Jewelry Findings from Tripps and Rio Grande Arrived Today!

red round zircon stone

Untreated Red Zircon

In my last gemology article, "Gem Setting Challenges When Designing Jewelry with Native Cut Stones", I discussed the difficulty setting hand-cut, uncalibrated gemstones in Snap-Set settings. 

This week, I'm going to try and set some stones in settings designed for deeper cut stones. I ordered a variety of different settings from Tripps and Rio Grande and they arrived a few days ago.

Setting a 9mm Native Cut Zircon


Tripps has round dangle settings that can fit deeper cut stones. 

9mm round dangle setting (deep cut) from Tripps

Zircon in silver setting

Zircon in the setting

As you can see, the stone is still a little too wide for the setting. I will try and widen the prong to see if the stone can fall into the seat. If not, I will buy the 10mm setting. 

Rio Grande

Rio Grande 9.5mm Lever Set Round Dangle Setting

Rio Grande 9.5mm Lever Set Round Dangle Setting

9mm Zircon in setting

Rio Grande 9.5mm Lever Set Round Dangle Setting with zircon

I used some Sculpey polymer clay to hold the setting while photographing

Compared to the Tripps setting, Rio Grand'e Lever Set settings are heavier. Although the stone sits on the seat of the setting, the prongs may be a bit too short for this stone. I'm worried that if I try and close the prong, the stone will get crushed. To be on the safe side, I will order the 10mm setting to see if it fits better.

Setting A 10mm Tourmaline

I purchased a 11mm Tourmaline setting from Tripps for a 10.38mm long Tourmaline stone. Unfortunately, the setting is far too big for the stone.  I will order the 10mm Tourmaline Setting instead.

Tripps 11mm long Tourmaline setting

Tripps 11mm long Tourmaline setting

The setting is far too long and deep for the stone

Tripps 11mm long Tourmaline setting

The stone falls too deep into the seat

Setting A 6mm Round Spessartite Garnet

Tripps does not sell deep settings for small stones, so I purchased the Rio Grande's Lever type settings for the Spessartites

6mm round lever setting

6mm round lever gemstone setting

The 6mm was too small for the stone. The stone sat too far up on the seat so that the prongs do not line up with the girdle. When I tried the 7mm round setting, the stone sits too deep in the setting. Very frustrating. Luckily, the Lever-Set setting comes in half sizes, so I'll try ordering the 6.5mm.

Setting A 7mm Round Peridot

lever setting with peridot

I dug around my collection and found some round Peridot stones that fit the 7mm Rio Grande Lever-Set setting. Notice that the stone has a more "diamond" shaped pavilion, thereby lowering the stone into the seat so that the girdle is where the notches are. 

Setting An 8x6 Tsavorite Garnet

tsavorite gem in 8x6 prong setting

Tsavorite Garnet in a Tripps 8x6 prong setting

tsavorite gem in 8x6 prong setting

The Tsavorite Garnet is actually closer to 7x5 but since its pavilion is so wide, it fits better in an 8x6 prong setting. To set the stone, I will grind down the prongs a bit more so that the notch is where the girdle is. I plan to use my rotary tool to do this.

Setting A 10x8 Ethiopian Opal

14k bezel setting with opal

14k bezel setting with opal

It almost fits! It just needs a slight adjustment. 

14k bezel setting with opal

I purchased this Opal because it was not too heavy and it was a standard size of 10x8. Many cabochons are far too thick to fit a traditional cab setting like this one. I am fabricating a pendant for my Mother-in-law. I hope she likes it!

Some Final Thoughts

Finding settings for irregular native cut stones is a frustrating experience. The stones are either too wide, too short, or too small to fit standard settings. My conclusions from this experience are to buy a wide variety of sizes from different manufacturers to avoid having to order another size up or down from what you initially ordered.

Another idea is to learn how to make custom settings using half-round wire soldered to a jump ring. It's a daunting task, but I look forward to trying it out this summer!

More Reading:

  1. Gemstone information:
  2. How to set a gem:
  3. Gem Settings Sources:

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