neck1Stone setting is one of the more common bench procedures today. This article will help you evaluate the craftsmanship related a popular stone setting style: bright and bead setting.

You’ll be better prepared to identify needed stone setting repairs and have the knowledge and confidence to discuss repair options in a way that builds a customer’s trust and loyalty.

Bead and bright setting creates such amazing glitter and sparkle that it is often difficult to see where a gemstone ends and brilliant metal begins. The process sets stones even with the surface of the metal by raising metal beads to secure the stones in place.

Frequently used for smaller sized diamonds and gemstones, bead and bright setting can be done in strips or over large areas of metal.

To create bead and bright setting (sometimes referred to as bead and bright-cut), gemstones are positioned table down on metal, so that they are spaced about a half a stone’s diameter apart. The jeweler marks their position for the drilling of a seat.

The seat must be cut to the exact diameter of the stone. Depth is also important, because stones set too deeply will disappear into the metal losing their opportunity to sparkle to their fullest potential.

Next, the jeweler uses tools called gravers to cut lines and patterns into the metal between each stone seat. The jeweler will cut frame lines along the sides of the seats and diamond and triangle patterns between the seats.

After placing the gemstone into its seat, the jeweler then uses a different type of graver to pick up small amounts of metal from the previously cut triangle shapes near the edge of the stone and push the metal up and over the very edge
of the gem. These rough pieces of metal are then smoothed and rounded into small prongs called beads.

The final step uses another type of graver to cut markings into the metal leaving a bright mirror-like finish. It is from the rounded prong called a bead and the highly polished lines left by the final graver that we get the name “bead and bright” setting. When all the setting work is done, the jeweler will give the piece a final inspection and polish, ensuring that every stone is secure and the entire bead and bright setting area is brilliant and sparkling.