Flush Setting Round Gem Stones

See my disclaimer page.

Author:  Nancy LT Hamilton

Last updated: 7/17/23, 7/14/23, 11/8/21, 11/4/21, 10/29/21

Not finished – like all of my pages!  But I’m getting close!

Safety Notes:  Always wear eye protection, tie back long hair, no flowing clothing, no dangling jewelry, close-toed shoes, or apron, don’t smoke, eat, or drink while working, and wear an appropriate mask.  I wear an N95 particulate mask made by 3M.

*Please see my Stonesetting page for more settings.

I’ll be explaining how to flush set round gemstones in four different ways:  Using the setting bur (1), using a hart bur – pop-in method (2), using a hart bur – snap-in method (3), and using the ball or round bur (4).

I have a three-part series on YouTube covering this topic.

  Part One

Part Two

  Part Three


    • Alternative names for this setting:  Rubbed setting and burnished setting.  It is often, erroneously,  called a gypsy setting.  A true gypsy setting involves a hammered-over rim and works with a cabochon or a faceted stone – which is not what is happening on this page.
    • Employing similar concepts, you can flush set many different shapes, but the directions and tool selections can vary depending on the setting. For non-round stones, you will usually need to use gravers.
    • This type of setting is best suited for hard, durable stones.  Durability is key here.  An Emerald is a hard stone (7.5 – 8 Mohs Scale) but is very fragile.  Emeralds usually contain inclusions that weaken the stone and are also very brittle. An emerald might survive the flush setting intact, but it’s doubtful.  Do so at your own risk!   Many stones in the quartz family (7 Mohs), while hard stones, can be damaged from excessive pressure.  See Gemstone Hardness and Wearability at the Gem Society’s site.
    • The Mohs test (Gem Society) is a test where minerals can be scratched by the number above them but will scratch the numbers below.  So, a diamond at 10 will scratch every stone.  Topaz (8) can scratch quartz (7), but quartz can’t scratch Topaz.  Understanding these numbers will also help you to design jewelry.  Knowing your stone’s Mohs hardness will let you know that that pretty crystal of fluorite (4) will probably get scratched if set with no protection in a ring or bracelet – because many things can scratch it.  See iRocks.com
    • The stone used for flush setting should not be scratchable by hardened tool steel (high carbon content) (7.5 Mohs) or a finishing nail (plain steel – very low carbon content) (approx. 6.5).  Test your burnisher on a damaged or throw-away stone before setting.  *Note comparing the Mohs test (a mineral scratch test) and the Brinell Hardness test (a measurement of the depth left by a steel or tungsten carbide ball on the metal) is much like ye old comparing apples and oranges.  From what I have found, the hardness for the steel used in a drill bit runs around 7.5, and a nail can be 6.5 Mohs or less.  It’s hard to figure out an exact number for Mohs on steel because the tests differ greatly, and one is to test minerals (the Mohs) and one for metals (Brinell). The best way to test is to try and scratch your stone –  which can also ruin it!  But, if you’re unsure, you could find a little facet somewhere on the underside of the stone and try to scratch it.  Of course, if your burnisher doesn’t scratch it, that doesn’t mean the stone won’t chip or crack!  It’s a scary world out there for gemstones!!!  I am not responsible for damaged stones or anything else!  See my disclaimer above, please.
    • This technique lends itself to diamonds (10 on the Mohs scale), topaz (8 Mohs), corundum (sapphires and rubies – 9 Mohs), other hard, durable, lab-grown stones, and Cubic Zirconium.  Lab-grown, synthetic Moissanite is also a contender with an impressive 9.5!  A note on topaz:  if you purchase an aurora borealis or mystic topaz, it will have a scratchable coating.  I don’t recommend using this type of stone for flush settings.
    • Practice with less expensive stones and metals first.  CZs and bronze are good practice materials.
    • Check your stones with a loupe to ensure there aren’t cracks, inclusions, or flaws that could shatter under the pressure of setting – especially if using hart burs.
    • This type of setting is recommended for round, hard, faceted stones 4 mm to 1.5 millimeters.  But, the easiest stones to set are 3, 2.5, and 2 millimeters. 4 mm stones are difficult to do well, and tinier (1 mm or less) stones are difficult to set, also. A microscope will come in handy if setting 1mm and smaller stones.
    • Write down your measurements.  If working with several stones, lay them out (on sticky wax or double-stick tape) in the order they will be laid out, and write the measurements down in that order.  See further in this text for more information on laying out your stones.
Recommended stone sizes for flush setting.

