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Baguette Channel Setting
Channel setting is the most common style of setting baguettes. With this setting, baguettes can be set in various ways. On this page I have just mentioned about Double Undercut technique, which involves undercutting seats in both metal walls of channel.
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How to make Baguette Channel Setting?
Baguettes have four corners and a deep pavilion, incorporating step cut
style pattern. Corners of baguettes are quite delicate and very prone to chipping or breaking, therefore should be
handled very carefully.
So, it's crucial that before starting with the setting
procedure, baguettes should to be studied in detail, because this makes the setting process easy and safe.
- Check all four
corners are intact and stone is not damaged.
- Are there any inclusions
in the corners or setting areas?
- Is the shape of the girdles and
overall baguette uniform on all four sides?
Following are the usual steps that are involved in setting process of baguettes in channel:
- Seat Cutting Process
- Stone Setting
Preparing layout is essential as it helps
in anticipating and avoiding problems. Before setting the baguettes,
you must know the exact location where the stone has to be set.
- Lay the stones in table-down position, wherever you want
to set them. This ensures that each diamond is perfectly placed and
evenly spaced. Arrange the baguettes in order of their girdle thickness and
table height. Thickest baguette should be placed in the middle and
thinnest at the edges.
- Compare the baguettes length with the
width of metal channel walls. The diamonds should overlap about
one-third of the walls thickness.
- There should be a slight gap between each
stones in the layout position (table down). This gap will cover up when
you turn the diamonds in the set position (table up). During layout
step, you should keep in mind that deeper the diamonds are set into the
mounting, they will get closer.
- When the diamonds are in layout position,
their center-line on both sides of the outside of the ring is marked
with a sharp tool. After marking, diamonds are removed, cleaned and kept
in proper order.
Seat Cutting Process
Seat cutting is a slow, step-by-step
process and requires patience. Stones are set into seats individually
grooved into the opposite parallel walls. The seats must be deep enough
so that the table of each stone is in same level as the top of the
- You can use a pair of dividers to transfer and mark the guidelines
of the depth of the baguettes (from the bottom of the girdle to the
table) along the inside of the channel walls.
Depth Measurement of Baguettes
- It’s important that diamond fits well into the seat as per its girdle’s
thickness. There should not be any gap visible from the top. Start
cutting seat with a 90 degree bearing bur, cutting one seat at a time. Proceed along the guideline marked before.
- Remember to provide a relief cut at each corner. This provides safety to
corners of the baguette by not allowing it to touch the metal. If
there is metal touching any of the four corners of the baguettes, the
corners of the stone might get chip or break off. So, remove metal at
the same angle as the pavilion of the baguette.
- Now start cutting the groove where the baguettes will be finally
placed. Check that baguettes fit in the groove you’ve already cut. If
diamonds don’t fit comfortably and are not at required depth then some changes would be required using appropriate tools.
- Start placing each diamonds individually, keeping in mind the difference
in dimensions of each baguettes namely; difference in girdle thickness,
pavilion depths and crown height. Place the first diamond, wax it in
place and then start with other diamond.
Baguettes' Placement in Channel
Before proceeding further, confirm following:
- Tables of all baguettes in row are even and at same level.
- There are no gap between baguettes.
- Baguettes don’t overlap each other. Corners of baguettes are very
delicate, if they are too close and overlapping each other then corners
will chip-off or break.
- The baguettes fit tightly into the channel and a relief cut at each corner has been provided.
Now is the time to finally set the
- To start with, first angle the top of the channels walls away
from baguettes. Angled channel walls put less pressure directly on
baguettes during mounting.
- Now, tap and bend the channel walls
downward on to the baguettes to secure the stones in place. Work on the
opposite side too and remember to bend only small amount of metal at a
- Any hurry at this stage can cause damage to baguettes and will spoil your work done so far.
Go back and forth till grip of channel on all baguettes is tight and
diamonds are secure. Do remember to check stones are uniformly covered by channel wall.
- You need to remove the wax by either
steam or ultrasonic cleaning. After removing wax, stones might become
loose. So, re-tightening is required.
Common Flaws of Baguette Channel Setting
Walls too Close or too Far Apart
If the opposite channel walls are too
close then they will cover up most of the diamonds top view. If more
than 15% of the stone’s length is covered, diamond will appear smaller
and may get damaged while setting. If the opposite walls are too far
apart then diamonds may get loose and fall.
Gaps between Baguettes and Channel Wall
If there are any visible gaps between
stones and metal channel wall, then it means there is error in
workmanship. Care must be taken while seat cutting and length of
baguettes must be measured accurately. Any carelessness will lead to loosening of stones.
Baguettes set at different Length
Diamonds set at Different Height
If the diamonds to be set are of
different heights then seats in the metal channel walls should be cut
accordingly. If the diamonds are set at different height then it is not termed as good workmanship.
Baguettes set at different Height
Improper Spacing between Diamonds
There should be even spacing between each
diamonds in row. If there is overlapping of baguettes they don’t look
good and stones will damage with daily wear and tear.
Diamond's Table and Channel Wall at not Same Level
The table of diamonds set should be in same level as top of channel wall.
Baguettes Table and Channel Wall not at same level
Repairing of Channel Set Baguettes
Take a good care of your channel set
rings, as replacing a broken or lost baguette is a difficult task even
for a skilled jeweler. Also, your ring's original setting style will
determine whether it can be repaired or not.
To repair, the damaged channel edge is
raised to allow a new baguette to be placed into the channel. A new seat
is cut and then channel is given finishing touch to hold the replaced
Replacement is comparatively easier if
the existing baguette is removed in intact manner and its exact
dimensions is measured. If the stone is broken or missing, it becomes a
tedious task to find the exact matching stone as per the space
available. It takes series of trial and error to find the suitable stone
that fits with other existing stones.
Suppose, if more repairing work is needed
then the channel is open up and top of the channel is rebuilt and then
overall finishing is done. If you are really lucky, then a new baguette
will fit perfectly and fixed in place in the space left by old baguette.
But, all this will require a qualified jewelry expert who is skilled in channel setting to fix it.
Buyer's Checklist for Baguette Channel Setting
Baguette Channel Setting Checklist
- A - Craftsmanship is not perfect if baguettes are
set at different height. As mentioned earlier baguettes to be set should
be of same overall height.
- B - Each baguette is set securely and there is no movement in set baguettes.
- C - There should not be any visible gaps between baguettes. Stones must be evenly placed without any overlapping.
- D - You should also check side view of the ring before buying, and ensure baguettes seat justify with proportion of diamond.
- E - Channel wall is securely holding the diamond.
Diamond should not be loose. If so, you can ask the jeweler to tighten
the setting before buying.
- F - The width of the metal channel holding the
baguettes should be uniform, smooth and dent or scratch free. Metal rims
should be wide enough to hold the baguettes properly without covering
most of the crown area of baguettes.
- G - As a guideline, you can check that only 10% to
15% of the baguettes total length is covered by the metal channel. The
top of the table of baguettes should be at same level as top of
the channel wall.
- H - Corners of baguettes are delicate and they
might get damaged while setting. So check for it, if any stone is damaged, ask the jeweler to replace it.
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