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Alum effects on pearls


#1

Hello everyone, I broke a drill in a pearl today and I thought about
alum. I know that alum can dissolve the steel of the drill but will
it destroy the pearl? Just thought I’d put the question out there. Gav


#2

G’day Gavin, Alum solution can mar the pearl if it is going to be
strong enough to dissolve a steel drill. A better way to go is to
use a fine round burr, say around 0.7mm diameter and carefully burr
into the pearl alongside the broken drill. When it has gone down the
length of the drill, you should be able to shake out the broken
fragment of drill. Sure, this will leave an irregular slightly oval
hole, but this won’t be seen once the pearl is re-attached to the
jewellery. Hope this finds you well and give my regards to Russell.
Best wishes, Rex