How to Easily Mount Gemstones Without Fancy Tools

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Introduction: How to Easily Mount Gemstones Without Fancy Tools

About: I like to make stuff and learn through the process. That's pretty much it :)

This is something I came up with in middle school I think. I don't know if others have used it (I'm sure it's out there somewhere), but I haven't seen any instructions on mounting stones this way so I figured I'd share it with you guys :)

Back in 7th or 8th grade I went with my mom to the gem show and one of the vendors there was selling loose stones. Seeing as how they were incredibly shiny, I couldn't pass up buying a pack of 'em (plus, I managed to haggle the price down to 80% off. that helped a lot.). The problem was, I had no way of actually using them. Professional pronged mounts? Nope, this is a middle schooler you're talking about. Bezel settings? Nah. They might've been doable, but I would've needed to be able to solder the bezel cup, and I wasn't allowed to use the blowtorch (huh. wonder why...). So I tried doing it this way.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

- a pair of round nose pliers (you could probably get away with a dowel you've tapered with sandpaper or something like that)
- wire (here I'm using 20 gauge beading wire from Michael's)
- a gemstone (in this case a 4mm brilliant cut cubic zirconia)
- wire cutters

Optional:

- *a fine file or some sandpaper (strongly recommended) to deburr cut edges
- 0000 steel wool to clean, straighten, and burnish the wire
- *a pair of chain nose pliers (they're always handy to have around)

*not pictured

Step 2: Prepping the Wire

Basically all you need to do is straighten your wire with your fingers, but mine has been sitting around in my backpack for a year or so, so it's pretty dirty. I'm using the steel wool to both clean the wire of dirt and stuff that has accumulated, and polish it a bit.
In fact, the main objective here isn't really to straighten the wire, it's to get rid of any kinks that are present (although if your wire insists on coiling up a lot, straightening helps to keep your sanity intact).

Step 3: How It Works

The idea behind this setting is that you will create a slightly conical coil that looks kinda like a spring. The inner diameter (ID) of the setting will be smaller than the diameter of the girdle of the stone, while the outer diameter (OD) will be larger than the diameter of the girdle. This way the stone stays in place because it falls in between two adjacent coils.

Actually, just take a look at the second pic.

Step 4: Making the Setting

Mark the spot on your round-nose pliers that's the same diameter as your stone. An easy way to find that spot is to place your stone under a jaw and find where it just barely disappears from sight. This means that the diameters of the two are equivalent. Starting a little above that (a 1/16" or so), start coiling your wire around the pliers. Make sure you're coiling downward, so that the largest part of the coil is what's attached to the spool. Once you've got about 4 turns, you're ready to test fit it with the stone!

Step 5: Inserting the Stone

Carefully insert the stone with the table facing up, and see if it fits. If you're lucky, you should hear a very satisfying "snap!" as the stone seats. Anything where the stone is restricted from going up any further is what I consider "fitting." If it's one, two, three coils away from the top, so be it. As long as the stone can't work it's way free by going through the top, you're good. If you're stone stops at the very bottom coil, just add a few more turns at the bottom and try again. You can always trim layers off the top later :)

Step 6: Fine Tuning and Securing It in Place

Once you've got the stone in place, you need to make sure it stays there. I like to reduce the diameter of the top and bottom coils and, for good measure (and for centering), pull the trailing wire straight across the bottom of the setting. Trim the top as desired, file any sharp edges, and you're done!

Step 7: Other Stuff

There are many things you can do with these, such as making rings, earrings, pendants, etc. or using them as embellishments on larger projects.

If you come up with something awesome, feel free to share it! I'd love to see what y'all come up with.

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    29 Discussions

    0
    Marcusdoright
    Marcusdoright

    4 months ago

    Super helpful tutorial!! Thank you!!

    15911243212726844520487098931790.jpg
    1
    KyleN4
    KyleN4

    5 years ago

    If not then make a modified version of this tutorial by CSL Design https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=y-zUaVznduA like I did

    0
    TammyO20
    TammyO20

    Reply 9 months ago

    I'm in my 2nd year of wire wrapping and I've been following her on YouTube since I started in early 2018. She has some really good video tutorials! 👍 Lan Anh Handmade also has fantastic tutorials. 😊

    0
    Czarcharles
    Czarcharles

    5 years ago on Step 7

    Very clever. Have you tried it with silver or gold wire?

    0
    TammyO20
    TammyO20

    Reply 9 months ago

    Hi. I've used silver plated copper and it turned out great! 👍

    0
    krisldiamond
    krisldiamond

    3 years ago

    Love this project. Where do you find the gemstones?

    0
    TammyO20
    TammyO20

    Reply 9 months ago

    Hi. You can find gemstones in many places. I bought a Lot of 50 8mm CZ's for around $12 on Amazon but you can find many different kinds, colors, and shapes of gemstones from eBay, Etsy, and Amazon just to name a few well known places. Swarovsky brand also has some very beautiful crystal stones that can be purchased online or at craft stores. I always shop for the best prices before buying anything.

    0
    msmalomar
    msmalomar

    1 year ago on Step 6

    Thank you for your very instructional tutorial. You certainly make me feel that I can do this wire wrapping thing; I have been avoiding this part of jewelry making. I appreciate you doing this.

    0
    AshleyH177
    AshleyH177

    2 years ago

    So simple! Made a commissioned ring with this type of setting. She was so happy with it! Thank you for sharing this.

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    0
    KyleN4
    KyleN4

    5 years ago

    Does it work with other stone shapes

    0
    ChronicPainter
    ChronicPainter

    Reply 1 year ago

    It would if you had something the same shape as your stone with a tapered end. You could potentially make your own using a wooden dowel and sanding it to right tapered shape (:

    0
    Egyptsy
    Egyptsy

    4 years ago

    ok im a LITTLE confused,,,,where did the start of the wire go,,i mean starting the coil there is an end ,,where did it got? do you fold it in someplace? did i miss something?

    1
    ChronicPainter
    ChronicPainter

    Reply 1 year ago

    She filed the end at the top of the stone. It’s there but barely noticeable (:

    0
    Elsabe13
    Elsabe13

    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing - love it!

    0
    jillian.mcneil.58
    jillian.mcneil.58

    5 years ago on Step 7

    i have done some like that but i can never get the top coil to stay in place any tips?

    ( they way i learn to do it was make a loop at the bottom like a head pin then coil the wire all the way up the stone till you over lap on the top)

    0
    Liamthedevastator
    Liamthedevastator

    5 years ago on Step 6

    Another question, sorry. What grit file would you recommend? It's such a small area and the metal is pretty soft, have you found a sandpaper grit or a file that works best for this process?

    0
    gg1220
    gg1220

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 6

    Hmmm... the finer the better? You can even use sandpaper (220 grit or so) wrapped over a popsicle stick if you have that on hand!

    Hi! Hopefully you get this because you've been offline for a bit, but what hardness of wire are you using? I'm endeavouring to make a pendant from a tungsten cobalt lathe bit (sounds horrid, but they are actually a pleasant shape!) and set a 3mm round citrine stone in the middle using your technique. So far I am thinking a 20gauge dead-soft round wire will suffice, but I'm not sure. Would "dead-soft" wire be able to hold the stone?

    Thanks a tonne for the fantastic setting technique and well written instructable!

    0
    gg1220
    gg1220

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Liam! I used 20 gauge half-hard (ish) wire from Michael's Arts and Crafts. Dead soft wire will probably work to set the stone initially, but it's so easy to bend that the stone might fall out accidentally. If all you have is dead soft wire, I'd recommend coiling and uncoiling it a bunch to make it harder. Good luck!