Archive | Polishing

Gypsy Setting or Flush Setting Tutorial

Part 2 of the Tapered Rectangle Earring Tutorial

Let’s finish this earring project we started yesterday. When I left off, we created the design and cut the pilot hole for the stones we are going to Gypsy Set or Flush Set into the flat earrings, so let’s dive it:

These are the tools I am using to cut the seats and set the stones:  a 0.9mm Twist Drill Bit to drill the pilot hole, a 1.3mm Twist Drill Bit (65% of the stone size) a 1.8mm Bud Bur, and a 2.0mm Hart Setting Bur. All these tools are available at at a discounted price. Also a burnishing tool I will show you how to prepare later.

First I drilled the earrings with the 0.9mm Twist Drill Bit as a pilot hole, then finished it off with a 1.3mm Twist Drill Bit, which is 65% of the total stone size. I like to have my “Through Hole” for settings between 60%-70% of the stone size. After the hole is drilled, I prepare the setting with a 1.8mm Bud Bur, which is about 90% of the total stone width. This helps the stone to seat better. Some stones are cut with a thicker bottom, and this will help with stone variance.

The width or size of the stone is important to know, but also be aware of the thickness of the girdle of the stone, or the side area. This will determine how deep to drill your seat for the stone. This stone has a little thicker girdle, so I have to drill a little deeper than normal. I used a 2.0mm Hart Setting Bur to do this. You want to drill the stone seat so that there is a little metal between the top of the girdle and the top of the piece. You want the table (or top) of the stone to be at the same level as the surface of the metal.

Now that I have the stones ready to set, I will finish assembling the earrings. I mark the back of the pieces where I want the earring post to be attached. I mark them so they are the same from side to side. Just a small make is needed, which will be covered up by the head of the earring post and the solder. Next I clean the piece well and get ready to solder.

After the pieces are clean, I dip them into a mixture of Denatured Alcohol and Boric Acid Powder, this helps to prevent fire scale. I add just a little dot of Handy Flux to the area where the solder will go. I also add just a dot of flux to the head of the earring post and pick up a small piece of Medium Silver Solder (cut from a sheet). You can see not much is needed. Since the earring is thicker and heavier than the earring post, during soldering I focus the majority of the heat from the torch to this area. This prevents melting the post. I solder, then pickle to remove any fire scale and the left over glazed flux.

After getting the pieces out of the pickle, I bench polish the piece to take care of any small scratches or imperfections before setting the stones. I also want to polish the top and refine the beveled edge on this design, and the Hard Felt Wheel works great for this. I use a Knife Edge Hard Felt Wheel on the back, to get close to the post without bending it.

Another added feature I like to do is take my Hart Setting Bur and clean up the hole on the back side of the setting, This looks cleaner and more uniform when it is polished. I usually just put the bur in the hole and turn it with my fingers, (no foredom) It doesn’t take much to clean this out.

To support the earring during setting, I drilled a hole in my bench pin with a 1.0mm Twist Drill for the earring post to fit into. This keeps it from bending and helps to use the back of the earring as support during the setting process.

The burnishing tool I use to set the stone is one I made. I took an old dull ball bur, probably around 1.0mm and cut or broke off the end. I sanded the edge round with a Snap On Sanding Disc and polished it by rubbing it back and forth on a piece of paper loaded with Yellow Rouge. I use a small flat piece of glass or plexiglass under the paper, and rub the rough across the paper to prepare it, then keep rubbing the burnisher until it has a high shine.

FINALLY, it is time to set the stone! I place the polished burnisher at the intersection of the stone and metal and in a circular motion, with the burnisher at about a 10 degree angle, I mold the metal edge slightly over the edge of the stone. You will be surprised how little metal it takes to hold the stone in place.

To see this process, I have attached a Video of this setting process, it is about 7 minutes long, but goes into more detail about the setting process. Click the link below:

After the stone is set, I give it a light polish on my polishing machine, clean it in the ultrasonic, and it is all finished!

I truly hope this helps you to understand this process. Like most things, the more you practice, the more familiar and better you will get. At least you now know the “Mechanics” behind the art of Gypsy/Flush Setting.