Learn the Parts of a Stone

Nancy LT Hamilton

Measure the Stone

Measuring the Depth of the Stone

One of the first things I recommend is measuring your stone – from the crown to the tip of the culet.  From this initial measurement, you can determine what gauge of metal or design adaptation you must do to allow your stone to sit properly (see below). Use digital calipers to measure.

Measuring the Diameter of a Stone

The main reason for measuring the stone’s diameter is to calculate what size burs to use.  The rule of thumb is that the pilot hole is 1/2 the stone’s diameter, the next bur, the bud, or the ball bur would be 3/4 of the stone’s diameter, and the final setting bur is 99% – 100%.  Read on for an easier, much quicker method…

Using Colored Stones

Colored stones tend to be cut deeper to help enhance their color.  A diamond or a clear CZ will often be thinner.  So, if you use a 3 mm ruby, the stone will likely require an even greater seat depth than it would for a diamond or CZ.

Colored stones are often taller than CZs or diamonds.

As stated above, this setting is best used with diamonds, CZs, Sapphires, Rubies, etc. – stones that have a Mohs hardness of 9 – 10. You can certainly try other, softer stones; just be prepared that they may crack, cleave, chip, or scratch.  Also, hardened tool steel (your burnisher!) has a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs Scale, so don’t use stones softer than 7.5 Mohs, or they may get scratched by the burnisher.  Although, sometimes, even stones with a hardness of 9 can get scratched.  There is a risk to your stones inherent in this type of setting.

How a Faceted Stone Should Sit in a Setting

  • Stones over 2.5 mm can have 1/2 to 1/3 of their crown above the level of the metal.
  • But, whenever possible, try to set the stone to level with or slightly lower than the metal’s surface. That will be more difficult to achieve with a 3-4mm stone! Add metal if possible.
  • When part of the crown and the table are above the metal, they are subject to knocks, wear, and other human abuses of jewelry.  Each ping, bang, and crack eventually wear on the stone, dulling, scratching, and potentially chipping it.  That abuse will eventually wear on that tiny metal ledge holding your stone in place. Deliver sufficient degrees of torture, and the poor thing releases the stone.  Sad.
  • Stones 2.5 mm and under should have their tables even with the metal. They should not be set high as there won’t be sufficient metal to push over the stone.
  • Having the stone at a sufficient depth allows your burnisher more of a “lip” to grab onto.  Cutting your seat deep enough will help to keep your burnisher from slipping out of the setting and potentially scratching your metal.

Alternatives to Using Thick Metal

If you are making a ring and want to flush set a 4mm stone with a depth of 2.19 mm, you will need enough metal so the culet doesn’t stick out the back.  That means you want a gauge of 11 and up (i.e., 10, 9, 8, etc.)  This is a pretty thick material, but you can use 11 gauge by soldering an embellishment (or two) over the metal – creating the thickness you need.

Sufficient material is important for rings as the culet will rub on the finger and irritate the skin.  It may also be important for other forms of jewelry, where the piece may come in contact with skin. The thickness can be adjusted by adding metal to the front or the back in various manners.

Here’s my amazing (ahem) drawing that illustrates how you can increase the metal’s thickness without using a very heavy gauge metal.

Another option is to use cast pieces like these practice rings from The New Approach School.  You can design them so that the top of the ring or whatever other area you wish to flush set in is thick enough for the stone, is domed, or somehow raised off the finger.

Even more ideas:  Solder jump rings on the back side  – or even the front.  Incorporate them into your design.  Build a frame around the setting that effectively raises the setting off of the skin.  Create a piece that involves hollow construction so that the backs of the stones are recessed within.

An Easy Way to Determine What Size Burs to Use – Without Measuring

(Note: the stone used is 6 mm  – to make it easier to see).

   In this image, the stone is held across its diameter  (girdle to girdle) in the digital calipers, and the calipers are locked down so that the stone stays in place. You want your pilot hole to be 1/2 the diameter of the stone.  Simply by sliding the bur between the calipers, you can see – without measuring – that the ball bur is about 1/2 the stone’s diameter. No measuring!

  Next, measure for the bud or ball bur that will further open up the setting.  This larger, more aggressive bur will remove metal until we get to the stage where we switch to the setting bur.  You’ll want this bur to be 3/4, or even a little more, of the stone’s diameter.  Bud and ball burs are cheaper than setting burs and are more efficient metal removers.  Setting burs are just for cutting seats.  You can see the differences between the two burs in the images above and below.  Note how close the cutting edges are for the setting bur compared to those on the bud bur.  By looking at their differences, you can tell which one will be a more aggressive metal remover. These burs are also pretty danged pricey!

