There are several different ways to set gemstones for jewelry-making purposes. The bezel setting, however, is one of the most popular. This sleek and smooth setting works perfectly in today’s minimalist designs, and it does a great job of securely holding precious and semi-precious gemstones in place.
Bezel set gemstones can be used in just about any type of jewelry you can think of and are easy to work with. They are perfect for making earrings, pendant necklaces, bracelets, rings and nearly anything else you can think of. Using them is a bit different than using regular gemstone beads, however. If you are thinking about adding bezel set gemstones to your collection of jewelry-making supplies, keep reading to discover a few helpful tips on using them.
What Is a Bezel Setting?
A bezel setting is simply a means of enclosing a gemstone within a piece of jewelry. It works well with any type of gemstone and is incredibly secure. In fact, bezel settings are even more secure than prong settings, which makes them appropriate for even the most valuable stones.
The bezel setting is the oldest type in the world, so it is common in antique and vintage-inspired jewelry. However, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of its sleek, smooth look, so it has become more desirable in modern pieces as well.
While they are easy to work with, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you plan on using bezel set gems in your creations.
Understand the Gemstoneandthe Metal
When you use regular gemstone beads, you mostly need to be concerned with the gemstone itself. While you do have to be mindful of the metals you use when making the piece, since the two pieces are separate, care is generally pretty straightforward.
Purchasing bezel set gemstones means that you are buying natural gems that are surrounded in metal as a single piece. This means that you need to know how to care for the stone and the metal that is encasing it. In most situations, you can care for both components simply by storing them in a cool, dry location when not in use and cleansing them using soap and water. There may be exceptions, though. For this reason, it is important to understand the care instructions for both the gemstone and the metal prior to using it to make jewelry.
Use Bezel Set Gemstones When Durability Matters
Because bezel set gemstones are durable, they are an excellent option for pieces of jewelry that you expect to wear frequently. They protect the stones from accidental damage, and because they are secure, they do a great job of keeping the stones in the jewelry where they belong.
Bezel set gemstones are a durable and beautiful option for things like bracelets and pendant necklaces. They also work well for drop earrings.
While bezel settings are considered less precious than other types of settings, they are an ideal option for pieces that will be worn regularly. You will see less of the stone and more of the metal surrounding it, but you won’t have to worry nearly as much about losing or damaging the stone.
Let Your Creativity Run Wild
Bezel settings are very “in” right now. Whether you prefer creating vintage-inspired pieces or jewelry with a more modern aesthetic, you can use gemstones with bezel settings in designs that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Now is a great time to let your creativity run wild and work toward coming up with unique creations that could be the next big thing!
Mixed metals are a huge trend right now, so instead of using findings that match the metal used in the setting, consider using a contrasting metal. A sea green chalcedony gem set in gold vermeil would look amazing with a silver chain, for example.
You can use a large bezel set gemstone bead as a focal stone with smaller accent gemstone beads, too. Consider mixing and matching various colors to create looks that are appropriate for all sorts of occasions. You can keep things subtle by combining similar colors or you can create bold pieces by using gemstones in contrasting colors. The choice is all yours!
The Bottom Line
Bezel set gemstones are versatile, durable and breathtakingly beautiful. They work equally well in both modern and vintage-inspired pieces, and they come in a huge assortment of gems, metals, shapes and sizes. With a bit of experimentation, you can come up with one-of-a-kind pieces that you or your customers are sure to love!