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  • 1. SETTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR COLOR Ann Cahoon ann@anncahoon.com Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 2. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 3. SOME FUNDAMENTALS.... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 4. GET COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING YOUR GEMSTONES....... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 5. GET COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING YOUR GEMSTONES....... • Because you need to know what special care a gem might require. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 6. GET COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING YOUR GEMSTONES....... • Because you need to know what special care a gem might require. • Because you may need to apply a value to something. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 7. GET COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING YOUR GEMSTONES....... • Because you need to know what special care a gem might require. • Because you may need to apply a value to something. • Because you need to know when to call in an expert- this could be anyone from your supervisor, to an outside, independent gemologist. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 8. GET COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING YOUR GEMSTONES....... • Because you need to know what special care a gem might require. • Because you may need to apply a value to something. • Because you need to know when to call in an expert- this could be anyone from your supervisor, to an outside, independent gemologist. • Because you need to know when to say “NO!” Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 9. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 10. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Know what you’ve got before you start any work- this includes design! Knowing what you’ve got lets you know what you can do. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 11. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Know what you’ve got before you start any work- this includes design! Knowing what you’ve got lets you know what you can do. • By examining every stone with a loupe, or under the microscope, you can identify potential problem areas before they become problems. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 12. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 13. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Make notes about damage and inclusions. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 14. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Make notes about damage and inclusions. • Note distinctive qualities and characteristics....... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 15. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Make notes about damage and inclusions. • Note distinctive qualities and characteristics....... • Color change, zoning, silks? All these qualities are important indicators of what a mystery material could be. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 16. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 17. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Observe the quality of the cutting. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 18. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Observe the quality of the cutting. • Thin girdle, chubby pavilion, super high crown? These details will inform how you build or select your mounting, as well the procedures you can use when you set. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 19. GET IN THE HABIT OF SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING THAT COMES ACROSS YOUR BENCH....... • Observe the quality of the cutting. • Thin girdle, chubby pavilion, super high crown? These details will inform how you build or select your mounting, as well the procedures you can use when you set. • Not only can these particular details be helpful at the bench, they can also inform the way you do business. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 20. “TAKE NOTE” MEANS WRITE IT DOWN! • Your own notes and experiences mean more to your work at the bench than anything else- take the time to keep a notebook or daily log. • Because your working style is unique, you can often find the solution to a problem in a problem that you have already solved. This applies to more than just stone setting! Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 21. GEMSTONE CHARACTERISTICS- BEYOND RED, WHITE, AND BLUE ..... and maybe a few things you should know about those, too. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 22. ALEXANDRITE • Hardness = 8.5 • Tolerant of files/abrasives and polishing. • Tolerant of steam and ultrasonic. • One should use extreme care in handling because of rarity and expense, rather than fragility- it is, in fact, durable enough for daily wear! Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 23. ALEXANDRITE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 24. AQUAMARINE • Hardness = 7.5 to 8 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Take particular care when cutting seats to avoid pressure points and rough surfaces. • Even though it is relatively hard, it is fragile- set it with more care than the Mohs number might indicate. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 25. AQUAMARINE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 26. AQUAMARINE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 27. CHALCEDONY • Hardness = 6.5 to 7 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Use care in preparing the mounting, uneven pressure often causes chipping. • Even though chalcedony is typically a cab, it still requires a light touch to avoid damage. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 28. CHALCEDONY Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 29. EMERALD • Hardness = 7-8 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Damage is also likely from wear! • Cut seats and prep the mounting to avoid pressure points. • Design the mounting to protect the gem as much as possible while still being realistic about setting it! Alloy choice is important. