Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Ready, Set, Move

THE DATE was 1999. The stone was labradorite. At most, I’d completed six or seven pices and had no idea what to do with this incredibly gorgeous stone. Lee Floyd suggested a shadowbox design, and Don Vercellotti suggested a bail to accentuate the play-o-color across the stone. I got to work forming the shadowbox, the bezel, a basket setting for the faceted stone cut by Dick Bower, and the bail. It was a very serious project and really pushed my skills forward. Twentyplus years later, it seems not such a big thing, but it was a beginning. These days, I use a modified version of Don’s original bail frequently, as it is very versatile for chatoyant stones that benefit from movement in a front to back motion.


Before forming the bezel, I needed to choose the correct height of bezel wire. Several options exist, depending on the thickness of the cabochon. In my case, I chose a ¼-inch height so that there was some excess wire above my cabochon. If I am wrong, I can always trim the bezel wire later. My preference is to be wrong in excess rather than ending up with a bezel

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