1. Anneal the platinum stock from which the bezel will be made, at a temperature ranging between 900°C and 1,000°C. The process should take about one minute, with the platinum taking on a bright orange color. (Make sure you wear eye protection with at least a #5 rating.) Next, measure the diameter of the stone (in millimeters), then multiply that number by 3.14 and add the millimeter thickness of the platinum. Use this measurement to properly cut your bezel stock.
2. Using a pair of round-nose pliers, lightly bend the stock to fit the stone. Once the stock is bent, check to make sure the bezel is correctly sized.
3. Using a jeweler’s saw, cut through the seam twice for alignment. Solder the seam using 1700 platinum, then round the bezel on a bezel mandrel and file away any excess solder. At this point, the stone should not fit inside of the bezel, but rest on the top rim; about 0.5 mm of the bezel should show as you look down on it. Using progressively finer sand paper, sand and then polish the bezel.
4. Using a #4 half-round needle file, fit the ends of the shank to the curve of the bezel.
5. After the fit is satisfactory and shows no gaps, solder the bezel to the shank using 1500 platinum solder.
6. After quenching, file away any excess solder and file the inside of the ring smooth with a fine to medium half-round inside ring file.
7. Round the ring on a mandrel using a no-mar mallet. After checking the ring for the proper sizing, pre-polish it using 1200 and 1500 platinum polishing compounds.
8. Before setting the stone, file a 45° angle around the outside top of the bezel; this will make it easier to hammer the bezel down during setting.
9. Using a setting burr, create the seat for the stone. Try this bench trick: Using a slide gauge, measure the stone’s height from the culet to the table. Transfer that measurement to the setting burr by holding a marker against the slowly rotating burr, creating a depth gauge.
10. Using a polished flat graver, create a bright cut on the inside of the bezel.
11. Place the stone in the setting and use a punch and hammer to secure it. This can also be done with a reciprocating or pneumatic hammer.
12. Using a silicone wheel, remove tool marks. Polish the ring with 4000 and
13. It’s good practice to either bright cut or bright burnish the inside of the bezel to enhance the appearance of the stone.
14. The finished bezel ring. JURGEN J. MAERZ
AJM, March 2000
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