Meteorite pendants

Recently I had purchased a pallasite meteorite slice with peridot thinking I could maximise my return by further cutting into 4 pieces. After some appreciative comments regarding the slice, concerns about ruining it and a small amount of apathy I decided to just set the whole slice.

Prior to commencing I was subsequently asked to set a less visually attractive but equally prized 'shiny grey' meteorite slice.
pallasite meteoriteExamining the two pieces I thought a more work but less risk approach should be taken with the 3rd party slice, a less cautious one with mine.

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rock and gem magazine issue 61 autumn 2013

pallasite meteorite pendantThere were time constraints (just for a change) so instead of being able to wait for 'laser weld' access I had to roll my sleeves up. I'm no expert by a long way however probably by example I've learnt to appreciate the comments from years ago about being precise with measurements, it's so much easier all the way through to get the dimensions correct at the start.

Typically the slice, carefully cut and polished wasn't symmetrical, really why should it be unless you were going to set it!
So I measured the length of each side and selected some 2mm diameter silver wire, cutting at angles so I could mitre the corners. Due to the angles involved I soldered each corner one at a time (lightweight I hear you say!) but I did include the top jump ring. I then formed 4 jump rings from 1mm wire and used a burr to create a recess inside each corner then I soldered the rings in place, gently lifting the rings of one side of the pendant to enable the slice to be gently inserted into place once I had given the frame a polish.

Getting the slice in position did require a little persuasion due to a little movement during the polishing process. The protruding silver claws were cut down to size and gently positioned in place with a flat edge bezel tool.

Now onto the second piece, because of the peridot and lovely patterns I thought this slice would look best bezel set, the silver back enhancing the colour through the peridot.

I had some silver sheet approximately 1mm in thickness, yes I know I could've used thinner but I like my pieces to 'feel more' than the norm, then cut some silver setting strip to size.

I formed the strip to the shape of the slice, again fairly random, placed onto the sheet then soldiered into place with a jump ring on the top.

After I cut away the sheet excess, filed and polished, then I was ready to insert the slice, I was probably a little heavy handed with it after just setting what you could consider to be a 'lump of metal' however I did hear that sound no one setting anything wants to and notice an edge of the slice crumble a little.

pallasite meteorite pendant

No problem I thought I'd use some jewellers cement to coat the surface edge to ensure it was stable. Teatime.

Next morning I wondered out to the workshop, thinking finish setting then polish and done. However I realised that the cement had reacted with whatever was on the surface of the slice causing a little discolouration!

Ok so I'm now polishing the slice and setting before finally finishing, I'm sure there's a moral or two for this experience!

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