Daily Wire Tip Aug. 16: How to Use a Snapset

By on August 15, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 16, 2010


How do I use snapsets in wire jewelry? I am not sure how they work.

-Donna in Burlington, Connecticut


Snapsets are silver or gold prong settings for faceted gemstones. To use a wire worker’s snapset, first set the stone by placing the table of the gemstone (the large flat surface) on a firm surface. Place the snapset over it, and apply moderate pressure to set the stone until you hear a snap. When any snapset is set properly, you should hear a snap when the stone sets.

Gold Filled 10mm Round Snapsets Sterling Silver 10 x 5mm Marquise Snapsets
Gold Filled (l) and Sterling Silver (r) Snapsets for rings and other designs

For use in wire working, you would run your wire between the stone and the prong to attach it to your basic wire structure or just below the bail. The most common sizes for wire workers’ snapsets are 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm in both Sterling Silver and Gold Filled.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jerry Beeman

    August 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I’ve had great success incorporating snapsets (6mm) into Dale’s Filigree ring. It really ads sparkle and works great for birthstone rings.

  2. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    August 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

    A couple more hints — if the whole assembly seems to be sliding all over instead of snapping, sometimes I’ve had students use a loop of masking tape to attach the snapset to their thumb or finger. That can help stabilize things.

    Sometimes, I use the flat box joint of my pliers to apply the pressure. I get more even pressure that way. If the pressure isn’t even, the stone and snapset can get sort of … whomperjawed…

    And I’ve found that you actually CAN use a 4 mm snapset with 22 gauge square wire…For this, I actually put the wire through the snapset, then set the stone. Use sturdy stones like CZs for this one!

  3. avatar


    August 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Snap sets make your jewelry go bling!!! They can really dress up a lot of things when you are working on a design, adding that extra touch of color you may need. Can’t not have them in your wire supplies…LOL Especially when doing Dale’s cocktail ring, which I have done several times and just love using those snapsets in them.

  4. avatar


    August 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Love all your Q&A very informtative!


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