Traditional Gemstone Pendant Wrapping

by Dale Armstrong

When wrapping gemstones, I put the flat side to the front, and the more faceted, "pointy" side toward the back, next to the body. My friend was admiring my work and suggested that they should be reversed to increase the brilliance and not scratch the wearer. I think she is mistaken as I have never seen them done that way. Please tell me the correct way. Thanks!

-Betty in Jack, Mississippi

Your description makes me smile, Betty. Yes, I know exactly what you mean.

That pointy part is called a culet, and the top of the stone is called a table (see below). Traditionally, the culet is the back of the stone, and therefore made as the back of most pendants. To prevent this "point" from scratching skin, the frame needs to go from the top of the stone all the way down to the culet.

An example of how to execute this would be to make the frame, and then push the side frame wires in (about 1/3 of the way toward the back) to hold the bottom of the stone in the frame.

Personally, I have a few stones that have been buff cut, meaning that the top is not faceted, but rounded, and I actually do set them upside-down, culet up. As the designer, the choice is yours!

P.S.: A good example of these type of settings are in the Advanced DVD Series!
Dale Armstrong's Traditional Gemstone Pendant Wrapping - , Wire Jewelry Design, Wire Wrapping, Wrapping, Wire Wrapping Jewelry, Design, , Gem Diagram


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WireJewelry - Ultimate Wire-Pliers Jewelry Pliers with Case, Set of 5
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Wrapping, Design, General Education