This post is for someone over at the wire jewelry forum that had a question on ideas for wrapping faceted teardrops. As I mentioned, smaller teardrops, I tend to use a bezel/cage wrap with prongs instead of kicking in the wires so less of the stone is covered. The problem with doing this on a larger stone is that usually they’re deep and will tend to roll around, so they need more to stabilize them. The issue with making a deep bezel is that it can cut off light to the stone, so a compromise of a deep but open setting is the trick.
This amethyst here was around 10×15 mm. If you look at the bezel going around, you just make a few wraps leading up to the prong, then a little wire doubled in to form a prong and wrap on the other side side to stabilize it. Often I will make the prongs on the back longer than those on the front. The wire is square 24 gauge gf and 22 gauge half-round.
This other prong setting was a pretty large stone that I did for commission for a customer. It was about 1 1/4" tall, narrow for it’s height, and pretty deep for its proportionate width. Being a dark stone, a deep bezel on it would have cut off a lot of light, so I did this open prong bezel. If you look closely, it’s out of pretty heavy wire (20 gauge) and the wires on the sides weave back and forth creating a more open side, plus it was easy to taper the height of the bezel as it appoached the thinner top, making it lay nice when worn. The original inspiration for this setting came from the November ’02 Wire Artist Jeweler magazine (out of print, can get back issues though), although I significantly modified the design. The overall concept of switching the inner wires back and forth from top to bottom was a good one. The execution was a little fiddly and might be tricky for a beginner, but the results pretty nice. This design has a lot of potential for variations.