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Another Turquoise Issue

I was asked, today, what do do with old turquoise when it is
loose from it’s setting. (Assuming it is in a bezel setting) The
person asking used the “soda with aluminum foil” method of
cleaning old jewelry . . . I’m guessing that the glue was no
longer sticking and that’s why the stone became loose. They used
Elmers to put it back in place, and are complaining that the
Turquoise (old) isn’t shiny any more. Any ideas on how to
remedy the problem???

Any advice would be greatly appreciated . . . Thanks in

     They used Elmers to put it back in place, and are
complaining that the Turquoise (old) isn't shiny any more.  Any
ideas on how to remedy the problem??? 

repolish it (grin)

A bit of zam on a soft buff should bring back a nice shine if
the turqoise is of even moderately decent quality. If it’s very
chalky, and has been just trashed, then it may not easily polish
up. If you find that problem, you might try waxing it… Won’t
be permanent, but you can get a bit of sheen… And don’t be
afraid to clean the thing properly, repolish the jewelry
properly, and when the cleaning dessolves that silly elmers glue,
put the stone back in properly too. If the stone IS out again,
you’ll also have an easier time doing a good job of repolishing
it. If you’re not sure, you can always send it to someone who’s
got more experience polishing turqoise…

When uninformed and untrained jewelry owners (or simply other,
unskilled jewelers) have tried their own repair work and have
made a mess of it, don’t be afraid to not only take their work
back apart to do the job right, but also don’t be afraid to
charge extra for the backtracking involved. Most people want
their jewelry to be repaired correctly, and if they’ve mucked it
up, will not only be sheepish enough about their own mistakes but
also grateful enough for your skilled efforts, that they won’t
balk at having to pay a fair price for the service. Just be sure
that you don’t, in your efforts, make it worse than it was.

Peter Rowe

you might try wax from a white candle, lightly rub it on the
stone in the setting, and then buff very lightly with a clean
buff. It should take a nice shine. Anyone have any better

God Bless, Donna

First off, I’d lose the elmer’s and reset the stone properly.
Since Elmer’s is water soluble, that shouldn’t be a problem. The
best way I know to polish turquoise is to take a scrap of
leather, work some beeswax and cerium oxide into it. Then polish
slowly, by hand.

Mark Williams,
Still Stone Broke

Most Indian silversmiths don’t use glue to set cabs. They pack
with fine sawdust to raise the stones level and to cushion it,
assuming a bezel set cab vs. inlay. Elmer’s is a hide glue and is
easily dulled. Could be they just have a thin film of Elmer’s on
it. Soak in water and it should come right off. Of course, there
goes the rest of the glue job. Could be the turquoise is
stabilized with oil, wax or resin, and there was some sort of
chemical reaction. Polish with a muslin buff and a fine white
polish compound like Fabulustre. If it’s still dull, try using a
fracture sealing adhesive such as Opticon and repolish the stone.
Hope this helps. K.P.

That’s a very common problem with older turq. pieces. Pop out
the stone (see numerous good techniques in the past few days) if
it’s still loose. Re-set it (I pack my cabs w/ tobacco from a
domestic cig. 'cause it’s so full of preservatives it’ll last
into the millenium after next) and polish it with Zam, being very
careful not to get the stone too hot. If it burns it turns an
ugly white!

Lotsa Luck

You need to use corn starch like the people that originally made
it! Build it up to the proper height, polish the stone before
resetting. If you do the job right, everything will work fine!

Dancing Horse