What is the best way to affix a pearl to its staff?
Occasionally I have a pearl repair and the epoxy or whatever is
holding it on takes -eons- to desolve and let go in “Attack”.
Whatever this bonding agent is, I would like to use it.
Basically, I've come across three types of glue.
1. Pearl cement. A type of white shellac type of cement. This stuff
is strong and easily melted. I don’t know what solvents are good for it, but
I do know that cyanoacrylics won’t set up in their presence.
2. Cyanoacrylics. Crazy Glue. Super Glue. This stuff breaks down in
acetone. Attack doesn’t have much effect. Nail polish remover works well at
breaking this stuff down.
3. Epoxies. The only stuff that breaks epoxy down that I am aware of
All these glues will break down under heat. If one chooses not to
wait for the solvents to work, it is usually possible to heat the metal side
of the bond to break down the cement before burning the pearl. One must be
quick, however. This trick is not for the weak of heart.
Ever since I started working in this trade there has been a rumor
that the best jewelers in the world use a tube instead of a post to glue the
pearl onto. Legend has it that a taped pin is jammed into the tube when the
pearl is installed. The story goes that this causes the tube to expand and
thus one has a more securely set pearl. In twenty six years I haven’t seen a
piece of jewelery where this was done.
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