Last week, I've received the assignment of making a pendant with this almost square aquamarine.
The main design was already made (Edelsmederij van der Leen), I just had to make it and choose what finition to put on the pendant. I made some tests and decided to go with a mix of brushed and polished. After checking that the customer liked it, I could start on manufacturing it. I've figured the dimensions and determined that the stone should be offset from the center of the silver plate. With everything established, I've made a list of the steps.
- trace the emplacement of the stone and cut out the hole
- from the hole, trace the edges of the pendant and saw it out of the silver plate
- on the back, solder the tube for chain, and a support in the hole for the stone
- file a bevel all around the pendant
- sand, brush and polish the pendant
- prepare the setting for the stone
- set the stone
With that in mind, then it is easy to just dive into the production. The tricky part here being the operation of setting the stone. I am practicing the technic of flush setting, and so far it was only on rings with tiny round stones of 1.5mm to 2mm. This aquamarine was 5.3mm by 5.6mm. Now it does not seem big, but at this scale with a stone which is not that hard, a bit of a pressure on the wrong place and the stone can chip.
The hole in the silver plate is actually smaller than the stone. It is essential for a flush setting than some material is left over the stone in order to be rubbed on top of it. Here is a link to an article that explains the theory. An added bonus for this pendant is that thanks to this technic, the rubbed metal is automatically polished, resulting in a beautiful contrast with the brushed surface of the pendant.