How to Set Stones in a Shared Prong Setting

I ran across a strip of shared prong settings the other day and soldered a bail on it to make a cute little pendant setting. I haven’t done much prong settings on the JewelryMonk Blog lately, so I thought I would share how I set this. The setting was actually a 1/2 circular earring for a 2.5mm stone, but I straightened and flattened it, which shrunk the setting area to close to 2.0mm.

Shared Prong Header

Here is the setting and the stones I have chosen for this project. Again, the setting is a bit large for these stones, but I was sure I could make them fit before I started. The stones here are 2.0mm. I load the piece in Dop Wax to hold it firm while I set the stones. I have used Jett Sett for larger pieces, but for small pieces I prefer dop wax. I am careful not to sink the piece too deep into the wax, and I also make sure the holes under the stones are clear of wax so not to interfere with the stones.

Shared Prong (1) Shared Prong (2)

Whenever I set multiple stones in a shared prong setting, I always start from the center stone and work towards the ends. This way, as I am tightening the stones, I am always tightening the stones towards the center. I like to set the stones just a little bit above the seat of the stone, but in this case, the settings were just a hair too big, so I set the stones on top of the seat. I opened up the prongs a little with a pointed tool I made from a broken bit that has been shaped and polished. I put the point into the setting and moved the prongs back just a bit, I am using a 2.0mm Hart Bur to “nick” the seats with my Foredom. I like to cut the seats about 1/4 to 1/3 the way into the prong, but in this case, I barely nicked the prongs so the stones would tighten easier. I work from the center to the end.

Shared Prong (3) Shared Prong (4)

Shared Prong (5) Shared Prong (6)

After I set the stones on one side, I set the stones on the other side, always tightening the stones towards the center stone. The prongs on this piece are a little long, so I have clipped them with my Lindstrom Semi-Flush Cutters. I leave about 1mm of the prong above the stone to give me something to finish. Next I use a Beading Tool to finish tightening the stones and to start to shape the prongs. I get them close to how I like them, and I use a Cup Bur to finish shaping the prongs. The prongs are about 0.8mm and I used a 1.0mm Cup Bur. I then polish the prongs to remove the scratches.

Shared Prong (7) Shared Prong (8)

Shared Prong (9) Shared Prong (10)

Shared Prong (11)

Lastly, I double check that all the stones are secured, then I lightly heat up the piece with my Mini Torch and a very small flame. I hold the pendant with my Tweezers and pull it with just enough pressure to release when the wax is softened from the heat. I place the piece in Denatured Alcohol to remove the excess wax on the pendant. It is now ready for final polishing.

Shared Prong (12)

I know most of you do not set shared prong settings, but if you ever want or need to, hopefully this will make you a little less apprehensive to start. I will be doing some other settings in the near future with single prongs as well, so stay tuned.

As always, thank you for stopping by and if you find this helpful, feel free to share it with friends.

Now, get out there and share something other than prongs.

Doug

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4 Responses to How to Set Stones in a Shared Prong Setting

  1. LindaS September 23, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Thank you for another helpful tip!

    • JewelryMonk September 23, 2014 at 6:28 am #

      You are welcome Linda.

  2. Mike September 23, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks! I’ll definitely use this.

    • JewelryMonk September 23, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Thank you Mike.