Final seat cutting is done with a setting bur (or a hart bur – but hart burs have their section farther down, on this page).

The rule here is to choose a setting bur the same size as the stone.  Saying that, I have found, when teaching, that if the setting bur is too small, there is a tendency for the novice to push the bur too far in one direction, trying to enlarge the opening.  Trying to repair the imbalance usually leads to a setting that is much larger than it should be.  When checking size using the digital calipers (as pictured), you’ll want a setting bur that fits closely between the caliper’s jaws and moves freely when spun inside the jaws.

So, those are the three burs (or bits and burs) you’ll need to set a stone.  You might need one or two more, like a small drill bit or ball bur to make a divot before drilling the pilot hole, and a smallish ball bur to finish the back side of the pilot hole (but you shouldn’t need much more.

Ball burs can be used to drill pilot holes.  You don’t always have to use a drill bit to drill a hole.  I like using the ball bur for drilling.  An added benefit is that they are cheaper to replace than the 3/32″ shanked drill bits I use with my quick-release handpiece.  They are more robust, too – less likely to snap off when drilling.

I make a divot with a punch and hammer on a steel block.  I place a .5 – .8 mm ball/round bur into that divot.  Hold the bur tightly, or it will skitter across the metal.  Hold the bur perpendicular to the metal.  Pull the bur out of the opening after a second and then lubricate it again. Repeat as necessary.

How long you drill depends on how much metal you need to drill through and the sharpness of your bur. Don’t “floor it” with the flex shaft. Go slowly.  Don’t jump from a .8 bur to a 1.7 (for example) bur.  The bur will chitter and can also skitter across the metal.  Use a 1.2 – 1.4 bur first, then move on to the larger bur.  This practice is employed for all burs and bits, gradually increasing in size.

  Drilling a hole with a ball bur. Note how the bur is held with two fingers, and my hand is supported with my other fingers.

Oh, I almost forgot!  If you drill your pilot hole off-center, you can use a bud bur that fits loosely in the pilot hole to move the opening a bit.  Push the bur to the side where you need to move the opening.  Be careful not to make your opening too large!

You can select all your burs at once and lay them out on your bench in order of use. Or, use a bur holder and label each opening so that you know where to put your bur after use.  A long magnet is handy for holding your burs on your bench- they do like to fall on the floor, and a magnet is a great way to deter that behavior!

Once you’ve picked your burs, it’s time to figure out how to lay out your stones.

Stone Layout

Many jewelers use double-stick tape or sticky wax to hold stones in place to visualize their placement and to mark their locations.  Blaine Lewis at the New Approach Jewelry School uses a salivated-on Jolly Rancher!  It works; I’ve used it!  I’ve also heard of other jewelers who use super glue, but that is only after they are sure where the stones should go.  Some use a drying accelerant (for the super glue) so they don’t have to wait around for the glue to dry (we are busy people, we jewelers!).

This process gets a bit “math-y.”  Unfortunately, that’s scary for some, but it is necessary, so bear with me!

Find the center – wherever that may be.  On a simple band, it doesn’t matter much.  I like my solder seam to be directly under my center stone.  I don’t recommend setting the stone in the soldered seam on a ring – it can weaken the seam.  Determine the distance between your stones.  The minimum distance for this technique is .5 mm.

In my simple example, The center stone on a band ring is a 3 mm wide stone.  On either side of the center, the stone measures 1.5 mm.  The minimum space between settings should be about .5 mm.  My second stone is a 2.5 mm stone.  1/2 of that is 1.25 mm.  So, the dividers should be set at 3.25, which will determine the center of the second stone.  The formula is 1/2 the center stone 1.5 mm plus .5 mm (the “space”), plus 1/2 the second stone (1.25 mm) equals 3.25.  1.5 + .5 + 1.25 = 3.25 mm

Layout for a strip of single stones

Your layout will depend on your design, of course!

Ganoksin has a good article on positioning oval and marquis gemstones. (Although this is off-topic!)  Written by Rick Metz.

Holding Your Work

There is a large variety of holding tools for stone settings available today.

I like an engraver’s ball for holding pendants, rings, and everything else.  There are inexpensive balls on Amazon (under $100).  Here’s a link to one I’ve purchased 4 for use in my stonesetting classes.   GRS also sells engraver’s balls/engraving blocks (this link is for the Microblock Vise and attachments).  GRS’s blocks are much better quality, but a cheaper one might work if you are just starting.  I think it’s better to have one than not.