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 30. EMERALD Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 31. EMERALD Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 32. FELDSPAR • Hardness = 6 - 6.5 • Includes sunstone, moonstone, and labradorite. • You will see both cab and facetted material. • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Mounting should fit the profile of the stone as closely as possible. Even as a cab this material is delicate- don’t assume your cab bezel is ready to set without modification. Always avoid direct pressure. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 33. MOONSTONE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 34. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 35. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 36. GARNET • Hardness = 6.5 - 7.5 • Damage is possible from many bench processes- files and abrasives, and the steamer. • Tolerates polishing and the ultrasonic. • Interesting to note that chemically, garnets can be quite different from one another. • While fairly tough, care should be taken to cut conforming seats to avoid pressure points. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 37. GARNET MATRIX Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 38. GARNET Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 39. MORGANITE • Hardness = 7.5 to 8 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Be careful to properly identify this material- confusion with other pink stones (ie spinel and sapphire) can result in improper handling. • Cut seats to avoid pressure points. • Although it is relatively hard, it is fragile like its beryl cousin, emerald. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 40. MORGANITE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 41. MORGANITE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 42. OPAL • Hardness = 5 - 6.5 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Notoriously difficult to set- ask yourself if your alloy choice and mounting design are feasible. • Consider the use of alternative materials for bezel/prong pushers. Brass stock is readily available in most shops and can be quickly fashioned into a forgiving setting tool. • When possible, also protect the stone with the setting. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 43. COOBER PEEDY OPAL MATRIX Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 44. KOIROIT OPAL Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 45. PEARL • Hardness = 2.5 - 4 • Damage is certain from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • For reasons of practicality, most pearls are drilled and set on a post with glue. If you must set a pearl traditionally, consider the use of alternative materials for bezel/prong pushers. Brass stock is readily available in most shops and can be quickly fashioned into a forgiving setting tool. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 46. PEARL IN SHELL IT WAS HARVESTED FROM Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 47. PERIDOT • Hardness = 6.5 -7 • Damage is possible from many bench processes- files and abrasives, and the steamer. • While peridot is relatively sturdy, they will still chip more readily than corundum or diamond, so some care should be taken when pushing a prong or bezel down onto the stone. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 48. PERIDOT Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 49. PERIDOT Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 50. SPINEL • Hardness =8 • Damage is possible from relatively few bench processes- files and abrasives,polishing, the ultrasonic and the steamer can al be used safely. • One of the few materials other than the usual “red, white, and blue” suspects that can tolerate fairly aggressive setting techniques. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 51. SPINEL OCTAHEDRONS Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 52. RED SPINEL Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 53. RUBY AND SAPPHIRE • Hardness =9 • Damage is possible from relatively few bench processes- files and abrasives,polishing, the ultrasonic and the steamer can al be used safely. • Much corundum is cut with “big bellies” (often asymmetrical) which must be accommodated in the setting process- having the right burs on hand, as well as plenty of material south of the girdle are both critical to success. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 54. RUBY Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 55. RUBY Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 56. SAPPHIRE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 57. SAPPHIRE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 58. TANZANITE • Hardness = 6-7 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Scratches, chips and abrades very, very easily during the setting process. • Seats must be cut accurately to avoid pressure points and stone breakage. • Choose an alloy that will minimize stress on you and the stone during setting. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 59. TANZANITE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 60. TANZANITE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 61. TOPAZ • Hardness =8 • While it tolerates polishing well, files and abrasives, the steamer and the ultrasonic may all cause damage. • The stone has a tendency to cleave (isn’t that a refreshing way to say break?) • Despite it’s relative hardness, it is fragile due to one direction of perfect cleavage. • Cut seats accurately to avoid pressure points, and select a malleable alloy. If practically possible, thin prongs or bezel wall. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 62. TOPAZ Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 63. TOPAZ Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 64. TOURMALINE • Hardness = 7 -7.5 • Damage is likely from most bench processes- files and abrasives, polishing, steamer and ultrasonic. • Often seen in long narrow cuts with steep pavilion angles which can be prone to breakage- seats should be cut to have good conformity to avoid issues. • Exercise particular care with bi-color stones. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 65. TOURMALINE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 66. TOURMALINE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 67. