Gluing pearl earings onto cup and post

A customer brought me some pearls which she wants me to glue onto
some 14K pearl cups with a post. She is providing the pearls and the
cups. In all, she has 3 pairs to be made.

Unfortunately the bottoms of the pearls are perfectly flat, and
don’t really sit well into the cups but are resting on the rim. Even
though the bonding agent will fill the cup, I am still apprehensive
about setting them. It would seem to me that one good bump would
dislodge them. I explained all this to the customer, but she insists
that I use the materials she is providing. She is a very good
customer, and I want to accomodate her, but want to make sure we do
not have problems down the road.

If you don’t think this is a problem, should I just go ahead and
epoxy them in? If so, is it better to use the 330 two part epoxy, or
can I use the GS hypo cement. I have been using 330 two part epoxy,
but another jeweler tells me that the GS hypo cement is better.

When I make pearl stud earrings, I make the cups myself to assure
that they are shaped so that the pearls are seated nicely. I also use
longer posts to insert into the pearls. I drill the pearl a bit to
get more depth. This way I am sure that things will hold up.


Hello Alma,

When I run into flat bottomed pearls to put into cups, I sometimes
solder a small flat disc just inside the cup. This way, there is
more surface to epoxy the pearl to. Between this and the longer
posts you intend to use the pearls should be safe.

Have fun. Tom Arnold

Hi, Alma,

Could you reshape the cups into a flat plane?


Hello Alma,

You could gently flatten the cup so that the pearl base will
actually sit flat in contact the metal. Scratch the sides of the post
and the cup to improve the “grab” for the adhesive. Of course, check
with your client before making the cup modifications. So far as
adhesive, I like 2 part epoxy.

Judy in Kansas

Hi Alma,

Tell your client; I will do it your way but I will not guarantee the
result. If you want me to guarantee the result then it must be done
my way at your expense.

When given a pearl cup with a 0.5mm post that penetrates 1mm into a
12mm pearl, I recommend a new post be fitted otherwise no guarantee.
Same with any other issue like a miniscule eye to suspend a heavy
object. If the client insists on their way I write clearly on the job
packet and the invoice something like; “No guarantee, inadequate

Cheers, Alastair

I explained all this to the customer, but she insists that I use
the materials she is providing. 

She is providing and she is insisting. She has assumed the risk,
make sure you tell her that. What are you gonna get for this job,
$10-20? Hardly enough for the aggravation if she holds you

As I see it you have three choices…

Do it her way for $20

Beef up the cups and still charge the $20 (sounds like a real
winner, right?)

Refuse the job and piss her off.

If you opt for the first I would recommend using HXTAL. Let it get
good and thick before you mount the pearls, don’t worry it still
holds well but you’ll get way less oozing. Charge more cuz that
stuff’s expensive.

If you go the second, just chalk the loss up to customer retention.

I don’t suggest #3.

I hope these aren’t South Seas.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions for gluing the pearls onto the
cup and post. I checked with the client and got her approval (in
writing), for slightly flattening the cups so that the pearls would
be better seated, and that is what I will do. I hate it when people
bring their own stones, and settings, for me to deal with. Usually I
turn the request down. However, in this case the woman is one of my
best customers, else I would have rejected the job.


I would recommend using HXTAL. 

Neil, always looking for the best adhesive for pearls on a post.

Is there a particular HXTAL product number that you recommend?