  The GRS Stonesetter’s Package

Another tool I love for stone-setting – especially rings – is a GRS Benchmate.  There is also a Stonesetter’s Package that GRS makes.

Budget Work Holders

  • A small pitch pot (5″) with German Red or green pitch holds work well. Using pitch will allow you to hold your work securely and rotate it too, making it much easier to set the stones – especially when burnishing.   I like to do most of my setting while the metal is held somewhat sideways, in the pitch bowl,  and both tools – the engraving block and the pitch bowl, allow me to do that.
  • Ring clamp.  A big drawback is that you cannot work on wide metal strips.  Ring clamps are fine for working on rings and smaller objects,  though.

  PepeTools makes my favorite ring clamp. It’s a favorite because there is no wedge to fall out, and it holds the work securely.

  • To make it hands-free, I used this  Amazon ring clamp as a holder for Pepe’s clamp.  The clamp that comes with the “Jeweler’s Ring Clamp”  is rather flimsy, but I liked the wooden “bench pin (as they call it)” for holding.  The problem was that Pepe’s ring clamp was too slender for the opening, so I made a quick workaround with some 14 gauge copper.  I cut a square piece from the metal at 48 mm X 48 mm.  Then, I found the closest size to Pepe’s clamp in my circle templates.  That ended up being slightly smaller than the 1 1/8″ opening.  I cut out the center circle, being sure to cut inside the lines, took a few swipes with my 1/2 round file, and had my adaptation.  It works great.
  • This inside ring holder on Amazon is a cheap alternative to GRS’s Stonesetter’s Package
  • Here’s another type, also on Amazon. These are designed to fit into a vise.  They may not fit into the GRS Benchmate, but I believe they will fit into the Engraver’s Block. You can also set your stones on a ring mandrel in a vise similar to this combo set.


  1. To move an incorrectly placed opening divot, use a bud bur (slightly larger than the bit/bur used to start the hole) and gently push the opening into the position it should be in.
  2. Don’t forget to lubricate often!
  3.  Clean the openings with a brush/toothbrush to ensure the stone sits within the setting and does not rest on metal particles.
  4. Ball and round bur are two different names for the same thing.
  5. Choosing the correct bur sizes:
    1. Initial Ball bur – 1/2 the diameter of the stone’s diameter
    2. Bud bur – about 3/4 – 7/8 the stone’s diameter
    3. Setting bur or Ball bur – the same size as the stone’s diameter (final bur)
    4. Hart bur – 10% less than the width of the stone
    5. Generally, you’ll want the opening on the back to be ½ the stone’s diameter.
  6. After you’ve created an opening that is ½ the stone’s diameter, don’t drill through the hole anymore.  You only want to widen the opening (from the top) – creating a tapered opening for your stone.
  7. Don’t forget to make a divet before drilling.  This helps to hold the bur in place and ensures that you end up drilling where you want to!
  8. Use a 0.7 mm or a 0.8 mm ball bur to open the first hole.  You can also use a 0.7 mm or a 0.8 mm drill bit. Drill through the metal with your initial bur.
  9. You can go up or down .1 mm – .2 mm for the ball burs or bud burs – as long as the bur isn’t larger than your final bur. 
  10. The ball bur is used first, then the bud bur, and then the final bur, either the setting, ball, or hart bur – depending on which type of flush setting you have chosen. 
  11. If you need to remove a lot of metal, use the ball and/or bud burs.
  12. Setting burs are mostly used for shaping – not for metal removal.  They are expensive and inefficient metal removers.
  13. All subsequent burs will widen and shape the seat.  You don’t want to drill right through the metal!  Control how deep your bur goes.
  14. Check the fit of the stone often!
  15. Ensure that the stone sits either level with the top of the metal or is slightly below the metal’s surface before burnishing.
  16. Finish the back opening with a ball or setting bur slightly larger than the hole. Don’t remove too much metal – you want to remove metal burs and leave a finished looking back – not drill through the setting!

