Custom Amethyst Ring in Basket Setting
The customer specified that she wanted a ring with maximum light play through this gorgeous deep girdled grade AAA amethyst that a friend had given to her. She told me it wasn’t a stone to which she was extremely attached to wave away any fear of breakage. She put a lot of trust in my novice skills. I’m grateful for this opportunity as it should give me confidence in stone setting going forward.
A few days after taking the stone back to my studio I was still scratching my head about what kind of design I wanted for this ring. I tend to like simple and classic design leaning toward the modern and unusual, if that makes sense. I drew the design and got it approved. (See sketch below.)
I created the shank (the part that goes around the finger from recycled sterling that I had poured and rolled out into half round wire. I cut the wire to size and filed diagnal ends where I torch soldered the shank to the mount (or the prong setting.) After the ring setting was built I stamped it 925 and hand engraved a word into the interior. I fully polished the ring and prepared a seat for the stone.
Setting a stone of this size presented me with a new challenge I had not faced before. The stone was nearly too large for my “parrot beak” pliers. (I don’t know the actual name for them.) My hands trembled in fear the entire time I was setting it and for about an hour after.
It came out beautifully, if I do say so myself. (See side view, two posts prior.)
The conclusion: Courage is setting a stone you can’t afford to replace.