For your jewelry to look good and the gems to stay secure, you must learn to set your stones correctly. This will take some practice. Start with the easiest gems to set: thin cut, but not too small, round stones like diamond and cubic zirconia. Then, try deep, “belly cut” rounds. Next, proceed to ovals and other fancy shapes. Although tiny gems are simple, they pose their own challenges simply due to their size. You can attempt these once you familiarize yourself with prong setting tools and procedures.

The prong setting process is fairly complex, due to the number of factors you must keep in mind. However, it requires just average eye-hand coordination and a healthy desire to learn.

Required Tools for Prong Setting Gems

  • Magnification, such as a head or glasses loupe, that leaves both hands free.
  • Burrs and lubricant.
  • Pliers.
  • Small parts tray.
  • Tweezers or “pick up stick” (a toothpick with stick tack).
  • Felt tip pen.

Setting Notches

Most prong settings come with long wires or bars you’ll need to notch and shorten. (You can also find pre-notched “Easy Mounts.” They’ll save you time and labor but still require a thorough understanding of the…