Home | Guy
and Menna Morey |
| Gem Setting
Design in jewellery is always important,
since the form, proportion, balance, unity and harmony
of line and mass determine much of the beauty of a piece.
Craftsmanship, however, is often the key to a beautiful
design as workmanship not only creates texture, but
quite frequently it is the only way to bring out the
details of a well-developed design. A good craftsman
knows that good workmanship, in itself, is a thing of
All pieces by G&M Jewellery are
handmade in our own fully equipped workshops by experienced
craftsmen, and stamped with our unique maker's mark
as our guarantee of quality. We are confident and proud
of our workmanship and design skills; you want jewellery
to last a lifetime, we make pieces of a quality reminiscent
of earlier periods in history.
We use many traditional techniques in
the construction of our pieces, including:
The forming of a piece of jewellery
by hand from precious metal may be done using a variety
of different methods, such as;
- drawing down wire to a specific gauge
- piercing out a design from metal
sheet with an extremely fine saw
- soldering together the component
parts of a piece
- hammering or chasing a pattern on
the surface of the metal
These methods are carried out using
a few well-worn hand tools, these processes rely only
on the craftsman’s skill and judgement for successful
completion of the finished piece.
Castings are usually made by injecting
molten metal into a plaster investment, then breaking
away the plaster until you are left with the metal replica
of your pattern which then simply requires setting and
finishing. The pattern may be made of metal, most commonly
brass or silver, or wax. Metal patterns must be hand-formed
in the same way as an individual finished piece, but
will be able to be used many times. The wax patterns,
being softer, are modelled much more quickly, but are
lost after a single use.
Stones are set in jewellery to give
colour and lustre. They are selected to suit the design
or the design is made to fit around the stone, thus
making the setting and the design a single unit. The
method to be used for settings is determined by the
shape and cut of the stone and the construction and
design of the piece. Common types of settings are:
Bezel. Where a band of metal
is formed into a collar to fit closely around the stone.
A strip of metal or wire is set inside the bezel for
the girdle of the stone to rest upon. The bezel is tall
enough to be tapped and burnished over the girdle of
the stone to hold it firmly in place.
Claw. A claw or crown setting
is made in the form of a hollow cone to fit the stone.
The claws are made by sawing or filing the cone into
the required number of ‘prongs’, left long
enough to be burnished over the girdle of the stone
to hold it in place. The base of this type of setting
may be elaborately pierced for decoration or left plain
Thread and Grain. Where the jeweller
uses a sharp graving tool to lift tiny slivers of metal
from the surface of the piece, which he then eases over
the girdle of the stone. This technique is typically
used to set a large number of small stones very close
together to give the illusion of a continuous spread
Enamelling is one of the oldest forms
of metal decoration. It is used in jewellery to add
richness of colour and to enhance the beauty of stones.
Enamels are composed of several ingredients which melt
under heat to form a glazed surface either on a metal
background or inserted in a network of wires without
a background. There are five distinct styles of enamel;
Champlevé, Cloisonné, Bassetaille, and
Limoges all require a foundation of metal, Plique à
jour is held between cloisons of wire without a background.
Hallmarking of gold and silver is one
of the earliest forms of consumer protection, indeed
a standard for silver wares was instituted in the City
of London as long ago as 1238. A Hallmark is a stamp
applied to a piece of precious metal after test by assay,
by an official Assay Office, to denote fineness of quality.
In the Assay Office scrapings are taken from the various
component parts of every piece and submitted to analysis.
If they do not fall below the quality standard, the
piece is passed for marking. The British Hallmark is
of unquestionable integrity as a guarantee of quality.
It is accepted as such in every part of the world.