Dyed OnyxWhen 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
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 BailThe 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 FinishI 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: