A pendant is any stone, beads or charm that hangs from a necklace. They come in all styles, sizes and shapes. Gemstones are set-placed in a kind of metal frame holding the stone securely. These metal frames are called pendant settings. These can be in platinum, sterling silver, gold and other alloys. Gold is the most common choice because of its durability and attractiveness. Gold is a very precious metal that can show the beauty of any gemstone. If you want your gemstone to be set-placed in a gold setting, you can either ask a jeweler to do it, or you do it yourself; it is relatively easy.
All pieces of jewelry that have gemstones have settings. It is important that you know how to choose the proper setting for your stone, especially if you have a fine jewelry design. Besides the setting’s function of holding your stone securely in place, the pendant setting is also a factor in showing the cut, color/s and clarity of your gemstone.
There are 2 most common types of pendant settings, and there are also variations of these types. The most commonly used types of settings are:
1. Prong Setting – is also called “claw” setting, where the side of the gemstone is reached around by about 4 or 6 talons of gold, sterling silver or other precious metals. The metal then arches over the crown or top of the stone. This position of the metal holds the stone snugly in place. The prongs are mostly rounded, although they may have decorative shapes. The prong is the easiest and the least expensive pendant settings.
2. Bezel Setting – is crafted with precision to hold a stone securely in its place. It is among the oldest methods used in setting gemstones and up to this time remains popular in protecting both the bottom (pavilion) and the middle (girdle) of a stone from scratches and chips. Bezels of the previous days generally embrace the entire circumference of your gemstone. Contemporary bezels have a variation called the “half bezel”, which encircles the stone only partly. These are used for delicate stones like opal.
The Flush Setting is also called “gypsy” setting, and it is a variant of the bezel setting. In this type, into a base, a window is cut and the stone placed into it, secured underneath. This style shows the top of the gemstone reaching over the base, flirting with the light.
There is also the Channel Setting, where 2 bands of precious metal hold multiple stones in place. This style gives the appearance of stones floating in the setting, because the metal cannot be seen in between stones. An example of this setting is the tennis bracelet. A variant of the channel setting is the Bar Settings, which appears as if stones float and are separated by 2 metal bars.
Another setting is the Tension Setting, which pressure is applied to hold a stone between a metal mounting’s 2 open ends. The popular metal in creating tension settings for fine stones is platinum.