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Drilling or enlarging holes in very hard chrysoprase/jade and delicate gene silica beads

Hello out there fellow jewelry community!

If anyone has experience in enlarging of very hard round beads, possibly initially drilling to as I live huge 18-20 mm beads and they’re hard to find. I’d be grateful for your experience/expertise/advice…

I’m interested in mostly enlarging holes in precious beads. Particularly, gem silica (yikes-can’t afford to make mistakes with those!!!) Jadeite and chrysoprase, my three favorites… I have a dremel and have been practicing on some fake (possibly reconstituted) pink Opal I also have poor quality lapis and poor quality amethyst I can practice on. The diamond heads go right through the Opal…well not exactly right through. But nada on the chrysoprase…luckily I have 7/8 bad beads from an expensive strand to practice on. Because these are my favorite stones in addition to all Australian, Brazilian basically any non hydrophane opals.

I’m considering investing in a real machine that I can also use to polish gold and silver and do cabbing (my 13 yr old son loves watching cabbing Opal videos with me… from rough to gorgeous…we have found a shared interest! I want to encourage) is there a good quality cabbing/drilling machine out there. There’s lots of “cheap “Pearl” drilling set ups but pearls are soft. And I’m leery of a lot of the sellers…it seems to be the same exact couple of drills for anywhere from $450-900…or more.

Right now all my beads are drilled it’s just the holes are too small. I’d rather invest in something that will last and not need replacing every couple of years…but I don’t have $7-$10k to spend either. Any tips and all advice or words or wisdom are greatly appreciated! Truly. I find the generosity and sharing of wisdom from king time pros on this site to be completely uplifting in these days of doom and gloom. Thanks again everyone :blush::rainbow::pray:t2:Paddy Peters (former RN…soon to be vintage jeweler? Maybe eventually real jeweler…,)