Learning Center

Lapidary

Our lapidary articles cover gem cutting techniques and tools and include guides for setting popular gem cuts into rings and other jewelry pieces.

30 ARTICLES 14 VIDEOS 1 PRODUCTS
Product
Thermoshield 1lb. Thermo Shield Heat Blocker Jar

The new revolutionary environmentally safe protective barrier for retarding the transfer of heat. This product will adhere to vertical non-absorbent surfaces as well as to stones. You will no longer have to remove the stone. Dab the Thermo…

Article
Channel Setting Princess Cuts

Recently, a woman brought in her diamonds and asked to have a ring made with them. Her requirements were very simple. She wanted her I carat princess cut to be prong set as the center stone and her small princess cut melee to be channel set on either…

Article
Bezel Setting Cabochon Stones

One of the most basic designs in stone setting is Bezel Setting. It is rudimentary in its concept, and it is very pleasing to the eye in its simplicity. This concept blends with the smooth vertical shape of the stone. There are no sharp corners,…

Article
How to Set Baguettes

Baguette stones have four corners and a rather deep pavilion. Because of this you must handle these stones with special care at all times. You must make sure that all the bearings being cut are totally in line with the long girdles of this shape…

Article
International Ring Sizes Chart

This page provides an international ring sizes chart you can view and/or download to be your guide in making or even just to refer to customer’s ring sizes. Click to view a bigger image:…

Article
Channel Setting Round Diamonds

Recently a woman brought an old family diamond into our store and asked to have a custom mounting made for it. The diamond was a 3.18 carat round brilliant and a pretty one at that. She looked through our showcases and fell in love with a yellow gold…

Article
The Art of Laser Welding

Lasers are one of the hottest new items in the jewelry industry. This relatively unknown technology among jewelers and jewelry manufacturers just a few short years ago is now receiving notoriety in our industry today. One cannot open a trade…

Article
Basic Optical Principles for Gemology

The optical characteristics and properties of gemstones often provide the fastest and best methods of identification. A certain amount of theory is necessary as optical principles determine cutting methods, gemstone attributes and the…

Article
Basic Bead Setting Techniques

First the stone’s diameter is measured at the pavillion and a dent is made in the metal for the pilot drill (about 1mm diameter). Then the metal is drilled through. The metal is drilled again until the hole is about 3/4 the size of the stone’s diameter.…

Article
Book Review – The Art of Jewelry Design

Do you like sumptuous drawings and colored renderings of gemstones and fine jewelry? Interested in basic design principles for commercial jewelry making? Want to impress customers and colleagues with your jewelry rendering skills? This…

Article
Book Review – One of a Kind

If you like art jewelry, innovative work, future jewelry directions and opening up new markets for the jewelry industry you need this book.
It is a very solid contribution to the developing world of art jewelry. (Capitalist types look…

Article
Book Review – Gem Care

This slim paperback book is a real addition to the book collections of the working jeweler, the jewelry shop owner, the gemologist and interestingly also to your customer, the general public. Wow! It is a compilation of straightforward information…

Article
Channel Setting – Set ‘Em Straight

Over the past decade, channel setting has grown in popularity. Setting small diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and even emeralds into channels has become commonplace in most shops. Hardly a week goes by without some form of repair being preformed…

Article
Bead Stone Setting – Bead It!

Bench Jewelers often use different methods to accomplish the same work. I believe the end results are what is important, not the method used to get there. In jewelry work the ends often justifies the means. This is not more evident than in bead…

Article
Chalcedony – A Gem for the Ages

The gemstone industry tends, for marketing reasons, to limit the definition of chalcedony somewhat more than mieralolgists. Among gemstone and jewelry sellers, the term chalcedony is usually used to refer specifically to semitransparent…

Article
Benefits of Concave Faceting

How does concave faceting create so much more brilliance than regular flat faceting? Imagine a typical flat, square mirror, Now push the top and bottom closer together so that the reflective side curves toward you. Than take the left and right…

Article
Prong Setting Round Brilliant Gemstones

For setting round brilliant gemstones in prongs, many setters and bench jeweler generalists use a 90 degree low speed bearing bur to cut a bearing in one prong at a time. This procedure is made easy by using the Foredom AllSet with the easy cut…

