New Stone Settings for a Baronial Coronet
Material Culture 32: A&S50 Challenge
Baroness Anplica was given a wonderful gift from her friend, Baron Lyulf. With the help of Baron Frederick, Lyulf made her a baronial coronet when she became a Baroness of the Court. Using nickel-plated stainless steel, it flared nicely, and fit her perfectly. He knew that he did not yet possess the skills to set the six hand-cut lapis stones that she used for pearls, so he thoughtfully glued them into place with an adhesive which would be easy for a future artist to remove. The stones were displayed, and the piece could easily be updated at a later time.
Some time later, Anplica took it to a local jeweler who could make settings for the stones. They bid it at $65 per setting, a very reasonable price for the amount of work it would take, but outside of Anplica's budget at the time. She turned to her newly-minted silversmith friend for a second opinion. I let her know that the local jeweler was offering a reasonable price, and the final product would likely be more professional than I could produce. However, I would take it as an opportunity to learn new skills if she would buy the materials. She was sold.
I used rubber cement to apply copier paper to one side of the silver sheet, then traced around each of the stones. Rubber cement stays in place while the silver is being sawn, and the paper retains the ink better than the silver does.
The bezel wire is cut to shape for each stone. Since they're hand-cut stones they are slightly irregular and each needed to be custom fit. Once the bezel wire is soldered and tested against the shape of the stone a final time, it is soldered to the back plate.