Daily Wire Tip: Prong-Setting Ideas for a Cut Stone

By on August 11, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I have an almost cylindrical cut stone that looks like an emerald cut front and back. It almost looks like a crystal, but it is the same dimensions top to bottom. If I use prongs on it, should I add prongs to the underside as well? With regular prong settings that do not use snap sets, what keeps the stone from falling out from the back side?

-Kevin in St. Petersburg, Florida


Hi Kevin, your stone sounds very pretty and easy to set! In my opinion, prongs should not be used on the back side of a stone because small, sharp prongs can easily get caught in fabric or knit, thus pulling away from the stone (resulting in a lost stone) or jutting out and irritating the skin. You describe the cut as being emerald-style; it would be easy enough to make a pendant using a prong frame setting, where the stone is held in at the top by prongs and regular pulls (like a framed cabochon) hold the stone in on the back side.

Blue Quartz Crystal

Regular pulls will work with an emerald cut; simply plan your wraps so that the pulls run alongside the facet on the back, being about invisible from the front. Because of the emerald facets, your stone could also be set in a regular frame (which would be my choice, if adding the set stone as the focal point on a bracelet).

Of course, the Orbit prong pendant design will fit about any size or shaped stone. The prongs are custom-designed by you, to fit over the crown and girdle of the stone and then slightly down part of the pavilion, after which the lock-in-wires form a stable frame just under the girdle, so no wire shows through the top of the stone at all. Whichever design you choose to use, have fun with your unique stone, Kevin!

Note: Just as this Tip "went to Press," Kevin sent in a picture of his unique stone, as well as his finished design! We hope this gives you some ideas to try in your own jewelry-making:

Blue Quartz Crystal

Wire Wrapped Blue Quartz Crystal

Wire wrapped by Kevin Thornhill; images courtesy of Kevin Thornhill.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 11, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Wow, what a kewl stone that is. I especially like the wraps Kevin has done around the stone. As for the top decorations, not my style but very different, kinda like a water spray.

    Scrimshaw Mary

    • avatar


      August 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

      Really nice job Kevin (are you sure you are a beginner??!!)

  2. avatar


    August 11, 2011 at 9:34 am

    very nice Kevin, love the color of the stone and the way you designed the wrapping.

  3. avatar

    Sally Wooten

    August 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Kevin, what a beautiful and innovative “prong” style! Lovely!

  4. avatar


    August 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’m no expert . . . yet! but I certainly apprecite the pictures to show what you did, I have a few similar stones and have been trying to think of ways to set them. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. avatar

    Barb Hiatt

    August 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Very nice work, it is beautiful!!

    Kevin, thank you for submitting this question. I also have a stone with a similar cut that I had been wondering what to do with it. This has given me a direction to go.

    Thank you for the photos, they really helped.

  6. avatar

    Barbara Wolf

    August 12, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Kavin are you sure you are a beginner !!!!!????? absolut BEAUTIFUL. The Stone is the most beautiful blue I ever sah.

  7. avatar


    April 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I am not even a beginner but enjoy the talents of others. The stone is very beautiful and I really like the waterfall of wire above.

  8. avatar


    May 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Wow, beautiful work Kevin! And I love the waterfall effect of the bail. I notice it also seems to perform another function: its,width helps prevent the pendant from rolling, as it would tend to do with a narrower, regular bail, as the stone is cylindrical. Great solution for the wearability of this unique shape which presents its own multiple design challenges!

  9. avatar

    Joy Woelfer

    April 2, 2015 at 11:12 am

    This is such an incredible setting, and to think to put such a narrow side which keeps the light coming in is brilliant. The waterfall effect on top is so wonderful and practical to keep it from rolling. Wow! I am in awe.

  10. avatar


    April 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I’m doing cartwheels over this masterful handling of such a unique stone! I love the wrap and the curled “prongs”. One thing I would really love to know is – How large is the whole piece, final project. The stone size or carat wouldn’t mean that much to me but the size in centimeters or to the 1/16 of an inch would be valuable info. Thank you – and thanks Dale, for your wonderful answers and ideas!

  11. avatar


    April 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Great design Kevin!