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Cecile Raley Designs — prong setting

Gem Setting Revisited

Posted by Cecile Raley on

I have written about setting gems before, but in lieu of the fact that so much of my business is now custom, here are a few of the most important considerations worth having at your fingertips.

1. What metal should I use?

The softest metal is Sterling Silver, but setting costs are high in the US, so my personal view is that doing custom setting in the US in silver is a waste of your money. Gold is...

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Designing Halos with Melee Gems

Posted by Cecile Raley on

In the past year, my business has increasingly developed toward custom projects and quotes.  This brings with it a lot of design challenges, and in order to simplify matters a bit on my end, let me share with you some useful information about gemstone melees and how to think about designs involving them.  A melee is considered any gem that is 3mm and smaller. 

First, note that not all gems come in...

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Stone Setting by Pierre

Posted by Cecile Raley on

I am slowly learning how to add little video clips to my blog so here is my first one. It was my practice piece but then I thought it came out nice enough to share. In this video, Pierre explains how he is prong setting 3mm diamonds into a diamond eternity band. First he opens the ring up underneath, then he drills the seat, pops in the diamond and gently pushes the prongs over the stone. They pop...

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Breaking an Apatite. Or: How Observation can Interfere with Experiment

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

So I had the brilliant idea of taking snapshots while my setter, Pierre, set an apatite into my new silver halo ring. Dark blue sapphire outside, turquoise center, it was going to look fabulous. Pierre has some very fancy setting equipment. At his bench there is a huge microscope with very strong lighting that costs several thousand dollars, surrounded by lots of other smaller gadgets. I guess you...

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Working with Cabochons and Rose Cuts

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

If you are used to working with only faceted stones, you’ll find that cabs and rose cuts are an entirely different animal.  Very little of what you know transfers over to the non-faceted gem world.  Cab pricing and weighs are different, they are judged on a different scale, and most commercial settings don’t work.

First, be aware that cabs and rose cuts are not usually clean gems. The facet grade...

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