Again, the majority of the tools used in this tutorial are available at a discounted price at

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Thanks for stopping by. Now…… Go Make Something Shiny!



Tapered Rectangle Earring Tutorial

Tapered Rectangle Earring Tutorial

It has been a while since I actually sat down and did a project tutorial from start to finish. Well you are in luck. I have a project that I just finished, that I will cover in 2 posts. The first will be creating the earrings and getting them ready to set stones in them, the second part will be a tutorial on Gypsy, or Flush Setting, which will combine a step by step tutorial, AND a Video Tutorial, so let’s dive in:

The first thing I do here is select a piece of sheet silver that I made from an ingot a while back, I measured the sheet to make sure it was thick enough for the stones I want to set in them. The stone measurement from the table to the culet is 1.4mm, so the silver sheet I selected is 1.85mm, just to make sure the culet of the stone doesn’t protrude through the back of the piece and touch the ear.


Next I start to layout the design. I always want to start with a straight edge, so I use my JewelryMonk Jeweler’s Square to create this edge. I Scribe a line, then saw along the outside of this line. Next, I use my 2 Hand File to bring the edge up to the line.

Using my dividers, I scribe a parallel line the height of the design I want to create. I also scribe a 90-degree line on the side, from the top and bottom to help in the layout of the design.

I want my earring to be 6mm wide, so I scribe a line down the center of each piece at 3mm. I also leave 0.5mm in between the two pieces for my saw blade width and filing. I want a tapered rectangle look, so I measure out my shape and use my Jeweler’s Square to scribe the lines. I cut these out with my saw, and file up to the line.

Now I lay the stone where I want it in the design and scribe a center mark where I want the setting to be. I use an awl to mark a dimple and use a small ball bur (1.0mm) to start a pilot hole to drill from.

Next I will stamp the backside with a Sterling Stamp on my Steel Bench Block, because if I do it later, it will scratch and distort the piece a little. You can see the bottom got distorted a little, so I file the bottom edge flat again. I also rub the earrings on a piece of 600 Grit Sandpaper to make sure the front, back, and sides are smooth and flat.

I also want a little bevel to the top of the design, so I file and sand a beveled edge to the top edge. I use my # 4 Hand File and a Snap-On Sanding Disc to get this done. I finish up taking out the scratches with a Green Silicone Knife Edge Wheel. This takes out the finer scratches and leaves a smooth flat edge.

When working on flat pieces, I will take a piece of gray polishing compound and rub it on a thick piece of paper. I make sure the paper is on a flat area, then I rub the flat pieces across the compound-loaded paper with my finger in a circular motion. This leaves a very smooth and shiny surface.

Now the earrings are ready to set some stones in them. In the next post, I will drill the stone seats, solder an earring post on them, set the stones and polish.

The majority of the tools used in creating this earring are available at a discounted price at Most are limited quantities, and will not last long.

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Now as always, thanks for stopping by.

Now, Go make something Shiny!



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How to Bezel Set a Square Stone

Quick Story….. then a tip.

I have always had goals….. In my head. I work towards them, I get new goals, I change my goals, I accomplish some goals, but to be honest, I forget most of them, because I am off running after other shiny goals. I tried something new in the past couple of months, I WROTE DOWN some goals. Long term (Someday), Short Terms (5 and 1 Year), Monthly, Weekly, Daily……. Then, I review it, EVERY DAY. (takes 2 minutes)Ya know what…… These Goals are slowly, and not so slowly becoming reality. I am getting ready to “Kick-Off” something New and Exciting at, that I always had as a goal…. a someday goal…. a dream really more than a goal, that I have had for years and years. But you know what? Just by writing it down and reviewing it every day, It is FAST becoming REALITY.I am still going to hold “This Cat” in the bag so to say, for a little bit, but Stay Tuned here and see What is Coming Next. I really am so excited I can hardly sit here and type.

Now, on with the tip:

How to Bezel Set a Square Stone


Today I will demonstrate how I set a square shaped stone in a bezel. It is a little harder that you would think and special attention must be taken when laying out your design, and if the stone has too much room between the edge of the stone and the bezel, the corners will give you “fits”.

