How to create a wire basket setting for faceted gemstones

I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project and am always scouring the web for tutorials from experienced metalsmiths. I recently picked up a small handful of cheap stones I could practice making different settings for and I found these two helpful tutorials that walk you through the techniques.

1. Soham Harrison – has a fabulous YouTube channel and shares some wonderful techniques and advice. Definitely check him out if you’re an aspiring metalsmith like me.

Basket Setting part 1

Basket Setting part 2

2. Etsy Metal blog – this is a written tutorial and shows a variation on assembling a wire setting. This one seemed easier to get started, but I think does require more clean up which can be a pain if you don’t have a flex shaft. Fortuantely, I just got myself one and it’s a huge timesaver!

Since it was my first attempted, I decided to use brass wire and a teardrop shaped stone.  I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt. The next version will be in silver!


Start from scratch with brass wire and an amethyst


After soldering the setting pieces together. It’s easier to get everything in line with this method, but you do have to saw out the middle and file it quite a bit to clean it up so the stone will fit nicely


After removing the center. This still needs to have a seat cut into the top wire so the stone sits snugly inside the setting and a lot of polishing to smooth and shine it up before the stone goes in.


A quick test fit before soldering the setting to the ring


Volia! Not bad for a first try. Next time I’d like to ball the end of the prongs so they’re a little more attractive and may try positioning them so there’s two on either side

If you come across any other tutorials like this, please share them! I found it really difficult to find detailed tutorials for creating settings for non-circular stones. Fortunately, wire settings are pretty easy to adapt to other shapes, but I’d love to get some tips and tricks for making it easier to deal with a variety of stone shapes and cuts.

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