As an absolute novice, I appeal for your assistance.
I am making a rosary for my wife for Easter. While most of the “Hail
Mary” beads are made of wood, the “Our Father” beads are made of
several stones of sentimental value to us: Quartz from the garden at
the church & school she attended 40 years ago, and similar samples of
granite and labradorite. I carved them into 10 mm spherical beads
using a diamond cutting wheel and my dremel, buffing them using white
jeweler’s rouge. Now I need to drill the holes. I am “stringing” them
using 20 gauge silver wire, so I wish to make a very small hole
through them–about 1 mm.
I tried using diamond tip drill bits to drill through them. My
research told me to submerge them while drilling to avoid
overheating. That worked great for a marble bead (from our first home
we owned), but I burned up several diamond bits on the quartz and
labradorite (which is supposed to be pretty soft) and barely
I called several lapidary jewelers locally, and they said they
could not do it.
I contacted laser machining/drilling firms, and they feared the
heat would destroy the beads.
One recommended water-jet cutting, but I fear that would ruin a 10
I can think of only 3 options left:
Buy dozens of diamond tip bits, and just plan on burning them up
as I go
Hope one of you can offer me advice on how to go
See if anyone can drill them for me–and return them in time for
Thanks in advance for a quick response. Oh, and this site is very
humbling, seeing all the incredible talent out there. Wow!