Professional Jeweler Archive: Hoover & Strong's Tru-Seat Setting System

August 2004

Professional Bench/Tool Tips

Hoover & Strong's Tru-Seat Setting System

This system is designed to boost proficiency for your shop and service department

Hoover & Strong Inc. in Richmond, VA, provides Tru-Seat settings that include solitaire earrings, pendants and solitaire rings in yellow, white and palladium white gold alloys. By using Tru-Seat mountings and the system outlined below, jewelers can reduce material costs and labor and improve quality.
Hoover & Strong offers a range of die-struck and cast solitaire earrings with prenotched bearings in 14k yellow and white gold alloys accommodating a range of gem sizes and shapes (C&D).

For ease in setting the Tru-Seat mountings, the company developed a system for setting and provides tools necessary to complete the process. The tools include a Plexiglas setting block (A) and the Tru-Seat setter’s punch (B).

To begin the Tru-Seat setting procedure for solitaire earrings, measure the gem to be set and select the proper size settings. Prepolish the settings. Place the gem table-down on the Plexiglas setting block. To avoid abrasion, make sure there are no filings or other debris between the gem and the block. Place the finding directly over the gem and firmly press until the gem clicks into the bearing. View from all sides and check that the gem is level and seated uniformly.
Place the post of the earring in the hole of the Plexiglas setting block. The base of the earring setting rests on the surface of the block. Then place the larger end of the Tru-Seat setter’s punch squarely over the four prongs. Align the punch so it’s perpendicular over the setting and gemstone.
Lightly tap the punch with a chasing hammer three or four times to bend the prongs. If hammered too lightly, the prongs won’t be flush with the crown; if hammered too hard, the setting could collapse.
This closeup shows the prongs formed over the crown of the gem. Hoover & Strong has removed about 40% of the prongs’ depth for the bearing in the manufacturing process. The gem is seated securely in the bearing and prongs after forming; the prongs are flush with the gem’s crown. Shape the prongs and polish.
For a Tru-Seat solitaire, prepolish the setting. Place the gem in the Tru-Seat. Then place the ring on a ring mandrel and the mandrel in the mandrel hole on the front of your bench.
Place the Tru-Seat setter’s punch over the prongs and lightly hammer them over the gem’s crown.
When completed, the prongs should be flush with the crown, the gem should be level and the setting ready for prong shaping, prefinishing and final polishing.

The depth of Tru-Seat precut bearings is based on the height of the gem’s crown and is a graduated percentage depending on gem size. The amount of the prong cut away to accommodate the gem’s girdle is based on its diameter. The bearings are precut at the correct angle to hold the gem securely.

Hoover & Strong Tru-Seat setting styles are available in solitaire earrings, pendants and rings in yellow and white gold alloys to accommodate round and fancy-cut gems of most sizes. New to the solitaire ring line are comfort-fit shanks.

The Hoover & Strong stock number of the featured 14k yellow gold medium weight die-struck setting is ERP42. The ring is stock number SH617/SP61 with a 14k yellow gold shank with a 14k palladium white gold setting. For more information on the Tru-Seat, contact Fred Klotz at (800) 794-3700 or

By Mark B. Mann

Technical contributions by Fred Klotz, Vice President/Findings, Hoover & Strong, Richmond, VA

Photographs by Mark B. Mann

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Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications