Invisible Setting Procedure

Invisible setting is different in the sense as it requires special preparation of the diamonds to be set. Grooves have to be cut into each diamond’s girdle and diamonds are set in such a manner that metal is not visible between diamonds. But this requires great skills and only experienced setters can set diamonds in invisible setting to perfection.

Setting Procedure

Here, I will discuss the procedure that is followed to set diamonds perfectly in invisible setting. We proceed from the stage where mounting is prepared and grooved stones have been acquired. The use of a microscope or 10X eye loupe is essential when working with the tight tolerances involved in the invisible setting process.

  1. Ready mounting is examined for any (structural or casting) defects. Correction is done if any faults are found in the mounting.
  2. Channel Setting Metal Frame
    Metal Frame

  3. Before setting, diamonds to be set are studied carefully with a 10X loupe or microscope. Stones shouldn’t be damaged and grooves cut into the pavilion should be parallel.
  4. Channel Setting Diamond
    Groove in Diamond

  5. With the help of a digital micrometer, each stone's width is measured from girdle to girdle. Let’s say it comes out to be 4 mm.
  6. Channel Setting Digital Micrometer
    Digital Micrometer

  7. Mounting is measured from the center of each rail to ensure good fitting of stones. In this example, it should measure approximately 4.1 mm.
  8. Channel Setting Rail Measurement
    Rail Measurement

  9. The parallel grooves are measured precisely. This determines the approximate inside width that the channel will be cut.
  10. Channel Setting Grooves Measurement
    Grooves Measurement

  11. With the help of a ball burr tool, starting with the center channel, the inside of the channel walls is enlarged. Channel opening should measure 0.01 mm less than the width of the parallel grooves on the stone.
  12. Channel Setting Ball Burr
    Enlargement of Channel Walls

  13. With a 90o square graver tool, top of the rails are shaped such that they resemble the letter V. Attention has to be paid to maintain a straight cut in the center of each rail.
  14. Channel Setting Square Graver
    Square Graver

  15. Now this V-shaped cut is soften with a round graver tool. This makes it easier for the metal to expand into the grooves of the stones when stones are set.
  16. Channel Setting Round Graver
    Round Graver

  17. Before setting the diamond in the seat, following is examined with the help of 10X loupe or a microscope:
    • Surface of seat is smooth and even.
    • Metal thickness is sufficient enough to secure the diamond and hold the diamond safely.
  18. Diamonds are laid in the center row. Adjust the inside width of the rails with a ball burr until the grooves on the stone clear the rails and fits into place.
  19. Channel Setting Trial Fitting
    Trial Fitting

  20. Outer channel walls are undercut using a hart burr tool
  21. Channel Setting Hart Burr
    Cutting of Outer Channel Wall

  22. Stones are trial fitted into each row, starting with the center row. If stones don’t fit comfortably and at required depth, changes will be required. It’s important that diamond fits well and there should not be any visible gap between diamonds from top.
  23. Channel Setting Trial Fitting
    Trai Fitting of Diamonds

  24. Diamonds are placed individually and each stone's location is tracked while trial fitting. Place the first diamond, wax it in place then start with other diamond.
  25. Before proceeding further, all stones have to be inspected using a 10x loupe or microscope to confirm following:
    • Tables of all the diamonds in rows are even and at same level.
    • There are no gaps between the stones.
    • Stones don’t overlap each other. Corners of such specially grooved stones are very delicate, if they are too close and overlapping each other then corners will chip-off or break.
    • Channel Setting Overlapping Inspection
      Inspection of Overlapping of Diamonds

  26. Finally, stage is set to set the diamonds. Using a chopstick or small wooden dowel as a punch, stones are tapped lightly with a chasing hammer. The downward force causes the thin tips of the rails to flare outward, filling the grooves and locking the stone in place. Be very patient during this step as any hurry or any extra amount of pressure can break the fragile corner of diamond.
  27. Channel Setting Chopstick
    Tapping of Diamonds

  28. Outer channel walls are tapped to secure the stones in place. Any hurry at this stage might damage the diamonds and will spoil your work done so far.
  29. Channel Setting Final Checking
    Final Checking

  30. Wax is removed by either steam or ultrasonic cleaning. After removing wax, the stones might become loose, so re-tightening is required.

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