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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Cold Connections for Horn and Bone Jewelry

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QUESTION: Hi,
I am trying to work on some bone and Horn Jewelry. I am thinking of embellishing the bone/Horn based Jewelry with bezel set gemstones and would like to know how I can inlay the bezel set stones on the bone/horn Jewelry.
Thanks,
Candy

ANSWER: Dear Candy,
Generally, a quite eye pleasing and durable way to fix bezel set stones into materials which cannot be soldered means a fitted hole and two part epoxy cement.  For the cement, I recommend Hughes 330, water clear epoxy.  The newer ultraviolet curing cement for glass wil lalso work well but requires a uv light source.

The key is a peg on the back of the bezel to aid in security and placement. Without a peg or post of some sort, a hole as bezel should be cut with a slow speed using a cone or pear shape cutting bur.  The idea is to have a hole deeper than the bezel so no cement gets on the back and onto the gemstone. The bezel should fit fairly snugly and the cement only needs to be around and along the recessed part of the rim. A warming with hairdryer will make the cement more liquid and allow a neat flow around the bezel rim.
Cement with a peg is done the same but the peg adds security with cement in its drilled hole. More work but with a try or two a very old but strong method may be use with a peg.  Old pearl jewelry used a peg which was carefully split part way up asnf a small wedge shaped of metal was placed in the slit. Pressing down on the setting in its peg hole would force the wedge to spread the post for a more secure fit. With the strong epoxy cements of today, the wedge method is likely overkill and more trouble than worth.
Clean all with alcohol to remove any oils etc., which could eventually weaken the joining. Wipe away excess and ooze along the joining line to provide a pro looking piece of work. Do this just before all sets up and use lint free material to wipe with.  By leaving the mixed but leftover cement on the surface where you mixed it, along with the toothpick or other mixer used, you will be able to test the hardness of the epoxy without disturbing the ornamental stone work.   

Candy, please feel free to use a follow-up to get back with if questions.  Words alone do not make it the easiest to understand but zi believe all is actually clear.

God Bless and Peace. Thomas.   Don’t forget to follow-up if you have any questions at all. Fair enough?




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Cold Connection Clarification
Cold Connection Clarif  
QUESTION: Dear Thomas,
I agree with you that Jewellery is easier to see than describe so I am attaching a picture that details some clarifications I have:
Will this process cover open back bezels, non-open back bezels and cone shaped bezels?
I have highlighted in yellow some clarification I need and also attached a picture. I look forward to your response.
Dear Candy,
Generally, a quite eye pleasing and durable way to fix bezel set stones into materials which cannot be soldered means a fitted hole and two part epoxy cement (is the fitted hole on the material e.g Resin or Wood or Horn ).  For the cement, I recommend Hughes 330, water clear epoxy (will E6000 glue for glass, plastic, wood etc also work. This is not a two part epoxy though).  The newer ultraviolet curing cement for glass wil lalso work well but requires a uv light source.

The key is a peg on the back of the bezel (what side are you referring to as the back of the bezel? Is it the part that is visible after the bezel has been set on the material or the part that sits in the jewellery material as shown in the picture of the bangle attached) to aid in security and placement. Without a peg or post of some sort, a hole as bezel should be cut with a slow speed using a cone or pear shape cutting bur (where should the whole be cut? On the material the bezel is supposed to be set in?) .  The idea is to have a hole deeper than the bezel so no cement gets on the back and onto the gemstone. The bezel should fit fairly snugly and the cement only needs to be around and along the recessed part of the rim (where is the recessed part of the rim). A warming with hairdryer will make the cement more liquid and allow a neat flow around the bezel rim.
Cement with a peg is done the same but the peg adds security with cement in its drilled hole. More work but with a try or two a very old but strong method may be use with a peg (how is the peg attached to the bezel? Soldering?).  Old pearl Jewelry used a peg which was carefully split part way up and a small wedge shaped of metal was placed in the slit. Pressing down on the setting in its peg hole would force the wedge to spread the post for a more secure fit. With the strong epoxy cements of today, the wedge method is likely overkill and more trouble than worth.
Clean all with alcohol to remove any oils etc., which could eventually weaken the joining. Wipe away excess and ooze along the joining line to provide a pro looking piece of work. Do this just before all sets up and use lint free material to wipe with.  By leaving the mixed but leftover cement on the surface where you mixed it, along with the toothpick or other mixer used, you will be able to test the hardness of the epoxy without disturbing the ornamental stone work.   

Candy, please feel free to use a follow-up to get back with if questions.  Words alone do not make it the easiest to understand but zi believe all is actually clear.

God Bless and Peace. Thomas.   Don’t forget to follow-up if you have any questions at all. Fair enough?

bezel illustration on body material
bezel illustration on  
ANSWER: Dear Candy,
I appreciate the detail. This helps on my end. Please allow me a couple of days to get back. I need to put together a few illustrations to clarify my original answer and address you other concerns. Thanks for getting back.

Blessings and Peace.  Thomas.
------------------------------------------------------
Dear Candy,
The bezel you asked about in your image is the actual bezel around the stone.  Either this is fixed directly to the surface of the resin or there is an extension of the metal beneath and into the ring material.  What I call “recessed” is a portion of the metal fitted down into the ring surface, providing a small section of metal “sunk” into the resin. Fitting the bezel base into the ring provides good cement purchase and a secure connection.

I must apologize for the low quality of the included illustration.  I am still recovering from surgery on the wrist of my writing hand and did not realize how much more I need to retrain that hand to do decent illustrations.  Mu best illustrations are done with fine lead drawing pencils but my hand is not up to that task, not yet anyway. If this does not work for you, follow up and I will try again.

On the right in the illustration is a tapered bezel. In reality, the top of the bezel would be set against the edge of the gem just above the girdle or waist of the stone, not sticking up above the stone as sketched.. Thickness of the body material is exaggerated.  A hole to approximate the taper of the bezel has been cut into the body material, whether bone, ivory, plastic or wood. Epoxy in light quantity lines the hole and the bezel is pressed into the hole.  When the cement cures, the set will be secure. To the left is a cut for a flat bottom bezel.  If no light passes through the gem, the recess need not have an open bottom. If transparent or highly translucent, the bottom should be open. The open bottom has nothing to do with light for the gem, rather, to allow cleaning so dirt will not show on the bottom of the stone and all may look its best.

Other bezels are attached to the body material in similar manner. flat backed or open..  For a flat bottom bezel, cement goes lightly into the flat recess and for an open bottom, cement goes around the edge and on the “ledge” supporting the setting.  
The Hughes 330 epoxy will hold well with most materials, plastics being the least secure while bone, etc. provides a quite secure and durable connection.
Please get back if you need or want to.
 
God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Thomas,
Thank you so much for your feedback.
Its much clearer now.
I also wish you a quick recovery from your surgery.
Will definitely let you know how it goes.
Best Wishes.
Candy

Answer
Candy,If you need burs, tools, cement, etc.,and a good local crafts shop does not have what is needed, this is a reliable supplier I have used many times:

riogrnde.com

NOTE, they do NOT hsve the epoxy in small tubes, only in bottles (way more than you would likely need for years of work).  Many Internet sellers offer the cement.

contenti.com is another good supplier.

Last minute hint: If drilling or cutting bone or ivory, put a little water on the working area to hold down dust and keep the steel tool from getting too hot.


The ratings are very appreciated. No rating needed this time since there was no question.
God Bless.  Thomas.

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Thomas

Expertise

Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.

Experience

I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education/Credentials
Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to jewelry...wow, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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