Is Silver Right For My Job?

Subject: Is sheet silver right for my job?
Question: I have a ring (see attached image) that I would like to duplicate, meaning I want to make rings and pendants just like it with other raw stones I have. I was going to buy sheet silver , form it to the bottom of the stone by folding it up along the sides and snipping it to the desired height, then I planned to just turn it over (so the silver side is facing upward) and blast all the silver with a torch so it kinda melts to the form of the stone. Is this even possible - am I totally wrong about my approach? It seems like it would work but I admittedly have no idea what I'm doing. If you have any suggestions on how to recreate this ring I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!

Answer: Hello Lane,
Yes gonzo torch melting is the incorrect approach no matter how attractive it may seem!
What you need is bezel strip and sheet silver; bezel strip for the band setting and sheet or ring blanks for the band and the appropriate grade of solder, and if it is yellow gold you are going for as the setting, then 10kt yellow gold bezel strip could be used with a 10kt ring blank and repair solder or even yellow silver solder in hard temper.
I highly recommend your going to the library or bookstore and checking out Tim McCreight's "the Complete Metalsmith". Also there are a number of basic soldering videos on you tube, and that leads one to a number of links on basic forming.One thig I can tell you is the maker glued or applied resin to bond the clusters into the bezels.You can buy pre-made die struck oval bezels but their weight is too light, and a higher gauge of sheet would be more appropriate particularly if you don't want to use glue, epoxy or resin- which I do not recommend..also your base must be flat so a good dremel tool, flexshaft, or lap is required to flatten the bottom of the clusters.
It is far too long a process to explain in the time I have at the moment so If you give me a while and also email me back as a follow up question, he equipment you have I can give you a more detailed explanation of how to go about fabricating the rings, etc. without blasting the metal..and you'll need to coat anything you want to make with a fire coat of boric acid and methyl alcohol mixed to a cream-like consistency and a pickling solution of pool Ph down ( sodium bisulphite) or sparex ( a junk product widely available but far too expensive for the amount of filler included in it!).Do you have a saw, a bench, a torch ( a butane torch will do wonderfully for a few rings, no need to go out and buy a whole jewelers set up- a bernzomatic would be ideal- american scientific and surplus ( has them on sale right now for about $16 USD)..
Anyway I'll be looking for your reply and don't blast anything quite yet, you'll blow up the amethyst certainly and probably melt down the whole project..It shouldn't be a trial and error proposition as even silver hit $13.89 yesterday and gold an unreasonable 922.00 on most markets...