How to Set a Gemstone

Last month was my wedding anniversary. Four years! As a gift, I wanted a gemstone, and I wanted to learn how to set a gemstone myself. As in, set a gemstone into a setting. Or set a gemstone into a mount. Whatever. Easy peasy. So, I bought a stone (eBay!). It’s a smoky quartz, and I love the color.


I also love that it’s an affordable gemstone. This baby clocks in at just under 11 carats and didn’t cost a fortune.


I bought a setting for said gemstone. Sterling silver, very affordable. You can find jewelry mountings on Amazon, FYI, and that there is an affiliate link. Also FYI.

So now what?

Welcome to the totally non-professional way to set a gemstone in a mount. 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.


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?


Ta-da! Done.


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!