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.
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.