Which burs to Use With Which Setting and Which Stone (In Order of Use)

1.5 mm Stone – Setting Bur or Ball Bur Setting 

  • .8 mm Ball
  • 1.2 mm Bud
  • 1.5 mm Setting or Ball

2.0 mm Stone – Setting Bur or Ball Bur Setting 

  • .8 mm Ball
  • 1.0 mm Ball
  • 1.8 mm Bud
  • 2.0 mm Setting or Ball

2.5 mm Stone – Setting Bur or Ball Bur Setting 

  • .8 mm Ball
  • 1.8 mm Ball
  • 2.3 mm Bud 
  • 2.5 mm Setting or Ball

3.0 mm Stone – Setting Bur or Ball Bur Setting 

  • .8 mm Ball
  • 1.0 mm Ball
  • 1.5 mm Ball
  • 2.7 mm Bud
  • 3.0 mm Setting or Ball

Using the Ball and Setting Bur – Burnishing

Before starting the setting process, ensure that your stone is sitting level in the setting.

Ensure you cannot feel the top of the stone over the metal.  The stone should be right below the surface of the metal.  Not too deep, but deep enough – a few hundredths of a millimeter below.  With larger stones, 3 mm – 4 mm, it will be difficult to recess the table.  Try adding metal using any methods discussed in the stone positioning section above.

Clean up the back of the setting, removing burs with a ball or setting bur.  Just cut enough to remove the burs and clean up the area.  Ensure the burnisher stays in the setting – meaning it doesn’t slip out.  The stone should be deep enough that there’s a little lip around the stone’s perimeter to hold the burnisher in.  If your burnisher keeps slipping out, there are probably one or two things wrong  (or both):  your stone isn’t set deep enough, OR your burnisher is too big.

When the burnisher is in the correct position and place, it will be at a 45° angle, part of it will be on the wall of the setting, and the tip will be resting on the stone. This is why you don’t want a soft stone.  Any stone that is softer than your steel will get scratched.

  The starting angle and position of the burnisher

Rub the burnisher initially in the north, south, east, and west positions – locking the stone in place. Don’t go all the way around yet.  Hold the stone in place with one of your fingernails as you burnish.

Check that the stone is not slipping from side to side.  If it is, examine it under a loop.  Is there metal over the stone in the four locations that you rubbed?  If not, go over the area that needs additional burnishing again.  There doesn’t need to be a lot of metal over the stone.

  See how the rim holds the burnisher in the setting?

When the stone is stable, rub the burnisher all around the interior of the setting, applying downward pressure.  Take your time and move in a controlled manner.  It will take some serious downward pushing to create an effective setting.

Check that the stone is held in place.  Push on the backside of the stone with a brass or bronze punch, or create a punch from a toothbrush handle.  On the table, try to rock the stone with your thumbnail. If the stone no longer moves, it’s time to move up to almost a 90° angle.  Be careful not to snap off the culet.

In this new angle, run the burnisher around the interior of the setting.  This part of the process spreads the metal over the stone even more. You should see a nice shiny wall, and the stone should remain stationary.  Looking at it under a microscope or with a loupe, you should see an even, thin metal layer around the stone.  Clean up any metal that has been pushed above the surface of the metal.  Use an abrasive that has a lower Mohs scale rating than your stone.  You should be able to sand across the top of the stone without scratching it.

This setting method is the same for round and setting bur seats.  The only difference is that the stone in the round bur setting tends to move around more.

The round bur method is good for stones with wide girdles or uneven cuts.

Using the Hart Bur – Burnishing Method (Under construction)

Hart bur setting

  • All the burs sizes are the same as the other setting types – depending on the stone EXCEPT for the last bur.
  • Use a bur approximately 10% smaller than the stone’s width.  I.E. for a 2 mm stone, use a 1.8 mm or a 1.9 mm hart bur.
  • You can tell when you’ve drilled deep enough with the hart bur when there’s a bit of a snap or resistance when pulling the bur out of the opening. This will also show you that your opening is about the right size – a tad smaller than the stone.

Directions for the Non-Punch “Snap-in” Method (Under construction)

After drilling with the hart bur, place the stone, the table facing downwards, on a firm surface – like a steel block.  Place the opening on top of the stone.  Press down until you hear a click.  That “click” is the indicator that your setting was cut properly.  Congrats!  Your stone just popped into place. Like the other settings, you’ll need to burn the metal over the stone.

If your table isn’t level with your metal, push the stone out from the back, and re-cut the seat a bit deeper with your hart bur again.

This method is hard on the stone.  Only use stones you can risk losing until you feel comfortable with this setting method.

Make a Burnisher

Save your broken burs and worn-out bits!  They make great burnishers.  You can also use finishing nails to create burnishers.  I use a 2 1/2″ 8D Bright Finish for larger burnishers.  Cut off the end with a cut-off disc.

