Conversion of earrings, screw-back to posts

I’ve been asked about converting older screw-back earrings to
pierced style. She provided me with two pairs that she’d like changed
over, but I’m pretty sure I can’t help her, not being a bench
jeweller myself. One pair is a set of cameos, the other pair has a
pearl and a hematite bead (about equal sizes) on each.

The mounting is a U-shaped bar of gold, with the mounts for the
cameos or beads on one leg and the threaded hole for the screw in
the end of the other leg. I guess they’d have to be removed from
that, maybe by just cutting the bar right by the spot where they’re
mounted, but then posts would have to be soldered to the backs –
therein lies the difficulty, since neither the cameos nor the beads
(or their glue mounts) would be likely to survive the heat. I could
probably pull the cameos from their bezels, but I have no experience
with pearls glued into settings.

If I send her to a bench jeweller for this conversion, what should I
predict it will cost? I don’t want to give her too optimistic a view,
but I don’t want to scare her away from the notion. (Well, unless I
should tell her to forget it outright. :slight_smile:

These don’t seem like valuable antiques, but they’re not cheap junk,
from what I can tell. 12K and 14K mountings, fairly sturdy
construction, and nice materials.


I’m not home with my catalogs, but I’m pretty sure I remember seeing
some converters that allow you to switch earrings from screw to
pierced, or the other way around. Have you checked a good findings
catalog with that in mind? You might also try someplace like Fire
Mountain that has a wide range of inexpensive findings…

Beth in SC

Hi Loren,

Probably the easiest way to make the conversion is as you suggested.
Cut the screw posts off as close to their mounting point as
possible. Then file & finish off the rough spots. After the base is
ready for the application of the new posts, find someone who has a
’Sparkie’ with the necessary fittings for earring posts. They can
spot weld the new posts on without heating the rest of the piece or
any need to remove the pearls or cameos.


(or their glue mounts) would be likely to survive the heat.

Loren, I can’t believe I’m saying this, being as it’s a love hate
thing between the laser welder and myself, but this is a job for a
laser. I love what a laser can do and hate that I can’t justify the
investment. It is the perfect solution for this job. Thank goodness
there are many capable subcontractors. If you won’t take my advice
and want to gift your labor to your customer and reap your rewards
in heaven, you could disassemble it and have a new post soldered on.
Conversely, if you wish to burn in hell, you could hack off the
french back and glue a big fat pad with post to the back. Then hope
the glue holds long enough for you to accept that job offer in a
distant country. Discounting France of course, were if they suspect
you have become involved with glue on “bijoux d’or de carat”, you
would be deported!

Cordially, Kevin
Kevin Lindsey