If you've been creating costume jewelry for some time and want to expand to something different, crafting gemstone jewelry may be just the thing you need. You may experience a little trial and error in the beginning, but soon you'll be crafting jewelry that looks like it just came from one of the top jewelry stores.
Setting gemstones is actually a pretty simple task. It depends a lot on the type of setting you are using. Settings are designed so that you either glue in the stone or push the setting prongs over the edges of the stone to set it securely.
- Ring mountings can be purchased from most jewelry and supplies shops. In setting rings, glue is not used unless it is a cabochon stone. Cut stones are set in the center, and small pliers are used to fold over the prongs. Either use pliers that are coated to prevent scratching the stone or cover the stone with cloth or a small piece of leather so it doesn't get damaged.
- Several types of necklaces and earrings can be made using beads that have only one hole. A small metal eye is glued into the hole, and the gemstone bead can be used in crafting many types of jewelry.
- There are also several types of bead caps and bell caps that are used to create beautiful jewelry. Bead caps and bell caps are used in securing gemstone beads for bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
- Pendant bails are used to hold certain types of gemstone beads and charms. A bail has two prongs and when they are pushed into the holes in the pendant or bead, it is held securely so it can be attached to a necklace or bracelet.
- Jump rings are also used a lot in crafting jewelry, whether it's costume jewelry or gemstone beads.
- Bracelet forms for use with cabochons are fairly simple. There can be settings where the cabochon is glued in or created by closing the prongs to secure the cabochon.
- The best glue to use is E6000 for regular jewelry gluing or Loctite for a more instant bond.
- There is a wide array of earring mountings, and there's definitely an unlimited number of ways to create earrings using gemstones. Gemstone earrings are usually made with eye pins or head pins and assorted gemstone beads or stones.
- Gemstones are normally only used with ten or fourteen carat gold or sterling silver. That's one way to determine if a metal piece is really gold or silver. You probably won't find real gemstones on costume jewelry.
- Almost all gems have an imitation cut glass look alike. After you have been crafting jewelry for a while you'll be able to determine when something is genuine.