This jewelry lesson with detailed instruction and easy to follow step by step pictorials will show you:
- - Making the plain collet version
- - Then make decorative collet version
- - Filing process
- - Soldering technique
- This tutorial can be made in a standard smithing workshop. You will need:
- - Metal : silver or gold or other
In this day and age, it is very easy to buy pre-made collets for gemstones from a jewelry supplier. And there are many good jewelry suppliers that sell very good findings, as the collets, catches , posts, butterflies etc. are collectively called in the trade.
In times past, before computers and the internet with it's online catalogues, findings were generally made in the workshop by the metalsmiths themselves. This skill has definitely declined amongst most modern metalsmiths, which is not a good thing.
Knowing how to make a custom decorative crown collet for a special gemstone is a skill that stands anyone in good stead. And, for that matter, knowing how to make your own collets is always good, because sometimes an urgent job does not allow for the lead-in time that is required to order from a supply company. This is not to say that one should only make your own collets. There is no point to make a collet that is available in large quantities for a few dollars each. But sooner or later, in any metalsmith's life, there will come a time that the skill demonstrated in this tutorial will be valuable.
In this tutorial I'll be showing you, what is arguably the most popular, and therefore, the most 'machine made' of the collets. The so called crown collet. I am using the six prong setting, but this tutorial can be extrapolated to four claw and eight claw versions very easily. Firstly, I start by making the plain collet and then I make another more decorative version.
The 17 degree angle bezel / coning block is most often used in making collets which fit most of the standardized gemstone cuts. The 28 degree bezel / coning block is used when the gemstone is cut very shallow.
Decorative crown collet polished and ready for setting