Usually, you’ll want to have several different shapes and sizes of burnishers. Experiment with different steel widths – from hangers, nails, burs, etc. For the flush setting, you’ll want a very fine one for small stones (<1.0 mm – 3.0 mm) and a slightly larger one for the 3 – 4 mm stones.

If the burnisher tip is too large, there is a much greater tendency for the burnisher to slip while burnishing, potentially (probably!) scratching your metal.  No bueno!

Cut off the tip of a bur or a drill bit with a cut-off disc.  If using a nail, cut off the flat end.
  • What to Use:  Use a worn-out or broken bur, drill bit, or finishing nail.
  • Cut off the end of the bit. Use a cut-off disc to remove the end of a broken bur or a finishing nail.  Using the side of the cut-off disc, a grinding stone, diamond grinding stone, files, or 220 sandpaper, grind down the rough end of the bur/bit by shaping it into a nice cone shape. Bud, setting, or ball burs are good to use for burnishers because they have a long, gradually-shaped angle already present. You can use thinner steel to make very tiny burnishers.  Don’t use steel that is so thin that it bends.
  • If you anneal the steel, don’t forget to harden and temper it afterward, or it will lose shape quickly.
  • Accidental annealing can occur when the steel gets too hot.  If your steel turns blue/blue-gray, then you’ve annealed it (most likely).
  • Keep a jar of water next to your flex shaft to cool off the burnisher as you grind the tip down.  Quench often.
  • Two methods for shaping. There are two methods to grind this puppy into shape (probably more – but I’ve only tried these two.)  The first involves putting the bur/bit into the flex shaft and grinding the shape on sandpaper.  The second method is the opposite, put a sanding disc in the flex shaft and spin the bur/bit in your fingers.  They both work, but I like putting the bur/bit into the flex shaft as I feel this gives me a more even shape.  Up to you!
  • Rough or smooth burnisher? Some people like a rougher burnisher because it “grabs” onto the walls of the setting.  Others like a highly polished burnisher because it polishes the walls of the setting more effectively – I’m with this group.  Try them both and decide which works for you. Or use them together:  Use the rougher burnisher for the initial setting and switch to the polished one for the final round of burnishing.
  •     The first shape to create. You want a slightly rounded end – not a point like for a scribe and not totally flat.  So, create a marginally convex shape on the tip using 220-grit sandpaper, the side of the cut-off disc, or with a 220-grit sanding disc.
  •     The second shape to create. Next, sand the bit at about a 60° angle and grind a bevel around the tip.
  • Blend the cone shape to create a smooth, gradual cone.
  •     You’ll want to roll the tip on the sandpaper so that the hard-line/edge between the bevel and the tip is softly rounded. (burnisher in the middle is not polished. Note differently sized tips for differently sized stones.
  • Cleaning it up. After shaping, switch to 320, 400, 600, 800, and even 1000 grit sandpaper.  If you use the sanding disc method, you may want to switch it up, put the bur into the flex shaft, and remove scratches by rubbing it on the sandpaper at this stage.

    Rouge on a square of paper for the final polish
  •  A highly polished graver.  Use a felt buff and some polishing compound or do what I do and rub some rouge onto a square of paper and spin the burnisher over the burnisher while it is in the flex shaft.

Handles for Burnishers

    From left: Jett Set Ballistic, Millgrain handle, GRS QC handle

Put a handle on it.  You can use a GRS quick-change graver handle, make one with baked polymer clay, Jett-Sett Ballistic, or employ a mill grain wheel handle – whatever makes it easier to hold.

I like my burnishers to fit in my hand like this.

  • You’re done.  Tada!

How to burnish the stone in the setting

Coming soon!  Please see my videos (at the top of the page) for setting instructions until I finish this section.  Thanks!


  • Use Seat Check to diagnose how your stones are sitting.  Helpful for diagnosing if you have high spots, tight spots, and all those other troublesome spots!
  • The stone is rocking – there are high spots, or the seat isn’t large enough for the stone.
  • The table is not level with the metal – the seat is crooked.  Look at the seat with a loupe.  Use a slightly smaller setting bur and only cut the area needing adjustment.
  • If you slip with your burnisher and scratch your metal, use your burnisher cross-wise, across the gouge.  Next, come in with 800 grit sandpaper and use that up and down the scratch – in the opposite direction that your burnisher was used.  You can then switch to 1000-grit sandpaper and go in the opposite direction that you just went with the 800 grit.
  • If the scratch still shows, repeat the process above until it is gone.

Useful Links

For More Information and References for this Article

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