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 68. • Keep inexpensive samples on hand for potentially destructive testing- ie response to abrasives. • Practice on cheap stones. • Label your stuff. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 69. DESIGN • Consider a bezel in place of prongs. • Replace a few heavy prongs with many light ones. • Consider carving your mounting in wax and cutting seats in this softer, more forgiving material. • Select an alloy that works for you not against you. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 70. A FEW NOTES ABOUT ALLOYS • 14 K yellow: a standard benchmark to which • 22 K yellow: have you ever set in butter? other alloys are compared, moderately easy to set. • Palladium/ Pd 950: sets very easily until work hardening (which happens relatively quickly), • 14 K white: hard and springy. prong weight should be increased. • 18 K yellow: easy to set. • Platinum 900 Iridium: easy to set. • 18 K nickel white: very hard to the point of • Platinum 950 Cobalt: brittle in comparision to being physically demanding. other platinum alloys. • 18 K palladium white: easy to set- while • Platinum 950 Iridium: easy to set, work harder than 18 K yellow, it is slightly easier to hardening is important for adequate security. set than 14 K yellow. • Platinum 950 Ruthenium: rigid and difficult to • 18 K green: even softer than 18 K yellow. set. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 71. TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 72. GRS BENCHMATE Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 73. GRS BENCHMATE • Multiple adjustments allows work to always be at correct angle. • Holds a variety of attachments from soldering set-ups to shellac pads, even insulated ring clamps. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 74. GRS INSIDE RING CLAMP Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 75. GRS INSIDE RING CLAMP • Comes with six plastic arbors that allow for large variety of rings to be held while setting stones. • Multiple adjustable angles of GRS benchmate allows for ease of stone setting. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 76. JETT SETT • Simple alternative to shellac. • Offers great support to delicate work . • Not appropriate for stones with thermal sensitivity. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 77. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 78. NON-TRADITIONAL FIXTURING Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 79. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 80. GRS ACROBAT STAND FOR MICROSCOPE • Allows for precise positioning and holding of position • Eases fatigue of user, since you are always in a comfortable position. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 81. MICROMOTOR POWER SUPPLY • Drives various styles of handpieces. • high speed, low torque • mid speed, high torque • hammer handpiece Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 82. MICROMOTOR HANDPIECE • 35,000 plus rpm’s allows for precise cutting with burs. • No flexible shaft allows for easy manipulation without fatigue. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 83. BURS Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 84. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 85. CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUR • Many (most!) colored stones are not cut even remotely like diamonds....... • This means re-examining our approach to cutting seats. • Keep a selection of bud and ball burs on hand. • Reference your bur directly to your stone. • Assume a two tool, multi-step cutting process. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 86. BALL BUR USED FOR FLUSH SETTING Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 87. BALL BUR FOR FLUSH SETTING • Allows angle of handpiece while cutting “seat” to be far less important. • Speeds work. • Stones line up and sit level with top of work much more easily than when using hart burs. • Accomodates non-diamond cut stones. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 88. CONSIDER YOUR CORNERS • Avoid exposed corners- the reason you don’t want to set them is the same reason you don’t want to leave them exposed! • Use a ball bur to ease the corners as you always would for a V-tip or bezel. • Make sure that you are creating a “pocket” in which the corner will “float”. • Ease out of that under cut with a smaller ball bur to allow for a gentle transition- if you don’t touch up that edge you can create a pressure point. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 89. CHANGE UP YOUR SETTING TOOLS Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 90. CONSTRUCT PUSHERS AND BURNISHERS OF MORE FORGIVING MATERIALS • Consider brass as an alternative to your traditional steel pushers and burnishers. • Modify hardwood dowels. • Even plastic/acrylic can be used. • Keeping graver handles and pin vises on hand makes tool development an option that is always convenient. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 91. PROTECT YOUR STONE FROM YOURSELF Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 92. RE-THINK FINISHING • Just take the cup burs off your bench. • If you don’t already, add a 6 and an 8 cut “safety edge” three square file. • Switch from silicon carbide to pumice for all post setting clean up- with a hardness of 6, it’s safe on many materials. • Get in the habit of pre-finishing all items before sitting down to set. • Add 1“ muslin buffs to your flex shaft finishing materials, and use only with rouge (Mohs 5.5 - 6.5) and other non-cutting compounds. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 93. A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS • Avoid rushing- as the last step, setting is often done at the last minute. • Keep reference materials easily accessible. • Expect the worst....... handle all colored gem material with caution. We all know that the “best case scenario” is fiction! • Give yourself lots of opportunities to practice and hone your skill. Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 94. RESOURCES • Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann • Working with Gemstones, Arthur Anton Skuratowicz and Julie Nash • AGTA’s Retail Jewelers Reference Guide Sunday, June 20, 2010
  • 95. THANKS! Ann Cahoon ann@anncahoon.com Sunday, June 20, 2010