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peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 6, 2013
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Hey all, as there’s quite a few of us DIY-setting our own jewelry in silver, thought I’d set up a place to share our pieces, vendors, as well as disasters/triumphs that occured in the process.

Am starting this thread in the Fashion Jewelry sub-forum so we can welcome both real and synthetic stones here!

Let me start with my first two projects, which are an orange spess and pink spinel bought from @OTL.
F7AF5B36-D070-4F6E-9F18-035A17E08FD0.jpeg

And my latest one, which is a yellow tourmaline from @raregemlover. All settings from Natcha Creations on eBay (https://www.ebay.com/usr/natcha_creations).

I love this vendor because the mounts are really high quality and the owner, Navee, is awesome. When I asked if he had a setting for a 6mm cushion, which he didn’t, he custom-modified one of his CADs to put it into production for me. Here it is below:
A81B10B1-0C26-40B1-9669-816E22E45B87.jpeg
I have a bunch of other rings I made with other vendors, which I will post when I find the photos. Meanwhile, please share yours!
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 6, 2013
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Here are a few rings set with settings from Nipa Jewelry on eBay (https://www.ebay.com/str/nipajewelry/).
This is a vendor that sells very inexpensive silver settings that already have preset colored sidestones. For about $10-$15 on average, it can’t be beat on price, however be warned the settings are fragile and flimsy.

This is a dark purple spinel from Carat Zone set in a setting that came with two light blue sapphire sidestones.
6286D625-2514-43F7-9D28-ED095ABEBDDF.jpeg

This was a good match of sidestones with my little dark blue sapphire. But the setting was a bit of a failure as I used too much force and warped the underpart of the gallery.
B2E466D2-7AA7-4407-AD9B-B6FE08259329.jpeg
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
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Only this first heliodor pendant was a purchased setting.
I made all the other settings myself. All are sterling.
IMG_20180902_130317441.jpg IMG_20180811_200719588.jpg IMG_20180325_085026.jpg IMG_20180311_163045.jpg IMG_20180217_174737.jpg IMG_20171112_113334.jpg IMG_20171030_053822976.jpg IMG_20171007_214848362.jpg IMG_20170919_175411142.jpg img_20160226_193241274.jpg IMG_20180418_071949946.jpg
Wow @stracci2000 ! I am amazed by the pieces you have made. They are all so beautiful :love:. My local art college offers adult continuing ed classes in jewelry making/metalsmithing and I hope to take them and learn how to work with silver. I am curious, how many classes did you have to take to learn the skills to make your pieces? The beginners class they offer is 6 classes at 3 hours each and they say you only finish 1 piece in silver after all of that time. I can only image that it took a lot of effort to get to the point where you were able to make all of your pieces. It is inspiring though =)2.

@peacechick thanks for starting this thread! I am going to check out the vendors you mentioned and try to set some of the stones I wouldn't have set otherwise. This could be fun!
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 26, 2007
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Wow @stracci2000 ! I am amazed by the pieces you have made. They are all so beautiful :love:. My local art college offers adult continuing ed classes in jewelry making/metalsmithing and I hope to take them and learn how to work with silver. I am curious, how many classes did you have to take to learn the skills to make your pieces? The beginners class they offer is 6 classes at 3 hours each and they say you only finish 1 piece in silver after all of that time. I can only image that it took a lot of effort to get to the point where you were able to make all of your pieces. It is inspiring though =)2.

