DIY

How to Set a Gemstone

Last month was my wedding anniversary. Four years! Yeah, I know. Probably should have posted about my anniversary a month ago. When it happened. I need to get a handle on this whole time-space thing.

For my anniversary, I actually wanted a gift, aside from the usual nice dinner and bubbly. I decided on a ring. A ring with a large stone. A stone large enough that if I were wearing it and happened to fall into a lake, it would drag me right to the bottom. I’d be a goner.

Okay. Maybe not quite that big.

My other requirement for this ring was that I wanted to do it myself – select my own gemstone and ring, and set it myself. So, I bought a stone (eBay!). It’s a smoky quartz, and I love the color.

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I also love that it’s about the cheapest gemstone a person could buy. This baby clocks in at just under 11 carats and didn’t cost a fortune.

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I bought a setting for said gemstone. Sterling silver, very affordable.

So now what?

Welcome to the totally non-professional, quick-and-dirty way to set a gemstone. Emphasis on non-professional. If a jeweler reads this, they may cry.

First, turn your stone upside down. Push your setting down onto it. It should pop right in. If not, bend the prongs back with a small pair of needlenose pliers. Then set the stone inside the setting.

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Use the pliers to ever so carefully bend the prongs down onto the stone. Shake the ring back and forth, make sure the stone is completely secure – if it’s not, you’ll be able to hear it moving back and forth. Shake it like a Polaroid, baby. Keep gently bending those prongs down until the stone doesn’t move. Even when you shake it. Like a Polaroid. Sorry. I’ll stop now.

The result of this hard work?

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Ta-da! Done.

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Now, just a little disclaimer here. I did this myself because the gemstone and ring together cost me less than $40. I can live with that cost had I screwed up and damaged something.

If you want to set a stone that’s precious to you, take it to a jeweler.

If you want to set your great-grandmother’s 140 year old gemstone that survived two world wars and 4 uprisings, take it to a jeweler.

Is my stone perfectly set with prongs that are perfectly bent over and evenly spaced? Uh, no. One of the prongs is a little wonky. That doesn’t bother me one bit. If it would bother you, take it to a jeweler.

Have fun!

*This tutorial was featured on One Pretty Thing!

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