Introduction: Simple Silver Ring With Tension Set Gemstone

Picture of Simple Silver Ring With Tension Set Gemstone

This instructable will document the process of making this simple elegant ring that I made for my sister.

It's made with as few special tools as possible, so it can be done without investing too much money in tools. All in all it cost me around 40 dollars. I'm a student, so I have to keep things as cheap as possible, while still looking good.

Enjoy, and feel free to ask any questions, I don't bite.

If you think I did a good job, please vote for me in the Rings and the On a budget contest.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

For this ring you don't need much really.


- About 10 cm 3x3mm square silver wire

- A 3mm round cut stone. I used a peridot, because i like the olive color, and it looks nice in the silver


- Calipers

- Welding clamp

- Pliers

- Blowtorch

- Something round the size of the designated finger. To find it, either measure the finger, or borrow a ring you know fits. I found a socket that fit perfect, but anything steel and round can go really. Be creative, or even better, get a ring mandrel.

- The only special tool for this ring, is a dremel bit, a so called hart bur, specifically designed to cut seats for stones. It cost me about 5 bucks, so i don't consider this a huge expense.

And that's it! Most of this is common tools found in every workshop.

Step 2: Wrap the Silver

Picture of Wrap the Silver

This is not the best way, but it works and it requires less tools. The best way would be to cut the wire to size, and shape it around a ring mandrel.

To get the ring shape, clamp it to the socket or whatever round thing you found. Then secure the clamp in a bench, so you can pull the silver without it moving. It will be very hot, you do NOT want to hold it in your hand!

Get a plier and grip the end of the silver. Gripping it will damage the silver, so the less you grip, the more of the silver can be used.

Now start heating the socket and silver. Keep the heat concentrated on the socket, and the part of the silver that is closest to the socket. Be careful not to melt it, keep it at a dull red, and start pulling and twisting the silver at the same time. If it's heated right, it shouldn't be difficult. When you reach a full round, put the rest as close to the first round as possible. This will inevitably make a little warping when it's straighted out, but it will be very little. Push the end in with the end of the pliers.

And again, this is really hot. Use common sense, and a little caution and you'll be good.

Step 3: Cut the Ends Off

Picture of Cut the Ends Off

Now, clamp the wrapped ring in a bench vise with some protective padding to not scratch it, and cut the ugly ends off.

I used a dremel cutting disc, the thinest i could find. A jewelers saw would be better but again, the budget and accessibility.

The cut has to be as perpendicular as possible. I used a magnifying glass to better see what i was doing.

Save the leftovers, they can be remelted.

Step 4: Straighten Up and Cut Out for the Stone

Picture of Straighten Up and Cut Out for the Stone

Now that you have a ring that don't overlap, it's time to straighten it out, so it's flat. Be careful if you use pliers, it might scratch the silver. If you do use pliers, use parallel jaw pliers. I used a bench vise, padded with wood and a lot of pressure. It left a small warp, but you'll have to know it to notice it.

To cut the gap for the stone, set the ring back in the vise and score a line with the calipers set to the correct diameter. Cut the silver with the cutting disc, again as perpendicular as possible. Refine the surface of the cut with a small file, and also round off the edges of the

Just as a test, I put my stone in just to get an idea how it would look like.

Step 5: Cut the Seat for the Stone

Picture of Cut the Seat for the Stone

Since the top of the gap is the size of the stone, you will have to widen the gap a little. I found a plier that did the job nicely.

Then back in the vise, and very carefully cut small seats for the stone on each surface. Cut the seat about half a millimeter under the top, and straight in the middle. I recommend trying it out on the leftovers first, to practice, it can be a little tricky. It's important that you cut it straight, otherwise the stone will be at an angle and look weird.

After it's cut, sand it over with sanding paper going up to about 1200 grit, and finally polish it with a buffing wheel.

Step 6: Set the Stone

Picture of Set the Stone

To create the tension that holds the stone, start by clamping the ring in, and squeeze it in so the ends touch. Then open it again, only enough to slip the stone in and hold it in place. I made a overly complex setup to do this, but it was just because i was alone at home, if you have someone to help it's not that complicated. It's also extremely satisfying to hear that little click then

Step 7: All Done!

Picture of All Done!

And there's your ring! It's not the most complicated ring, but it's a little different than the rest, homemade and quite nice looking. I spent about 5 hours in total, and about 40 dollars in materials, so for a unique silver ring, that's not too bad.

Once again, thank you for reading, and please feel free to ask questions.

(I'm just an amateur doing things because it's fun, please don't be too harsh)

And finally, if you think this instructable is worth it, please vote for me in the Rings and the On a budget contests.


JordanNelson91 (author)2017-06-09

If I were to set a pearl there instead of a standard faceted gem, would you recommend carving small circles for the groves?

hey Jordan,

I think that would depend on the diameter of the pearl, if you would take a small one I think you would be okay, but with a bigger one it would be harder as the concave wouldn't be deep enough to keep it in firm enough. You may have to go with a pearl with a hole through it for a necklace for instance and use the concave as well as two small pins that would stick into the hole from both sides to keep it in there securely. That would make it a lot harder to set and align though.

Good luck!

kathynv (author)2016-02-27

What an elegant, beautiful ring. I love it, and as soon as I acquire a little working space, this ring is on my short list of items to make. That you made it with so few tools is impressive. I have loads of tools, but that hart bit is new to me. Nothing to add really, except that I really love your work.

