Fancy Rubellite Tourmaline Tetra Ring

I finally finished this Tourmaline ring with an awesome Rubellite fancy cut gem. The ring was modeled in wax and then cast in sterling silver.

I was actually dreading to do the stone setting for a while since I knew I had to try a new setting technique for that. I had to make a special pin burnisher from a old steel scribe. One can also use a old worn-out bur to make this miniature burnisher and then just mount it on a dowel or other handle. I followed the instructions in John Cogswell's book "Creative Stonesetting". The steel tool first needs to be annealed at the tip with a torch flame. When cooled it will be filed and polished to get a rounded tip. I started to set the stone by slightly tapping the heavy silver bezel with my hammer handset to lower the metal over the sides of the stone and basically tack it in place.

Then I started to rub down the edge of the metal rim by holding the burnisher in a 45 degree angle. This pushes the metal in a slight bevel over the rim of the stone. The pressure of the burnisher focuses on the metal rim. Since the steel was annealed it is softer than the tourmaline and therefore does not scratch the gem in the burnishing process. As the metal continues to move over the stone I raised the angle of the burnisher. At the end it leaves a beautiful uniform, reflective, inward-sloping rim. Then just the corners need some touch-up with gravers. I think overall this technique is actually faster and easier  then my typically hammer handset technique and it leaves this beautiful bright rim around a stone. I will try it out on a few different shapes in the future.

This ring is an incredible way to wear strong color. The pinks in this fancy cut Rubellite tourmaline cabochon is truly stunning. The dynamic angled setting displays the beauty of this rare cut stone with gorgeous natural inclusions.

The rubellite is a member of the family of tourmalines, and where its color shines in beautiful nuances is the range from red to shocking pink. I am drawn to a number of precious and semi-precious colored stones, mostly for their unique and beautiful natural color and/or inclusions. Inclusions should not be seen as flaws, but as proof of nature’s hand in creating an element of beauty.

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