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Homepage / Lifestyle  / Tools of the Trade: How a Local Jeweler Crafts Its Most Iconic Baubles

Tools of the Trade: How a Local Jeweler Crafts Its Most Iconic Baubles

Goldsmith and jeweler Michael Ellsworth relies on more than steady hands and sharp eyes to meticulously craft fine jewelry.

By John Roark | Photography by Rob Ballard

1 Steel setting burrs are used to precisely cut a “seat” within a setting, or the metal base or framework that holds a round faceted stone. 

2 Once jeweler Oliver Smith has conceived a design, gemstones, such as these loose sapphires, are selected based on size and color. 

3 Multiple individual heads are laser-welded together to create a setting, the metal framework that will hold the gems. 

4 Tweezers can be much more effective than fingers for handling minute jewelry components. 

5 Resin, similar to stationery sealing wax, is applied to a wooden dapping block, which will hold a piece in place to facilitate two-handed fine-tuning. 

6 To facilitate accurate placement, digital calipers assist in measuring stones and metal elements.

7 Once a stone has been placed in its setting, a wooden-handled prong pusher bends the prongs to secure the stone in place.


Oliver Smith Jeweler, Scottsdale,


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