by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com
Wire Jewelry Tip for August 20, 2014
Prong-Setting Ideas for a Cut Stone
Lately we have been revisiting some of our older posts, and today I’d like to share one as well. This is a great post with a question that I’m sure some of you have had. Enjoy!
I have an almost cylindrical cut stone that looks like an emerald cut front and back. It almost looks like a crystal, but it is the same dimensions top to bottom. If I use prongs on it, should I add prongs to the underside as well? With regular prong settings that do not use snap sets, what keeps the stone from falling out from the back side?
-Kevin in St. Petersburg, Florida
Hi Kevin, your stone sounds very pretty and easy to set! In my opinion, prongs should not be used on the back side of a stone because small, sharp prongs can easily get caught in fabric or knit, thus pulling away from the stone (resulting in a lost stone) or jutting out and irritating the skin.
You describe the cut as being emerald-style; it would be easy enough to make a pendant using a prong frame setting, where the stone is held in at the top by prongs and regular pulls (like a framed cabochon) hold the stone in on the back side.
Regular pulls will work with an emerald cut; simply plan your wraps so that the pulls run alongside the facet on the back, being about invisible from the front. Because of the emerald facets, your stone could also be set in a regular frame (which would be my choice, if adding the set stone as the focal point on a bracelet).
Of course, the Orbit prong pendant design will fit about any size or shaped stone. The prongs are custom-designed by you, to fit over the crown and girdle of the stone and then slightly down part of the pavilion, after which the lock-in-wires form a stable frame just under the girdle, so no wire shows through the top of the stone at all. Whichever design you choose to use, have fun with your unique stone, Kevin!
Note: Just as this Tip “went to Press,” Kevin sent in a picture of his unique stone, as well as his finished design! We hope this gives you some ideas to try in your own jewelry-making:
Wire wrapped by Kevin Thornhill; images courtesy of Kevin Thornhill.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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