Thursday, 2 July 2015

Stunning Striped Stone

Dyed Onyx

When I was at the BC Gem Show in April, I spotted a delightful piece of dyed onyx. Basically black but with a staggered set of brown, tan and white stripes running across it. Quite irresistible!

Setting the Stone

The stone is 2 mm wide and 2.3 mm high. I decided to bezel-set it and mount it on a sterling silver rectangle to create a one-of-a-kind pendant.

Here, I am testing the fit of the fine silver bezel. I wanted it just high enough to capture the stone without being conspicuous from a head-on view. As with all bezels, especially rectangular ones, you also need a very snug fit.  At this point, that fit is about as good as it gets.

Back Plate and Bail

The next two photos were taken as I dealt with positioning the bail on the back place and filing away some bezel material on each corner so I can burnish the metal flat onto the stone at the end. I also soldered on a simple tube bail and cut lines into the backing to carry on the lines that divide the stone.

The photos also show a hint of golden brown in the lower left corner of the onyx. I cut away most of the sterling plate behind the stone so the light can shine through. Those colors and patterns are way too nice to hide.

Texture and Finish

I wanted the stone to be the star of this show, so I gave the back plate a matte finish with a brass brush and a touch of soap.

I brought the bail to a mirror shine and deepened those lines at each side of the stone.

Once finished, I photographed the piece leaning on my Apple mouse to show the scale (overall measurement is 1 1/4 by 11/2 inches).

There are better photos of the piece in my etsy shop. See them here: