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Glass Beads, Glues, and other ponderings


Hello, All! I know I have been tardy in replying to some of you nice
people. Sorry to say I’ve been having some health problems working on

I was wondering about 2 things, but first a little background I have
had a now almost 40 year old fascination with old dirty cruddy
jewelry items that were in poor repair, buying them from all kinds
of places and garages and things (mostly Boston), and cleaning them
up. For those who believe that the removal of patina is a mortal
sin, I am an admitted sinner. With the exception of rare antiques,
and perhaps Native American jewelry, I do clean and polish these
items. At first, it was things I would buy for myself, and I’d clean
them up for my own enjoyment and wear. I would ask lots of questions
to all kids of jewelers and Antique Dealers about the best way to
clean pearls, how to prevent damage to old Rhinestones, how do you
polish various metals and plated metals, and all that. I spent my
weekends hanging around Gem Shows and Rock Hounds and so I feel very
comfortable here with you all.

The result was that I developed a massive collection, from buying a
lot, cleaning 'em up, and they ending up in drawers all over my house
let me also clarify that these are not always plated base metals or
glass, they are often gemstones set in sterling or gold

So now I’m at 30+ yrs of collecting, and decided to sell Much of it
with the need for funds for a BIG move :o) (feel free to ask me
about it) I’m finding that I have a huge backlog of items in need
of repair - (none to be solderered). In particular, beaded things -
necklaces etc., and items with stones mounted with glues, which have
popped out of their settings. Many of these are glass, some are
And then I started offering these at Local Antique stores
and talking to Dealers, and apparently, I just happen to be doing it
right. These items have retained their value, I have not caused any
damage for the most part, I did learn the hard way about a few
things, but that’s ok with me. My “stuff” is selling like hotcakes,
and for good prices I would like to take advantage of the momentum
and now repeat customers

So my 2 questions are - when remounting a stone into a glued setting

  • what types of glues to use? I know it depends on say, if it is a
    ring that might be exposed to water, as supposed to a scarf clip
    which would not. I’ve seen the use of epoxies and cements - most
    people I know use the stuff used for watch crystals, because they say
    it is ok to subject it to water. I tend to go hmmm… What I’m
    looking for is a cement that has a fine applicator tip, that could be
    used for such applications, and as a extra, if it not dislodged by
    water, all the better.

My second question is about beads I’ve had customers really eating up
what I’ve offered in terms of restringing older items, and I have
found that customers greatly prefer glass beads to some of the other
items I have - many even prefer glass to I have TONS of
bags of OLD glass beads I’ll be reworking into new or reincarnated
pieces. Is there a quick way (besides hot needles) to see if they are
glass ? If they are damaged, I can tell by the look of the fissures
and cracks, but I’ve found I have many in perfect condition.

Thank you for any light you could shed -= I enjoy reading every one
of your postings, and apprecaite the community vibe every day.
Sincerely, Mary Beth M. In Rural New Hampshire (yep, still can’t see
mailbox under all the ice)