Tutorial: With some basic metalworking and finishing skills - Making a pendant with a stone can be Fun!

1) Assemble some copper or brass pieces, that are cut from plate to a desired size and select stones for each one. I annealed the metal with a torch, cleaned, filed and sanded each one that I had already textured, rolled, or stamped, punching and drilling holes for the bail.

2) For a stone that has clear areas in it, make a paper pattern and come in 1/8” all the way around so that the stone has a resting place. Drill holes in center, and four sides and pencil in the shape so you can saw it out. (Photo 2, 3)

3) When you have sawn out the shape, file the inside all the way around with a fine large half round file, and the edges from outside and in, and sand all areas. (Photo 4)

4) I used 12 gauge Sterling Silver wire, that I annealed and carefully rolled to create a longer flat piece for the tabs. I then punched holes for the rivets and drilled them, making sure that the holes would accept the copper annealed wire that would become the rivet. In this case I used 14 gauge Copper and Sterling wires, which I annealed, then sawed them into tiny pieces. You want the pieces to have flat ends to make a nice rivet top, and only just appear above the top and bottom of the drilled holes before you start to tap the rivets. Too long and the rivets will bend over, too short and you will not be able to create a head. (Photo 5)

5) After finishing and buffing the pendant, place the stone over the opening, making sure that there is an edge to support the stone, and a place to punch and drill holes for the tabs. (Photo 6)

6) The Sterling Silver bail is a 1 1/4” by 1/2” flat textured piece of Sterling silver that I have drilled holes in, 1/8” in from each of the short ends. I marked the center, and bent it over so that the two holes lined up with a metal tool going through both holes to keep them over each other until I used flat nosed pliers to pinch the two together leaving a space in the top for a chain or leather lacing. The holes are drilled for the Sterling Silver tabs.(Photo 7)

7. The tabs are riveted on to the blank. Make sure that the tabs are sanded smooth, buffed, and the correct length for the stone. In this case I wanted the tabs to ‘hug’ the stone. The length was determined by the thickness of the stone.(Photo 8)

8. This is the back of the pendant showing the copper rivets, all filed smooth and finished. The copper will stand out against the silver, but be the same metal on the back. (Photo 9)

9. Place the stone on the pendant, and while holding it with the fingers of one hand, bring the tabs over, a little at a time, bending each one, then the diagonal one, then the other one and it’s diagonal pair. Do NOT try to fold over all of them all the way at first. You have annealed these tabs, so as sturdy as they are, they will be easily best. Be patient, a little bend at a time. The main idea, is to get the tabs very close to the stone to get a secure fit. (Photo 10)

10. This photo shows without the stone. I removed it just to show the rivets. I did NOT bend these tabs without the stone in place. (Photo 11)

11. The stone is placed back in and the fold over process will begin - carefully, and diagonally. (Photo 12)

12. Pressed over tabs and stone is not moving or shifting at all. (Photo 13)

13. Back of pendant. (Photo14)

14. These photos show the finished pendant with a leather cord, a view from the front, and one showing light coming through the stone. (Photo 15,16,17)

Dinah Hoyt Taylor

Capricious Crowns & Jewels



User login



About Ruby Lane

Vintage Begins Here: Explore the exciting world of Ruby Lane. Discover thousands of independent shops showcasing quality Antique & Art, Vintage, and Jewelry items from the world's largest curated marketplace.

Follow Me on Pinterest