Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
I recently purchased a parcel of faceted gemstones hoping they would be large enough to wire wrap. Unfortunately, they are all about 1 carat and below in size. What jewelry making method could I use to incorporate these gemstones that doesn’t involve soldering?
-Betty in Cocoa, Florida
Hi Betty, I had to grin when I read your question because you say that the stones are 1 carat or smaller, which really doesn’t tell me what size they are, just how heavy they are. Carat weight varies greatly depending on the gem material. For example, corundum (sapphire & ruby) is a very heavy/dense material (density approx. 4 gm/c³), so a one carat sapphire would be a lot smaller than say a 1 carat citrine (density approx. 2.65 gm/c³) or any other quartz such as rose, lemon, smoky, amethyst, etc. The carat is a unit of weight, not size: a carat is defined as 0.2 of a gram, so there are 5 carats to a gram.
I am not going to scold you for purchasing what seemed to be a wonderful deal, however when buying stones for wire jewelry designs, it is best not to purchase “parcels.” We had a nice discussion on this subject a while ago, that I invite you to read: Buying by Carat Weight.
Now, that being said, let me tell you how you might be able to incorporate some of these tiny treasures into your wire jewelry designs. The best way would be to set each stone into a snapset and then use the set stone in your design. To make sure you order the correct size snapset for each stone, it would be best to use a caliper. We talked about this here: How to Measure Gemstones for Settings.
Setting a stone into a snapset is kind of fun, as shown in the short video tip below. Personally, I love using tiny snapset gemstones to accent a cabochon pendant. Now, go have some fun with your little sparklies!
How to Use Snapsets
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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