Article
The Work of Michael Boyd

Jewelry artist Michael Boyd fills his cup with newfound forms and shapes. Well known for his contemporary roll-on cuff bracelets of colorful stones and mixed metals, Boyd captured me from the start with his architectural designs. While Boyd…

Article
Book Review – Lapidary Carving for Creative Jewelry

This book is an expert and concise introduction to the world of carving gem materials. You could actually do it if you studied the book carefully. It offers an insight into this world, tickles you with hints of new techniques and is a solid grounding…

Article
The Beauty that is Iolite

You may never have heard of iolite. It isn’t a household word, but it is an attractive indigo colored gemstone. It has been called a “water sapphire”. Iolite is highly trichroic; in one direction it is totally colorless, this aspect was the origin…

Article
The New MJSA/WGC White Gold Color Index

Have you ever noticed how white gold varies in color? Many folks think white gold is the same color as rhodium because all the white gold they ever saw was plated with rhodium. Others who have bought very inexpensive white gold have seen the “real”…

Article
Cabochon Stone Full Bezel Setting

One of the most basic designs in stone setting is “Bezel Setting”. It is so rudimentary in its concept. It is very pleasing to the eye also in its simplicity. This concept blends with the smooth vertical shape of the stone. There are no sharp corners,…

Article
Lapidary Work Safety Precautions

Goldsmiths sometimes do a little rough and ready lapidary work with emery and leather sticks or even polishing compounds on a hard buff. Some goldsmiths, however, are lapidaries as well as jewelers. Lapidary work involves the grinding of…

Article
Book Review – Bernhard Schobinger – Jewels Now!

Bernhard Schobinger, one of Europes most provocative and influential jewel artists, is the subject of this handsome monograph, originally produced for the first major retrospective of his work at the Museum Bellerive in Zurich , Switzerland…

Article
Platinum Casting with Gemstones

Platinum casting with gemstones in place has been the latest development before the end of the second millennium. It has been a world first to give fully successful results. The development of this new process required several years of uninterrupted…

Article
Book Review – Making the Most of Your Flex-Shaft

A welcome addition to the literature now coming out for bench jewelers, Making the Most of Your Flex-shaft by Karen Christians is an informative compilation of material for anyone who takes tools seriously. Everyone with a flex-shaft understands…

Article
Book Review – Gijs Bakker and Jewelry

One of the best things about a retrospective book is having a window into the mind of an artist, meandering from idea to idea, watching as obsession evolves into recurring theme. Gijs Bakker is arguably the most famous, and certainly the most…

Article
CAD Craft In Ron Litolff’s Ring

To create a new ring to showcase the beauty of a customer’s sentimental diamonds, Knoxville, Tennesseebased jeweler Ron Litolff of Gemstone Designs blended old-world craftsmanship with 21st-century technology. Hand-engraved finish…

Article
Royal Flush Stone Setting

A sign on the side of a plumbers truck read, In our business a Flush is better than a Full-House. Thankfully this is not the type of flush this article is about. Instead, this article is about a style of setting small stones that has become very popular…

Article
Book Review – Legacy: Jewelry Techniques of West Africa

In this beautiful and personal volume, readers are invited to visit the sparse market stalls, examine the heirloom tools and meet the craftsmen responsible for the living tradition of jewelry in West Africa. Legacy offers step-by-step investigations…

Video
How to Drill Sea Glass

This short 2 minute video explains the basics of drilling sea glass with a Dremel drill and drill press. Liliana Designs creates unique sea glass and sterling silver jewelry.

Video
Channel Inlay Bracelet

My first bracelet inlaid with mother of My pearl, petrified palm, dino bone, agate,lapis,turquoise,abalone, sonoran sunrise, (denver)granite, and tigers eye…

Video
Ameritool Inc. Universal Grinder

This short video demonstrates how to setup your Ameritool Inc. Universal Grinder. This short demo covers the basic assembly of the Ameritool Inc. Universal Grinder / Polisher.

Video
Abalone

Luis Moreno demonstrates how to work with an Abalone…

Video
Horn

Luis Moreno demonstrates how to work with a horn…

Video
Lapis ring repair

Cutting, fitting and polishing a replacement Lapis Lazuli inlay for a ring repair job…