Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

How to remove a glued in Turquoise cabochon?

At the flea market yesterday, I bought this belt buckle with what looks to be a fairly nice piece of turquoise, about an inch in diameter.

The buckle is just cheap silver plate , but I’d like to get the stone out to make a pendant. The problem is that I believe the cabochon is glued into the bezel , which in turn is riveted to the buckle.

I’m aware that a lot of turquoise is resin stabilized, and this is where my concern comes in - I’m afraid to use any kind of heat to soften the glue, so I’m scratching my head as to the safest way to remove the stone.

Does anyone have experience removing something like this ?

Thanks for any suggestions ,

Live Oak Studios

I would try boiling it in water. If epoxy is the adhesive it should soften up enough to gently pry out. Or you can heat the back of the piece carefully with the torch but there’s a fine line between heating the glue and burning the stone.

Solvents are risky since you don’t know the composition of the stone. Given the scratches on the stone it could possibly be a fake.

Rick Copeland

Thanks Rick,
I hadn’t thought of boiling it - I’ll give it a try.

I honestly don’t know 100% if it’s real turquoise, or not - I had hoped to polish out the scratches- which I assumed came from it being a belt buckle , after all.
But for only a couple of bucks, it should be a good experiment.

Thanks again-
I’ll report back with the boiling results :slight_smile:

Live Oak Studios

Hi Patty

I think I would be inclined to just saw in towards the setting and stop just before the bezel. Then cut a second line in to make a V shape that allows you space to wiggle out slice of silver without too much effort. From there I expect you will be better able to see if there is an residue from glue or epoxy near or on the stone itself. You may find you can slide a thin bit of Exacto knife in around bottom of bezel to free it from there.

I don’t know enough about the stone but I would try above before soaking it. It is my understanding is that Turquoise may be porous and weakened with extended exposure to water. I could be wrong about porosity anyone out there know?

Rachel Hearne

1 Like

what is used to take golf clubs apart that have a stronger type of epoxy glue is a heat gun. It is hotter than a hair dryer, but no where near a torch in heat. It wouldn’t hurt the stone. But hate to bust your bubble. That doesn’t look like a good turquoise stone. It reminds me too much of what was around a lot in the seventies called plasticized turquoise dust. But without it in my hand I couldn’t be sure.

Funny, I was going to mention a heat gun earlier, but didn’t know how it’d affect the stone, real or not, so I thought best not to stir the pot. We use heat guns at work to re-melt pvc glue and other “bondos” to separate pvc joints, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Hopefully you can get the melted glue off the stone once pulled.

Thanks for all the ideas - I now need to see which one works.
I might start with the heat gun to be safe & move on from there.
We shall see.

As to the quality of the stone- it’s not a big deal either way, it was cheap, but I still think it’s a good practice piece for stone setting .

Thanks again,
I’ll report on my results.

Live Oak Studios

Just a quick update .
I was able to get the stone loose by gently heating the back of the bezel with an electric soldering iron while I pried around the edge with a dental pick.
And the remaining glue I scraped off the back with a razor blade.

Thanks again,

Live Oak Studios

I have successfully lightly heated pieces to remove turquoise, but extreme
caution is necessary so you dont burn the piece. as it warms you will see
the glue bubble then you can pry it up. Good luck.