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Matching pearls to pearl pegs

Soooo, I got a small box full of half drilled pearls and a few baggies of pearl pegs. I was a bit surprised to find that most of the pearls have a hole that fits a 0.8mm wire snuggly, but the pearl pegs are all 0.7 or 0.65mm. The peg part is also rather short, about 1.5mm.

My question is will this result in a durable pearl stud earrings once I epoxy the pearl onto the post? It seems to me that the connection would be rather fragile.

Hi, Bree -

The critical factor in terms of security is using a two-step epoxy, rather than a cyanoacrylate glue. A two-step epoxy will bond the pearl & the metal peg on a molecular level, which is an excellent thing. The longer the time it takes the expoxy to set up (anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours), the stronger the bond. Just make sure both surfaces are clean before expoy-ing them.

The length of the peg doesn’t really come into play here.

Kind regards,

Mary Stachura

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When I am confronted with smallish pegs on commercial pearl mountings I
simply give the top of the peg a quick squeeze with a pair of flat needle
nose pliers. This action flattens and widens the tip of the peg to give a
bit more purchase. Then I use a good two part epoxy. I do not like to use
the 5 minute or quick set epoxy. It degrades in a matter of a couple of
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer

Great, I will squeeze the peg a bit. Is the Epoxy 330 the best to use?

I use 330 epoxy all the time on pearls. It’s colorless.

Hello Bree,
For future reference, if epoxy doesn’t hold that pearl, here’s an old-timey pearl peg mounting solution. Cut a slit in the top of the peg - obviously use a very narrow blade! Make a tiny wedge to go in the slit. Place the pearl over this wedge stuck in the slit and force the pearl down. This pushes the wedge down into the slit; it spreads the slit apart and against the side of the hole. It goes without saying that the length of the peg plus wedge must fit within the depth of the hole in the pearl.

Do make your client aware that this is NOT going to come off. Removing the pearl means destroying it, and replacing the peg on the mounting.

Just another way to ‘skin the cat’ as they say. I really prefer the long-curing epoxy and a roughed up peg, but there are some clients who manage to loosen epoxy!

Judy in Kansas, who is woefully neglectful in cleaning up the garden detritus. On the other hand, it’s not going anywhere!

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Ehm, cutting a metal wedge that goes in a .65mm piece of wire does seem a bit beyond my capabilities. It would be a great method though I am sure. But, for me … epoxy it is.

If you use epoxy then keep in mind that not all epoxy glues stay
Some of them turn into a ugly brown color which is a big contrast to a
white pearl.
It realy looks awfull after a while. Better epoxy glue stay glassy.
Another option is a perl glue designed for this purpose.

Some people like to use glue based on silicone.
Nothing wrong with this option but the drying is very time consuming.

Didn’t they make the posts into threaded posts in the old days. Add a tiny
bead of glue and screw the pearl on the post. The glue is just there as

The threading is just there to give purchase to the pearl cement. Before epoxies were in common use half-drilled pearls were attached to posts with pearl cement, which is really just a kind of mastic. Basically the same stuff as engraver’s cement, but colored white. Not as strong as epoxy, so needed the peg to be either threaded or helical.