Daily Wire Tip Apr. 22: Prevent Scratches on Cabochons

By on April 21, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 22, 2011


How do I prevent scratches on my cabs when I adjust the top wire on pendants and rings, such as the Pharaohs Ring?

-Pamela in Roblin, Manitoba, Canada


Hello Pamela, there are three basic guidelines that can prevent scratches on your cabs while locking them into a frame or setting.

Pharaoh Cabochon Ring

  1. Never use a twisted wire as the wire to pull over the top of a cabochon.
  2. Be sure you have used enough wires for a cabochon frame, because having to reach down with a tool and pull a wire up and then bend it over a cabochon can scratch the cab.
  3. Practice your cabochon ring and pendant frames using stones with a Mohs hardness of 6 or more, such as quartz, jasper, and agate. When you are more confident with your tool techniques, then move on to softer stones such as malachite.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    April 22, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I’m glad you have passed along these tips. This blog is so very helpful. Getting the wire just right on a cab can be tricky. A book I have suggests moving the wires into place before putting the cab into the frame. Will that work? And why or why not.

    • avatar


      April 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Hi Lynne, working ‘off the stone’ is only helpful on one side – because then you have to lock the stone in on the other side – and I believe that the back of a piece should look as good as the front. I do work off the stone for very soft and fragile materials such as opal, however if the stone is an irregular shape and the frame is extremely close and tight, it’s almost impossible to make all of the pulls off the stone because the frame pulls in and tightens as the wires are pulled, sometimes misshaping the frame during the process. This only works with a frame and not a ring.