The Moissanite Jewellers Bench Guide provides helpful guidelines and techniques for designing a new piece of jewellery with moissanite, or resetting a stone.
Although moissanite is second only to diamond in hardness on the MOHs scale, in some instances it can chip. Created moissanite has cleavage directions that can cause the stone to cleave parallel to the girdle of the stone, which can chip.
Take care of the girdle when setting, as crowding it against other stones can cause chipping. On stones with sharp points such as the radiant, square and marquise, you should take special care to protect their points from unnecessary pressure. Moissanite stones, like other gemstones with sharp points and thin girdles, can be damaged if you are not cautious when working with them.
When working with stones with sharp corners, use a small drill bit or ball burr (we recommend 90-degree cutter burrs, as this creates an angle more parallel to the gemstone's pavilion and may also prevent breakage on the girdles) to create a seat or bearing.
A small indention/indentation should be drilled where the points of the gemstone will rest to reduce the likeliness of damage - this will evenly distribute setting pressure against the sides of the stone and will avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the points.
Bezel settings provide gemstones added security against the gemstone falling out of your jewellery, and as a bonus, the setting protects the gemstone better than other types of settings. When you are bezel-setting moissanite, the entire bezel must be level and clear of burs.
If you are setting a square-shaped stone such as a square cut, the corners should be drilled and the angle at the bottom of the bearing should match the angle on the pavilion of the gemstone.
When pushing down on the metal, make sure it forms over the edge of the crown and closes the bezel. Do not push the metal into the edge of the stone close to the bezel, as this may cause chipping of the girdle.
Moissanite Prong Work
If your bearings are made properly, you shouldn't have any problems once you proceed with your prong work. If you've received a setting with pre-cut bearings, you need to make sure the lower section of the bearing is parallel with the pavilion facets of the stone.
If they are not, you must shape the lower part of the bearing so that the gemstone gently fits into it, rather than pushing it up against a curved edge. If you take the time to ensure that the gemstone fits properly, you risk creating a fulcrum with the gemstone and jewellery and even the slightest bit of pressure may chip the girdle.
Look at the contact between the gemstone and the bearing - if you can see an open space next to the girdle, then the bearing's bottom edge needs to be adjusted.
Bead Work With Moissanite
If you've chosen to add beadwork to your piece, you should know that there are a few guidelines we recommend following to ensure your gemstone is not damaged. Make sure the girdle is fitted slightly below the metal surface and that the beads are raised above it, rather than against it.
The edges of a moissanite gemstone can chip if you apply direct pressure against them. We recommend taking care when you are rounding a beading tool - the edge of the tool should not touch the
stone, as this can cause chipping or breaking.
Moissanite is an extremely stable material. You can complete general repairs and ring sizing requests while keeping moissanite in place. When using heat, there are a couple of best practices you should adhere to:
Be sure to thoroughly clean the stone of any dirt or other contaminants. Ultrasonic cleaning and steaming will remove the normal type of dirt and oils found on jewellery worn by your customer.
What you may see on the stone once this dirt is removed is blue or brown spots or an oil slick-type sheen on the stone.
This film is tough to remove with the above standard cleaning method. To remove this film, we recommend a heated beaker equipped with a magnetic stirrer that can maintain a temperature of approximately 83 to 93 degrees Celsius.. a crack or sizing of the piece it must be allowed to slowly. its fire, it has by too much heat and will need polishing.
If You Are Polishing Moissanite:
Avoid using a silicon carbide sanding disc, drum sander or wheels impregnated with silicon carbide around the stone. If any of the aforementioned objects are used around the stone, you run the risk of scratching the moissanite.
Do not tumble jewellery to polish it with stones that are set, because this will cause scratching of the gemstones. Polishing jewellery is crucial to the shine and lustre of the metals. With the proper technique, your moissanite piece will sparkle brilliantly.
When plating jewellery set with lab-created moissanite, all solutions must be at room temperature. If the solutions reach a temperature of 480 degrees Celsius or higher, damage can occur to all products used in the plating process.
We also recommend certain techniques when setting moissanite:
Note that moissanite does have cleavage directions that will cause the stone to cleave, however, it can chip.
Use care around the girdle of the stone when setting, so there is no crowding against other stones in the piece.
Avoid Making Repairs
Before you begin plating, there are a few steps you should take. There are several plating solutions you can use to properly plate and clean your products, including electro cleaners and acid activator manufacturers.
We recommend that you read all materials before you begin plating, to ensure the proper procedures and precautions are taken. Please follow all safety requirements when using any plating product. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.25- 9.5 on the MOHs scale and excellent toughness, making it one of the most durable gemstones on the market.
As with any other gemstone, if you take the proper precautions when working with moissanite, you will end up with a beautiful piece of jewellery that your customers will love.