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> The problem I am concerned about is bezel setting a light colored
> faceted stone that is very translucent. In certain lighting
> situations I believe I am seeing through the stone and am seeing
> the cutout underneath.
You're right - you do need an opening under a faceted stone, not
just to be able to clean it, but so that the culet isn't resting on
the bottom of the bezel which would chip it, as I'm sure you already
know. Reading your post I envisioned pale aquamarines I once set in
handmade bezels where the unattractive bottom of the bezels showed
through. And the appearance would get worse as the customer wears
something set this way because it's difficult for them to clean
inside the bezels.
Using step bezel wire is one idea: it comes in straight lengths of
different heights (for different stone depths so the culet doesn't
stick out the bottom) and has a recessed shelf which you would use
to rest the girdle on once you soldered it to fit tightly around
If the stone is small, you might want to consider a bezel from a
findings house - the ones I like are thick walled, where you burr
out the top part to fit your stone (eg. Stuller #20577).
Refined Designs Original Fine Jewelry