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Custom pendant bail

Learn how to fabricate a bail that's also a two-prong tension setting for a gemstone
Custom pendant bail intro
The V shape of this bail captures a gemstone by combining the mechanics of a tension setting with a prong setting.

Sometimes, you need more than a jump ring to top off a pendant — you need a bail that livens things up a bit while still taking second billing. For example, we designed this sophisticated bail to tension-hold a faceted gemstone. The extra sparkle is eye-catching, but the bail’s clean lines ensure that it doesn’t grab the spotlight from our pendant (click here for the project). The bail’s two-prong configuration is fabricated from thick square sterling silver stock. We’ll show you how to make the V-shaped setting and secure the gemstone. 

For step-by-step instructions, click through the gallery below or click here for the free project PDF.

Materials

  • Sterling silver stock: 1⁄8 in. (3 mm), square, dead-soft, 3 in. (76 mm)
  • Sterling silver jump ring: 16-gauge (1.3 mm), round, 6 mm outside diameter
  • Faceted gemstone: round, 3.5 mm
  • Chain (1 mm diameter), clasp

Tools & supplies

  • Scribe or dividers
  • Jeweler’s saw, 4/0 blades
  • Center punch
  • Flex shaft
    - Drill bit: 2 mm
    - Hart bur: 3.5 mm, 45°
    - Silicone pumice wheel: knife edge
    - Cloth buff, red rouge
  • Pliers: prong-opening, parallel, flatnose
  • Needle file: #2-cut barrette
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Borax powder: fine
  • Paintbrush
  • Soldering station: torch, solder (easy), fire-resistant surface (firebrick or charcoal block), pickle pot with pickle, flux, cross-locking tweezers, copper tongs, pick
  • Third hands: 2
  • Beeswax

Instructions:

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