Daily Wire Tip: Snapset Size Hints

By on September 7, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I have some lovely 5mm CZs that I would like to use. Which would be better to use to set these, 4mm snapsets or 6mm snapsets? Many thanks.

-Elaine in DeWitt, Virginia


In my opinion, it is easier to put a smaller stone into a larger snapset. If you were to use a smaller snapset, the prongs would be spread too far to firmly hold the stone.

When using any snapset, be sure to really anchor the stone into the setting by wrapping a wire around the set stone, within the design, immediately under the girdle. I have even used an 8mm round snapset to set an 8x6mm pear-shaped stone successfully.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Milei Yardley

    September 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t know what you mean by “When using any snapset, be sure to really anchor the stone into the setting by wrapping a wire around the set stone, within the design, immediately under the girdle.” Can you please explain?

    • avatar


      September 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Milei, to prevent the prongs from being bent away from the stone with regular wear, or even while working on a piece, I like to use another wire (that is already within the design) to wrap around the snapset, immediately under the prongs, to keep them in place. This is what I mean by anchoring the stone – thanks for asking!

      • avatar

        Lori McKinney

        April 5, 2012 at 6:12 am

        Hi Dale-
        I’m sorry to keep kicking this horse but could you show us a photo or a large diagram to show just how far up to place the wire girdle on the stone inside the snapset PLEASE?


        Lori McK.

        • avatar


          April 5, 2012 at 7:43 am

          Hi Lori, sorry to confuse you. The lock-in wire goes on the outside of the setting, after the stone has been snapped in and the setting has been slid onto what ever wire/placed in the design where you want it to be. THEN you wrap a wire that is already part of the main construction around the setting, and attach this wire end back in the main construction so the setting is stabilized.

          • avatar

            Heather Gale

            October 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

            I’m totally lost

  2. avatar

    Merry Pringle

    September 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I found some 5mm gold and silver settings on Wire Sculpture.

  3. avatar


    September 10, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I am having trouble keeping my stones inside the snapsets they pop out. What am I doing wrong? I tried to close the prongs over the stones, gently, but it didn’t help.

    • avatar


      September 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Krister, as I do not know what shape stones you are referring to, it is difficult for me to give you more than a generalized answer. For stones that are marquis cut, it is difficult to get the end prongs pushed ‘just right’ over the tips of the stone and for any snapset that has only 4 prongs, like an octagon or square, you really don’t ‘snap’ the stone in, rather you do have to push the prongs over the girdle. Most often if a stone does not stay in the snapset it is because the pavilion is too deep. (For gemstone definitions please see diagram here: http://www.wire-sculpture.com/jewelry-making-blog/319/faceted-gemstone-terms) Try using stones that have a shallow pavilion, which will also leave room for wire to be inserted so it can be incorporated into your design.

  4. avatar

    Jenny Smith

    March 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Dale, this is not pertaining to the snap sets. I just wish to thank you for all your invaluable advice. I have been wireworking for several years, and metalsmithing for about eight months. I am never too old or too smart to learn from you. Thankyou.

  5. avatar


    February 14, 2016 at 9:34 am

    It would have been nice to have a picture of what you are talking about. I think then there wouldn’t be so
    Much confusion.
    Thank you