Balling silver end of a stone or pearl

Hello -

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might ball up the other end
of a silver wire when it is next to a stone which is heat sensitive?
I know there are products to put on the stone but I have heard that
there is something called “heat rivets.” Has anyone else heard of
this or have any other suggestions? Thank you!

Francine - I do this all the time and I show my students how to do
it in my classes with great success. You need a small hot flame, so it
really only works with a gas & oxygen torch with a small tip. I use a
mini torch with a # 6 tip.

Soak a couple of layers of brown paper towel or paper bag (about 2"
x 2") in water then poke a hole through the center of the paper scrap
with a pin or scribe (something sharp). Slide the wet paper with the
hole over the wire that passes through the pearl or bead and drape it
over said bead or pearl. Make sure the paper clings to the pearl and
is wet but not dripping. A little water should go in the bead hole.
Don’t let the bead become exposed or it could burn. With a small but
hot oxidizing flame (about 2 inches long) melt the wire down until
the bead touches the paper. Keep the flame perpendicular to the wire
and start from the tip. The hot spot is the tip of inner cone of the
flame. You want the inner cone tip to be right on the tip of the
wire, pointing at it like a finger just about to touch it. Then
follow it down as it melts. Don’t let the flame point at the pearl or

Before you melt it, the wire should be about 1/4 inch long (maybe
slightly longer depending on wire size). If you use a neutral flame
it will not work because it takes too long to melt the wire. The
trick (or skill) is to work fast and melt the wire in about one
second. Thats why you need a hot flame. With my mini torch a 2 inch
oxidizing flame is only about 1/8 inch in diameter. There may be some
steam and the first layer of paper may scorch or even burn a bit, but
the bead or pearl should be left unharmed.

Happy whatever it is that makes you happy -

1 Like
... There may be some steam and the first layer of paper may
scorch or even burn a bit, but the bead or pearl should be left

Great topic, great idea! Carl, have you ever tried it with a steady
drip or stream of H2O maintained onto the bead or pearl? I ask
because, in theory, the temp in that “microclimate” should not rise
above 212F (100C) as long as H2O is present.

Ever try a wetted sponge?


Dear Carl Stanley

Whatgreat instruction to Francine and all of us.
One of the reasons orchid is so great.

Thanks from all,

You can also ball the end of the wire then cut and epoxy both the
end and top loop to the bead. I suppose this depends on the


I have also made the balled ends, then tapped them with a Tap & Die,
and then you can very tightly screw down the balled end onto the
wire. If you also apply a tiny bit of jewelers epoxy to the threads,
it will add to the strength of the screwed on item.