Professional Jeweler Archive: Precision Preparation

January 2002

Professional Bench/The Path to Proficiency

Precision Preparation

Alternative point preparation for fancy-shape bezel setting offers higher level of precision

When setting a pear-shaped gemstone in a bezel, you have to bend the bezel material. The process involves making a relief cut at the bezel’s point and removing metal from each side of the cut to accommodate forming the bezel down onto the crown.

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

Featured application by Jeffrey Mathews, JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler™, Jeffrey Mathews Designs, Dallas, TX

Though you might think about using an 8/0 saw blade, it measures about 0.19mm.
This diamond cut-off wheel is narrower than an 8/0 saw blade, measuring 0.15mm, so it’s a better choice.
Using the diamond cut-off wheel to make the relief cut and not the 8/0 saw blade offers these advantages:

  • The width of the cut is narrower – critical at the termination point of the relief cut.
  • The potential for removing a straight line through the point of the bezel is higher. It’s also more precise than sawing.
  • It’s faster and more precise than using the 8/0 blade.
Once you accomplish the depth of the relief cut, angle the cut by lowering your elbow to remove metal from one side then raising your elbow to remove metal from the opposite side, essentially forming a narrow “V.” When the bezel is bent over the gem during the setting process, the two sides will come together, be flat and even, and have no spaces or gaps. The seam will be in full contact, very precise. When burnished, it will show no trace of any cuts or open seams.

Photographs are courtesy of Jewelers of America
© 2002 Jewelers of America

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications