I have a question. What do you use to remove pearls from a
setting? What can be used to release the glue without damaging
Thanks for any info Al
Discussions over this topic took place few times over the last
4 of years at the Orchid forums. You can retrieve
the threads by running a keyword search.
Nail polish remover or actetone. Soak the piece for as long as
necessary to loosen the glue and remove pearls. So far I have
not found any damage to Chinese freshwater, Biwa, Japanese Akoya or south sea pearls.
If the pearls are glued with epoxy, which is the preferred
method in my opinion, use a product called “Attack”. It is
mostly methylene chloride. Be carefull handling this stuff or
breathing the fumes. It has some serious health risks depending
on levels of exposure. Use good ventilation and don’t get it on
your skin or in your eyes. As for cases when pearls have been
glued with cyano-acrylate glues such as “super-glue” or
"crazy-glue" you can use fingernail polish remover, but it’s
cheaper to just buy acetone in the hardware or paint store. A
special case I’d like to mention here; with “mabe” (mah-bay)
pearls or “blister” pearls, I would be careful using “Attack” as
these things are often laminates of nacre over a plastic
hemisphere backed with mother of pearl. The Attack will
separate these into their respective components. You come back
after letting them soak for a while, and it’s all in pieces. I
don’t know, but I would suspect that acetone might just affect
them the same way.
David L. Huffman
Hello Al, Some tip from the Netherlands. For removing pearls you
can smoothly heat up the metal. Try not to hit the pearls with
the flame. When its is good, a pearl cement or low melting glue
is used melting point approximately 70 to 80 degrees. Celsius.
The cement will melt and you can take easy of the pearls with
some tweezers from there pins.
here we go again people: ‘unglue’ pearls, actually dissolve any
adhesive from even delicate items with the 'debonder solvent’
from the company: uncommon conglomerates,inc. i think their
number is 800/322-1945 - or check back in the archives to last
time we were beating this to death. the stuff is so mild i have
removed cyanoacrylic glue from my lip with it (another story).
it cleans up every little speck of any adhesive without a lot of
waiting, waste or whining (from when the caustic solvent melts
your material). TRY IT! ive
Nail polish remover or actetone. Soak the piece for as
long as necessary to loosen the glue and remove pearls. So far
I have not found any damage to Chinese freshwater, Biwa,
Japanese Akoya or south sea pearls.
Just don’t do this to mabe pearls. These are often made with
interior materials and glues which will also come apart in
solvents. Makes an expensive mess. And since the core over
which the thin pearl veneer is placed is often “silvered”, when
these come apart in solvent, you can’t just glue then back
together, since the result will look either blotchy where the
silvering is partially damamged, or just darker if the whole
thing is damaged…