First, I am not a HUGE fan of Magnetic Tumbler, but I did tumble this piece in a Magnetic Tumbler to polish underneath the stone and in the hard to get to places, then I place the stone into the setting. I hold the ring in a Ring Clamp and squeeze the bezels together just a bit to hold the stone in place. (which I forgot to take a picture of) Then I place the ring on my Ring Mandrel to support the ring as I press the bezels into the stone, starting at the corners. The corners are the most important part, because if you don’t get the corners tight, there will be a gap.  Start tightening the corners, then work towards the center of the bezel.

Tumbler2  Bezel Setting Rec (1)

Bezel Setting Rec (2)

Bezel Setting Rec (3)   Bezel Setting Rec (4)

Next, after the bezel walls are pushed over the stone to hold the stone firmly in place, I tap lightly on the top of the bezel to force the top of the bezel walls tight around the stone. I use my Chasing Hammer and an old bur to do this, but you can use a Hammer Hand Piece to do this as well. I have cut down the bur to a flat surface with just the slightest dap to it. I also sand the end with 600 Grit Sandpaper to give it a little “grip” and so it won’t slip off the bezel as easy. Be careful not to touch the stone, especially soft stones.

Bezel Setting Rec (5a)   Bezel Setting Rec (5)

Bezel Setting Rec (6)    Bezel Setting Rec (7)

 After the stone is tight and the top of the bezel wall is uniformly up to the stone, take a Snap on Sanding Disc and clean the scratches up. If the scratches are deeper, use a #4 Barrette Needle File first. After the sanding, I use a Knife Edge Rubber Wheel to dress it up and take out the scratches from the sanding.

Bezel Setting Rec (8)   Bezel Setting Rec (9)

Bezel Setting Rec (10)   Bezel Setting Rec (11)

Lastly, I take the piece to the polishing machine and final polish it with Red Rouge.

Bezel Setting Rec (13)   Bezel Setting Rec (14)

There you have it, a tight stone, and I now have a finished piece. The grid work under the stone isn’t really necessary under a cab stone where no light can get through, it just adds a nice touch, but if you have a faceted stone, the extra light it allows will really make it “Pop”.

Bonus: If you want a FREE VIDEO on how to tighten a Bezel Set Stone:


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JewelryMonk Design Contest #2 is in the Books

Have you ever had a great idea and thought “This will be cool, I can have this knocked out in a few weeks?”  Yeah, that was my idea BACK IN MARCH!  Well, with 2 month long trips out of the country and a LOT of video coverage, the 2nd JewelryMonk Design Contest piece is in the mail and off to Jen Popolis, the winner of the contest.

It is FINALLY going out in the mail today. (she is so patient) I am still editing the video series, but it should be done within the month. This project was all done by metal fabrication and soldering with sterling silver sheet and wire. Then I made a model, a mold, and cast the piece in sterling silver, set the 6x6mm Citrine, and polished it. Jen won her design as a finished piece of jewelry, and she gets the model and mold to do whatever she wishes with, as well as a video series that covers the whole process.

When I am done editing the videos, I will make them available to everyone! There will be about 15 videos covering every step I did from sketch to finished piece, as well as a bonus video to go along with each lesson. So actually over 30 videos that will cover this whole process in HD. Like I said, I get excited doing this.
So, stay tuned here at, or better yet, subscribe by clicking -> HERE <- and never miss out on any JewelryMonk goodness.

Here is a quick little video Montage of some of the fun I had:

I have so much fun doing these contests, so stay tuned for the next JewelryMonk Design Contest.

As always, thanks for following me along on this JewelryMonk journey I am on. I try to stay focused, but there are so many facets of jewelry making, it’s like a cornucopia of goodness, and I can get sidetracked. Between this page, the JewelryMonk Podcast, the FaceBook page, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat……. I can sometimes lose focus, but I will be here throwing out stuff for anyone to pick up…… Like Johnny Appleseed of jewelry. haha

Take care,

Now, Go Make Something Shiny!