Flecks (author)kathynv2016-02-29

Awesome! I'm happy you liked it! (:

Corinbw (author)2016-01-17

oh man thats way cool. i love casting jewelry, and i am working on a couple of tension set rings right now and i am running into some problems getting the stone to stay in place so it wont pop out. i have most every bit in the book but the diamond bits i have are pretty cheap and arent really doing the job but maybe i will be able to get another bit to cut the seats with. thanks a ton

drj113 (author)2015-06-28

I loved this - Where did you source the 3mm square silver wire? I have done a heap of eBay searches without luck.

Flecks (author)drj1132015-07-13

Thanks :)

I got it at a danish dealer, but for a more international dealer you can try they have it. It's in wonky imperial units, so i don't know which one is 3mm.

niklpkl (author)2015-03-03

looks great!!! about how much do you think you could sell a ring like this for?

HowToWut (author)2015-02-09

What's the gauge of the silver and where's you get your wire and stone? I'm into the whole jewelry thing, I just don't have the materials, so any hep is awesome!

Battlespeed (author)HowToWut2015-02-09

When wire is measured in mm it usually isn't also measured in gauges. This is what he's talking about:{90226584-57FB-4051-BEB6-9D9C1C1B213D}&details_type=1&itemid={B8492A94-32CC-46FC-AABD-C7FC47582A17}

HowToWut (author)Battlespeed2015-02-09

oh, okay thanks, though I have seen wire marked as gauged in hobby lobby and Michaels in my area. But thanks!

tankapotamus (author)HowToWut2015-02-22

All round wire is measured in guage, since there is no flat side to it, it can't be measured like the square wire (I'm not sure if it is wire if it's squre).

Battlespeed (author)HowToWut2015-02-10

Yes, some wire is measured in gauges, but usually not both. Since he said his wire was 3 x 3mm I knew what he was using. Just a bit of experience, that's all.

HowToWut (author)Battlespeed2015-02-10

okay, thanks for the info man!

realslimshady_ko (author)2015-02-20

Where can i buy the square silver that can ship to USA

Flecks (author)realslimshady_ko2015-02-21

Try Riogrande, they have a lot of materials

mdeblasi1 (author)2015-02-15

My only advice would be to flux the metal before you heat it to prevent fire stain.

Flecks (author)mdeblasi12015-02-16

How should i do that? Just dip it in dissolved flux before heating it? Thank you very much for the advise

loony1 (author)2015-02-14

Love the simple design of tension rings; you have my vote!

emilyvanleemput (author)2015-02-14

It may be simple, but it's also simply gorgeous :)

Flecks (author)emilyvanleemput2015-02-14

Then my plan and design worked :) thank you very much :)

pfisk3 (author)2015-02-11

How well does it hold up? Any chance of the stone falling out?

Flecks (author)pfisk32015-02-11

Absolutely not, you can throw it at the wall and it'll still be in there. Not that I've tried, but I dropped it a few times and I can't pull the ends out without tools.

silvertinkerer (author)Flecks2015-02-13

I am a professional goldsmith. Most of the tension set rings that come to me for fixes are because the stone falls out. Most people do not treat them right, & cause it. Over time tension will change, the metal wears way in the back, & metal can bend. Even plain wedding bands come in deformed every so often. It is just a fact of life. Like I said most people do not treat the rings right. They have them on 24/7 & it is only a mater of time.

Flecks (author)silvertinkerer2015-02-14

It's true if you treat them without care eventually it will break, just like everything else in this world. However a 3mm square wire that has been work hardened squeezing in on the stone, you really have to hate it too break it..

jsaum1 (author)2015-02-13

what kind of wire is this? what is its normal application?

Flecks (author)jsaum12015-02-13

Silver wire, 3x3mm. Normal application? Uhm.. Jewelery and.. whatever you want?

DIYfan (author)2015-02-12

Where did you get the Dremel bit? I cannot find that profile anywhere. I searched using the term "double cone Dremel bit," is it called anything else? Does it have a number?

Flecks (author)DIYfan2015-02-12ærktøj_Bor_fræsere_t...

I found it here.

After some looking around, i found the correct translation on, it's called a hart bur.

I'll correct it in the description, thank you for pointing it out.

DIYfan (author)Flecks2015-02-12

What size head for that 3 mm stone? I'm supposing that stone size makes a difference. Is there a rule of thumb with regard to how deep the channel must be to keep the stone secure? 10% of the diameter? 5%?

Flecks (author)DIYfan2015-02-13

I used a 3mm head for the 3mm stone. In general you can use smaller heads or the same size as the stone. The depth of the cut.... I'm not sure really, I think my cuts were about .15mm deep, so i guess 5-10% sounds about right :)

bricobart (author)2015-02-10

Simple, elegant & gorgeous. Voted!

Flecks (author)bricobart2015-02-10

Thank you so much! :)

Flecks (author)2015-02-10

I bought the silver, and any other metal i use, at a Danish website, but that's just because i live in Denmark and that's the easiest. It doesn't have a gauge, it's square wire, 3x3 mm.

Straklin (author)2015-02-09

Nice job! looks great! keep up the good work. B-)

About This Instructable




Bio: A 25 year old engineering student and amateur jeweler. I spend a lot of time shooting on the national team, and making stuff in my ... More »
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