another thing I tried was hanging a citrine briolette bead I had in a “cocoon” I carved. This one actually came out nice (pictured with the hamsa in the palm of my hand) and I just made a few sort of similar “cocoons” (actually got them back from the casting house yesterday with the dragon pictured.) The dragon was an attempt to use the “just push it and it will stay” setting technique but with an oval labradorite cabochon. I haven’t polished it yet but the stone seems to stay in place even after I dropped the pendant on my carpeted floor several times.

I also tried making some rings – The first was the flat top one in which I carved a groove and tried placing some tourmaline beads into and then pressing it shot with a pair of pliers. It came out okay, but I realized I needed to carve the edges MUCH thinner since once they are cast in sterling silver they are as hard as, well, sterling silver.

I tried carving two rings to try and set three garnet cabochons and a labradorite cabochon – this time trying to carve them as thin as I could. It worked better this time, though I still wish it looked smoother and more even.

My next step is to try and figure out how to set faceted stones. Wish me luck.

OH, and I finally opened my Etsy store! It’s called ElvenLeaf.