Daily Wire Tip Feb. 5: Setting Large Gems in Prong Pendants

By on February 5, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 5, 2011


I have been asked to do a piece with a 35 x 25mm faceted Oval Golden Topaz. The problem is the depth of the culet is 15mm. This is one hunker of a stone!!! My concern is wobbling against her body when it is finished. Is there a design that will accommodate the depth without blocking the light that will make the piece sparkle?

-Pat in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey


Pat, it sounds like you want to “Celebrate the Stone,” which is the name I sometimes use when I teach the Orbit Prong Pendant.

Orbit Prong Pendant
Orbit Prong Pendant, found on DVD 3 in the Advanced Series

The design is perfect for about any size or shape faceted stone (even those with a deep pavilion) because it does not allow the culet to sit on the skin, therefore allowing lots of light and eliminating the accumulation of skin and body oils that will eventually dull the stone (causing it to need cleaning). It will not “rock ‘n roll” when worn.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    February 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Oh Lordie, been there for sure. Long before I met Dale and learned how to handle such problems I had a shopping day on e-bay and I went for size and bought alot of stones that are what we refer to as Brazilian cut. The goal of the dealer is to get as much finished stone out of the rough as possible, cutting down on waste.
    Heck, to me, it was just a honker of a stone…lol. So I bought a lot of them cheap thinking I had really gotten a deal. As they say, ignorance is bliss…ROFL. I ended up with some great huge stones that I had no way of setting. They looked pretty in the trays and that was about it.
    Of course, that has changed and all with Dale’s instructions and I have sold quite a few of these over the years.

  2. avatar

    Susan Clark

    February 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Hi, Dale,

    You wrote on February 5th about the Orbit Prong Pendant, saying it eliminates “the accumulation of skin and body oils”. My question is about this accumulation. Should we be concerned about all stones eventually having this collection or just stones that are translucent? Are there stones that do not have this tendency to accumulate from body/skin oils?

    Thank you! Love your book! It’s a great learning tool.

    from Waverly, NY

    • avatar


      February 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Hi Susan, no there is no specific stone that will not accumulate skin cells or oils. It is the nature of our body to produce these things-part of life. Unfortunately they do collect on everything we wear, clothes and jewelry included. Because the ‘Orbit’ setting keeps the culet of the stone off the body, the stone will not gather these dulling items as quickly as a setting where the stone sits directly on the body.