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Pearls on soldered chain

I have a necklace of keshi pearls on a silver chain. The links for each pearl appear to be soldered. How could I do this?
The only thing I’ve come up with is that two posts with rings already soldered are glued into each pearl? Or is there a super efficient way of protecting a pearl while it is soldered?

could you post a pic of what it looks like?


Without a picture I’m not sure what you are looking for. But here is a video that shows how to make a necklace of pearls on a fine chain. No soldering is required. I have make a chain like this and it looks great.


Hi Vera,

great link! thank you for sharing! geniys!


Thank you. One of the best things about making jewelry is that even after 5 decades I still learn something new every day.

Where would one find drill bits like that? Thanks.

Looks like a small pearl or bead reamer mounted in a # 30 flexshaft handpiece.


Fabulous, found it, just needed the name. Thank you.

Or could it be a fine cutting broach?
A watch maker gave me a couple years ago.

Cheers willie

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I have made these a couple of times with freshwater pearls…that is, inexpensive pearls. At first I used a fine watchmakers broach to open the holes. It was a bit time consuming. Then I tried using a .6 mm drill bit, rotating slowly and moving in and out. With bit small enough to go in the hole the in/out movement and slow hand piece speed it is easy to ream out the hole. I would not suggest using a larger bit and drilling like you would with metal. BTW, I managed to not ruin a pearl with this technique, but I would be a little nervous with expensive pearls. Oh, and the other thing I did was take a small ball bur and rotate by hand to smooth the edges of the holes.

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Hi Vera!
…I dip in water to contain the organic dust debris…


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Here in the UK the BBC ran a jewellery competion this Autumn called “All that Glitters”. If you can get access to it on youtube there was a pearl challenge I think it was in episode 3 and one of the contestants made a soldered pearl chain.

Good luck.

Jo—for every 100 things you teach us we give you one back!

Otto Frei has drill bits as small as .5mm here:

And I used 30 gauge wire (Rio Grande)