Many people believe that setting gemstones into findings to make jewelry is a skill that is beyond the capability of a beginner. This is certainly not the case for many finidings that we describe and sell on our web site. In this jewelry making article, we are going to describe how to set 4mm round gemstones into a new type of finding. With this new finding, setting the gemstones is absolutely a beginners jewelry making skill. In fact, if you can pick up the 4mm gemstone and can squeeze a drop of glue from a tube, then you have all the skills necessary to make these earrings.
In the table below, you can view two views of each of these four new findings. The top view is a close up view of the finding before setting the gemstone. The bottom view is a side view of a pair of each of the findings. In the following paragraphs we will discuss how to take these findings and turn them into a pair of earrings.
How to Make Earrings Using these Findings and common jewelry tools:
The steps involved in setting a gemstone into these findings are very simple. First, you pick up the finding in your non-dominant hand, then with your dominant hand you squeeze a small drop of Jeweler's Cement (Item 0359) into the cup at the top of the finding. Once the glue is in position, then you place the 4mm round gemstone into the cup with the pointed side of the gemstone pointing down. Since we are all limited to a maximum of two hands, this process can be difficult when it is time to remove the top from the glue. For that reason, it is much easier to make these earrings if you support the earring finding using a tool while you are gluing the gemstone.
There are three basic ways to support the gemstone -- 1. using a bench vise, 2. using a pair of chain nose pliers to hold the finding, or 3. using a WigJig Delphi, Cyclops or Centaur to hold the finding. Using a bench vise is the most straighforward, but perhaps the most expensive. Many jewelry crafters don't own a bench vise and wouldn't want to purchase one just to make these earrings. For that reason, our preferred solution to holding the finding while you are gluing is either using pliers or using a WigJig jewelry making jig.
Holding the Earring Finding Using Chain Nose Pliers:
In the picture above you can see how we have used rubber bands to hold the jaws of our pliers closed. This allows the pliers to grip the earring finding. Setting the pliers down on a table, allows us to work on the finding hands free. In the picture, we used chain nose pliers. You could also use bent chain nose pliers as long as you placed the pliers so the bend in the jaws of the pliers pointed away from the table where you set the pliers. Once you have positioned the finding, all you need to do is to place the small drop of cement in the cup of the finding and then position the gemstone in the cup. Allow five minutes for the cement to completely dry.
Holding the Earring Finding Using a WigJig Jewelry Making Jig:
In the picture above you can see how three earring findings were placed in the holes of our WigJig Centaur jewelry making jig. Because the jig has a bottom to all the holes, it will easily support these findings and allow you to place your drop of glue into the cup in the finding. After the glue is in position, you merely set the gemstone in the cup with the pointed side of the gemstone pointing down. Allow five minutes for the glue to fully dry and you are done.
Things to Avoid When Making these Earrings:
The one thing you need to avoid when making these earrings is avoid using too much glue. All you need is a drop of glue about 1mm in diameter. You don't need to fill the cup with glue, in fact, filling the cup with glue, will cause your cup to runneth over. With too much glue, glue will squeeze out and be visable around the gemstone. If you have a choice of whether to use too much or too little, use too little. It won't take much glue.
Summary of Jewelry Making Project:
In the four pictures shown above you can view the earrings made using these findings. As long as you avoid using too much glue, you will find this a very easy jewelry making project.
The 4mm size of these earrings is perfect for children and for people who want to wear more than one earring on the same ear. Because both the 4mm gemstones and the findings are inexpensive, you can get one in your birthstone, or you can be very colorful and get many in a variety of colors to match each outfit you wear.