Wednesday, 26 August 2015

It's Apatite Not Appetite

A Small August Project

I am still working on a custom brooch but I have yet to perfect the design for the prong setting so I took a short break from it for a couple of afternoons to work on a pair of earrings for my etsy shop. I had reticulated a large amount of sterling silver for the two-stone pendant and there were a couple of nice triangular pieces left from that. In my stash I had a lovely pair of small apatite cabochons. I love combining blue with silver.

A Match Made in Heaven.

Here is the plan — with the pieces laid out on my bench. I decided to let the deep blue cabs project just slightly below the bottom of the triangles as you see here. It's a pretty straightforward project — just trim up the triangles, smooth their edges, make and solder on the bezels and add ear posts to the backs.

Of Course, There's Always Something. . .

Shaping a bezel is done by wrapping thin pure silver bezel wire around the stone, marking the point of overlap, cutting the wire, then soldering the ring shut. After that, it needs to be rounded up on a steel mandrel (seen in photo above).

My only problem; the 6mm cabochons required bezels that were thinner than any bezel wire in my supply. In the past, I have tried cutting the wire along its length to get a desired height for a stone. That is very hard to do with any degree of accuracy. Above you can see a better solution. Once the bezels were round, I filed them down to the necessary height then used that yellow sanding stick to smooth the tops before soldering the bezels to the backings.

Well Worth the Work

Here is the finished pair. I really do love the way silver sets off a blue stone.

All I have to do now is photograph them and get them listed at