@peacechick thanks for starting this thread! I am going to check out the vendors you mentioned and try to set some of the stones I wouldn't have set otherwise. This could be fun!
@2Neezers, About 16 years ago, I learned silversmithing from a Native American woman who was an acquaintance. She was always wearing fabulous pieces that she had made.
I sat with her for one 3 hr. session at her home, and she taught me the basics. Everything else, I leaned on my own, from books, jewelry trade magazines and talking to jewelers at every chance. It took me several weeks to get OK at it, and maybe in 2 months I was doing pretty good work, and producing pieces that I was proud to show off. But I burned a lot of silver and cracked a lot of stones along the way! I have a little studio in my spare bedroom.
I am lucky to live in New Mexico, where Native jewelry is everywhere, and there are many places to buy supplies, stones, etc.
Lots of people I know take classes at our local college as well, but working "one on one" worked out great for me.
The satisfying feeling of creating a wearable piece of art, that you created is priceless!
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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@peacechick , I am thrilled that you are creating your own pieces!!
You are inspiring all of us on PS to rethink jewelry and understand that we can make our own jewelry without paying jewelers big bucks.
We can do it ourselves!
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
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@2Neezers, About 16 years ago, I learned silversmithing from a Native American woman who was an acquaintance. She was always wearing fabulous pieces that she had made.
I sat with her for one 3 hr. session at her home, and she taught me the basics. Everything else, I leaned on my own, from books, jewelry trade magazines and talking to jewelers at every chance. It took me several weeks to get OK at it, and maybe in 2 months I was doing pretty good work, and producing pieces that I was proud to show off. But I burned a lot of silver and cracked a lot of stones along the way! I have a little studio in my spare bedroom.
I am lucky to live in New Mexico, where Native jewelry is everywhere, and there are many places to buy supplies, stones, etc.
Lots of people I know take classes at our local college as well, but working "one on one" worked out great for me.
The satisfying feeling of creating a wearable piece of art, that you created is priceless!
That is so cool! I work better one on one too, and I know of a studio a couple of towns over that offers one on one classes, so I might go that route instead :). It would be a lot of fun to be able to make pieces from scratch like you do. They are all so beautiful!
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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@2Neezers, I must add that jewelry making is hell on your manicure!
I'm sure @peacechick already knows this......:lol::lol-2:
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
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@2Neezers, I must add that jewelry making is hell on your manicure!
I'm sure @peacechick already knows this......:lol::lol-2:

Actually, as I only do setting with pre-notched semi-mounts, I’m happy to report it has no effect on my nails! All you have to do is to hold down the gem and mess around with pliers!

I can imagine that silversmithing is not good for manicures. But hey I would exchange nail art for this skill set anyday.
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
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C6397B0E-79D5-4B20-A73B-2028EFAE5526.jpeg
Here are a couple of little rings I set with kyanites in an attempt to scratch that “cornflower sapphire” itch on a dime store budget. These two little 5mm stones only cost me $40 and are very well cut and sparkly under bright light. Settings were from Natcha again.

I did a good job setting the one on the left, which came out nicely. The one on the right was very hard to set as it kept slipping in the basket and the prongs were too long. I kept having to readjust, and in my impatience, I ended up chipping the stone slightly. But I knew that about Kyanite, that I was likely to damage it since it was so soft.

Also after setting these, i decided I will not attempt to set anything smaller than 5mm, as this size is really my limit.

B662BE9D-B4F0-4554-AB54-5432CB5F15F9.jpeg
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 26, 2007
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@peacechick ,These kyanites are beautiful!
I have chipped a few stones myself!:eek2:
It can be hard to judge how much pressure you can exert on a stone without damaging it.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,267
@peacechick thanks for creating this fun thread. I love the settings you chose for your stones. Thank you for sharing your setting vendor as well. Do you know if all his settings are pre-notched? I'm interested in a few for my cheapie stones, but worry I won't be able to notch them properly (I don't have the tool).

@stracci2000 wow, you have set so many gemstones yourself! I enjoyed reading about how you came to be a silversmith yourself and enjoyed seeing your collection. My favorite pieces of yours are the big black cat's eye ring, the pearl pendant, your star sapphire ring, and that snake ring. Have you ever thought of making another one that holds a marquise gem between its body and its tail?

Here are my self-set rings. One is a 5mm blue-green tourmaline with 3mm fire opal sidestones. Setting is the 3-stone butterfly setting in sterling silver from ErikasDelights on Etsy. The second is a teal sapphire set in 14k WG with diamonds that I bought from LT.
IMG_0112.JPG
IMG_0080.JPG
For the second one, I didn't mean to set it that night, just wanted to see how the stone would look in the setting. The setting was listed as for a 5.5mm stone, and my sapphire was 5.6mm. It kinda slipped from my tweezers and stuck inside the prongs, so I decided to set it then and there so I wouldn't have to risk damaging the prongs trying to take the sapphire out. I moved it so it faced up straight and rotated it so the star in the precision cut looked centered, and folded the prongs down. There was no notching the prongs or cutting the prongs, but well, I was afraid I might not cut the prong tips symmetrically, and this way I would know that they were the same length. What's important for me is that the stone is oriented correctly and secure, although a professional jeweler might call it a sloppy job.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
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Also, I could see my 8.8mm peridot in a setting like this, but I am slightly concerned about fitting the gem in the right position since the gem is slightly smaller. https://www.ebay.com/itm/9-0-MM-Rou...603006?hash=item33ee9d10fe:g:yQAAAOSwaeRbPiQ-

This, too, can work for the 7x5 spinel; would want to know whether the prongs are pre-notched or not!
https://www.ebay.com/itm/7x5-rectan...709181&hash=item33e6b50583:g:ryIAAOSwTMxayBCU

Yes, the two Thai vendors only sell pre-notched settings, that’s why I buy from them. The Chinese and Indian vendors will do it if you ask but I am too lazy. 8.8mm will fit nicely in that settings. Slightly smaller is better than slightly bigger. 0.5mm will be too big a difference but 0.2 is negligible, imo. My biggest issue tends to be with fat girdles that don’t sit well in the basket.

I love your beautiful rings, thanks for sharing your Etsy vendor! And I am so impressed you managed to set your sapphire in gold!!! I don’t have the guts to touch a gold setting yet. Was it a pre-loved setting? If so, it may already have been notched from its previous stone, which may be why your stone kind of just snapped in place!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Yes, the two Thai vendors only sell pre-notched settings, that’s why I buy from them. The Chinese and Indian vendors will do it if you ask but I am too lazy. 8.8mm will fit nicely in that settings. Slightly smaller is better than slightly bigger. 0.5mm will be too big a difference but 0.2 is negligible, imo. My biggest issue tends to be with fat girdles that don’t sit well in the basket.

I love your beautiful rings, thanks for sharing your Etsy vendor! And I am so impressed you managed to set your sapphire in gold!!! I don’t have the guts to touch a gold setting yet. Was it a pre-loved setting? If so, it may already have been notched from its previous stone, which may be why your stone kind of just snapped in place!
Thanks, that gives me more confidence to buy those settings for my stones. About the gold setting, no, it was not a pre-loved setting, spanking new with no notches whatsoever. Maybe I got lucky with how the sapphire just slipped down the center, but it actually felt easier to bend the 14k gold prongs than the pre-notched silver settings, as I didn't have to worry about warping the prongs when I used force, lol.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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Have you ever thought of making another one that holds a marquise gem between its body and its tail?
Yes! I have a 2 ct. pear peridot on my workbench and I keep looking at it wondering how to set it! This is a great idea!
I am so happy you are setting your own gems. It is very liberating, don't you think?
Next, you will want to learn soldering........!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
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Yes! I have a 2 ct. pear peridot on my workbench and I keep looking at it wondering how to set it! This is a great idea!
I am so happy you are setting your own gems. It is very liberating, don't you think?
Next, you will want to learn soldering........!
How is (or is) jewelry soldering different from electronics soldering? Is it just the materials used? I already have a soldering iron for electronics projects. Back in the day I was studying to become an electrical engineer I soldered circuit parts, made a radio, etc.

If you're using that idea for the 2 ct pear peridot, that's gonna be one special snake! :D
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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How is (or is) jewelry soldering different from electronics soldering? Is it just the materials used? I already have a soldering iron for electronics projects. Back in the day I was studying to become an electrical engineer I soldered circuit parts, made a radio, etc.

If you're using that idea for the 2 ct pear peridot, that's gonna be one special snake! :D
Well, I guess the idea is similar. It is the joining of two pieces of silver with silver solder that is heated with a torch. Using flux, the solder flows into the seam, creating a bond.
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 6, 2013
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I have a new ring! My first cab project.
3A34CB0A-AC87-4D71-A449-EB34C10116B9.jpeg
AB860902-912B-41FA-8CE4-122505585217.jpeg
So this was a case where I bought the setting first as I saw it on Nipa Jewelry and really loved the vine like design and the tiny rubies. Then it took a while to find a 11-12mm stone to place in it but I finally settled on a pink chalcedony cab (sold to me as wild melon chalcedony from Brazil). It has a few dark pink freckles in it which remind me of homemade strawberry ice cream :P2.
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 12, 2018
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@voce in my limited experience, I’ve found it easier to solder electronics than jewelry. As Stracci mentioned, you use a torch rather than a soldering iron and it can take a bit of practice.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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Woohoo strawberry ice cream :P2. That's absolutely a lovely setting and the perfect stone for that setting! Good job on setting your first cab. Was it easier than setting faceted gems?

I have some star sapphire cabs to set, but they're not in calibrated sizes, so I'll have to take a class and set them myself! It feels silly to buy a gemstone for <$40 and pay $300+ to have someone else set it.
 

digdeep

Brilliant_Rock
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After reading this thread I'm wondering if anyone knows of ready made settings without CZ or other gems? Just silver or gold options.......but nice settings? Looking for settings that are more casual than diamonds/cz's.............. TIA!
 

voce

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After reading this thread I'm wondering if anyone knows of ready made settings without CZ or other gems? Just silver or gold options.......but nice settings? Looking for settings that are more casual than diamonds/cz's.............. TIA!


I just bought these setting from Etsy. There were some neat ones from the same seller, but they seemed to have some CZ decorative elements. I also prefer no CZ because if I wear them with my engagement ring with diamond melee then the CZ just look so fake since they just don't have the same brilliance or scintillation. Anyway, there's plenty of pretty silver settings available on Etsy as well as Ebay!
 

peacechick

Brilliant_Rock
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Woohoo strawberry ice cream :P2. That's absolutely a lovely setting and the perfect stone for that setting! Good job on setting your first cab. Was it easier than setting faceted gems?

I have some star sapphire cabs to set, but they're not in calibrated sizes, so I'll have to take a class and set them myself! It feels silly to buy a gemstone for <$40 and pay $300+ to have someone else set it.

You will feel so accomplished after taking a class! Take photos and teach us! I know what you mean. Setting a stone costs upwards of $400 here, because only 18k gold is used, and that’s for a simple setting. We have no silversmiths here, which is sad.

After reading this thread I'm wondering if anyone knows of ready made settings without CZ or other gems? Just silver or gold options.......but nice settings? Looking for settings that are more casual than diamonds/cz's.............. TIA!

There are certainly plenty of settings like this, in fact I believe self-setting as a hobby was popularised by Snap-Tite in the US. Here are two vendors that sell them:

https://www.jamminggems.com/

https://www.firemountaingems.com/

Jamminggems is probably where I would go. They sell pretty much everything. In addition, if you look on eBay or Etsy, there should be some too (make sure you search “prenotched”).

I have never purchased from US vendors as the shipping cost makes it less of a bargain for me, but if you are in the US, they should be very well priced.
 

naivemelody

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
67
THANK YOU for this thread and recommendations! :clap:

I'd been trying for so long to find a cheap way to set an un-calibrated-size stone. I took the plunge to contact natcha_creations and it couldn't have gone better. The level of service, communication, and attention to detail was so beyond my expectations. I just asked for a 1mm change to an existing setting of theirs, and they added little gallery details for extra stability without my even asking, they sent CADs for approval (!!) again without my asking... just awesome service and makes me feel confident trusting them with any level of project. I did have a question because the measurements on the CADs were 0.2mm off from my stone, but they said that was normal and not to worry, so I gave them the OK. Well it fits perfectly! I got a halo setting and was trying not to have any expectations about the stone sitting high vs low - thankfully it looks great!

I don't have any jewelry tools, but a needle-nose pliers from my hardware kit worked to get the prongs secure and ok-looking from straight-on. They're not flush to the stone as I'd like, but I think probably "the perfect is the enemy of the good" at this point, until I have more practice at this, haha.

Stone is a 3.57ct electric blue topaz:
20181006_133916.jpg 20181006_141125.jpg
 
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