Professional Jeweler Archive: Bezel-Setting Fancies Using New Technology

June 2001

For Your Staff/Defining Quality

Bezel-Setting Fancies Using New Technology

Knowing how to take advantage of new tools and equipment demonstrates another aspect of quality in your shop

New technology in equipment and tools offers bench jewelers the ability to accomplish skills at a higher rate of proficiency and with a greater level of craftsmanship. Bezel-setting faceted gems is one skill that affordable new technology has improved drastically.

In this installment, we’ll look at the professional bezel setting of fancy-shaped gemstones using new technology.

Inspecting the Gem

This project will feature techniques used to professionally set a diamond-cut pear-shaped gem into a pre-made cast bezel.

Analyze the proportions of the gem to be set into the bezel and envision the seat required in the bezel wall.

For a smooth, even seat for the gem that is free of obstructions, we’ll use the Foredom® AllSet™ and various burs to proportionately remove metal from the bezel wall.

Pear-Shaped Diamond
Pear-Shaped Gemstone

Fitting the Gem and Bezel

The outside dimension of the bezel must conform to the outside dimensions of the gemstone and be slightly wider. This is easier to control by making bezels for specific gems by hand. Pre-made bezels may need to be altered to fit the gemstone precisely.

The outside dimension of the gem doesn’t match the shape of the bezel wall on this cast ring. You can make adjustments to the pre-made bezel with parallel pliers. Here’s a top view of a proper fit between the gemstone and the bezel wall before setting.

Preparing the Seat

1. Ensure the top of the bezel wall is perfectly flat.

2. Insert a 1.5mm setting bur into the handpiece with the AllSet attached.

3. Adjust the AllSet for the proper depth of the cut of the seat (see below).

4. The wall of this cast bezel is thick and heavy. Start by removing about 50% of the bezel wall thick-ness with a setting bur.

5. Use a 90&Mac251; hart bur to cut a small channel just above the seam of metal removed by the setting bur as shownhere.

6. Use a ball and or bud bur to create an open area so the very point of the gem does not come in contact with metal from the bezel wall.

7. Use a diamond wheel or an 8/0 saw blade to cut along the point section to just above the seat for the gem. Remove enough metal from the bezel so the bezel can be folded over the crown of the gem.

8. Prepolish and polish the top of the bezel so it requires little or no working when it’s fashioned over the gem.

9. Make sure all metal fragments are removed and the seat is free of obstructions and irregularities.

10. Place the gem into its intended seat; the top of the table should be equal in height to the top of the bezel wall.

11. Carefully bend the top of the bezel over the gem by hammering on an angle toward the gem. You can use an air-driven hammer handpiece, a hammer handpiece attached to a flexible shaft or a hammer and punch. The top of the bezel should be in full contact with the crown of the gem.

© 2001 Jewelers of America Inc.
Illustrations by Lainie Mann – Visual Communications


The JA® Professional’s Guide to Fine Jewelry Craftsmanship

Bezel Setting Pear-Shaped Gems

By Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade programs, Jewelers of America


Professionally Set Faceted Pear-Shaped Gemstone

A. The gemstone is set level, and the top portion of the bezel is in full contact with the gem.

B. The point of the fancy-shaped gem is not in contact with the bezel after the gem is set.

C. The bezel wall is about 50% of its original thickness to hold the gem securely. (It is not visible after the gem is set).

D. Both sides of the bezel wall are even, smooth and free of irregularities, tool marks and indentations.

E. There is no damage to the gem – it’s tight and secure.

F. The edge of the bezel wall should cover about 10% of the total crown height.

Potential Problems to Watch for

Portions of the bezel are not in contact with the gemstone, and the surface of the bezel wall is irregular.

Care was not taken when burring this seat; the gem is loose and not level.

The metal covers less than 10% of the crown.

This gem was fractured during the setting process or through normal wear because a metal filing was trapped between the girdle and the bezel wall.
© 2001 Jewelers of America Inc.

This information is required for all levels of the JA® Bench Jewelers Certification™ program.

For information about JA® Bench Jewelers Certification,™ call JA at (800) 223-0673 or visit

Illustrations by Lainie Mann – Visual Communications

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications