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Problem with Aquamarine Beads


#1

I had made for a customer 51 pieces of 6 mm sperical faceted drilled
Aquamarine beads to use in a necklace with a 250+ carat aquamarine
briolette cut from a 108 gram piece of rough that I supplied to him.

Now the customer is upset because the Aquamarine beads are not the
same color as the briolette. It appears that in drilling the 6 mm
beads the drill hole has caused the beads to become much lighter
than they were before drilling. The customer wants to know if it is
possible to polish the inside of the drill hole in the beads so that
it doesn’t lighten up the color of the beads - or if there exists
some coloring processs whereby the interior of the drill hole can be
colored to strengthen the color of the beads.

Does anyone have any experience with solving this kind of problem?

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - February 2 - 7, 2005 - GJX # 205
e-fax: 1-240-757-6022
e-mail: USA < robertplowejr@juno.com >
e-mail: Brasil < @Robert_P_Lowe_Jr1 >


#2

A long time ago we had some quartz beads and the drillholes were
frosted looking, I took some clear nail polish and that solved the
problem. The bead string would not abrade the polish and the beads
looked fabulous.

You can use light blue bead cord to enhance the color of the beads.


#3
    Now the customer is upset because the Aquamarine beads are not
the same color as the briolette. It appears that in drilling the 6
mm beads the drill hole has caused the beads to become much lighter
than they were before drilling. 

I’m not sure that’s the case. If the rough was all the same hue,
tone and saturation when starting, the significantly larger
briolette will always be darker than the smaller, 6mm beads. It’s a
question of the amount of material that light must pass through
before it hits your eyes. Since the briolette is much larger, it
will always be darker. I don’t think the beads have become lighter
due to the drill hole, and no amount of polishing is going to make
them the same color as the much larger briolette. You probably
should have sold your customer a lighter-toned rough for the
briolette.

I’ve never polished the inside of a drill hole, but if I had to do
it by hand (51 of them? yikes!!!), I would try stringing them on a
strong thread charged with diamond paste, similar to a “thrum” that
goldsmiths use to polish inside metal. I hope somebody else has a
simpler, less work-intensive method for you. But I still think the
problem is the size disparity between the beads and briolette.

James in SoFl


#4

Hello Robert,

I’m not surprised that the color of the 6 mm beads would be lighter
than a 250+ carat briollete; wouldn’t that be the case because
you’re looking through so much less material in the beads? Like
morganite - they have to be pretty big to show really good color.

If I’m all wet and that isn’t the problem, there’s an example of
polished holes at http://www.dyber.net/home.htm

Michael Dyber has a line of gem carvings called Luminaires, ™
which have tubes cut all the way through the stone. The tubes are
polished inside, and give only the color of another facet to the
stone. I’ve heard him lecture on how he executes these designs and he
is proudly protective of the method he uses to polish the inside of
the tubes, but he talks about using unconventional and sometimes low
tech tools including diamond charged wooden shapes on a turning
motor to do the other cuts in the gem carvings. Maybe a series of
grits charging a leather string or a toothpick-thin dowel would work
on the bead holes? Michael is usually exhibiting at the AGTA show, if
you wanted to stop by and chat him up for pointers.

Michael M. Dyber Gemstone Sculptures
Gemstone sculptures. Award winning designs in precious


1954.html

Linda in MA - looking at a frigid week and wishing it was Tucson
time


#5

Robert-

Instead of stringing the beads use a wire/jump ring combination.
Then glue the wires inside the beads. That will reduce if not
eliminate the white drilling marks.

Kim.
www.kimericlilot.com


#6

Robert,

From a bead perspective, I’d suggest taking a look at the colored
silk upon which you’ll be stringing these. Aquamarine is usually
strung on a light blue-green silk. It may be as simple a solution as
seeing what it looks like when it’s strung on the cord.

If you can’t find the color of silk that does the trick for you,
you can dye silk bead cord with Kool-Aid! (No kidding! Learned this
in a spinning/weaving class.) If it comes to that, contact me offline
and I’ll give you Kool-Aid dye particulars! But hopfully stringing
on standard light blue carded or spooled silk will do it for you.

Best of luck.
Dana Whitehorn-Umphres
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Birdfish Designs


#7

Hello Robert,

You don’t say how the aquamarine beads are strung, but the simplest
way to strengthen the color would be to use colored cord. That seems
to be the way a lot of pale beads are “enhanced” . The customer
would have to have them restrung periodically.

Judy in Kansas


#8

Another source for stringing cord with a great variety of colors is
upholstery cord. It is very strong and knots very nicely. I have
used it many times and love the effect.

Terrie


#9

Maybe stringing the beads on a dark blue thread would get the job
done?

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#10

Did you string them on light blue thread? This will help color them
also, then there is always gulp, dying them. Years ago when we were
in the bead business, I always used to wash my aquas and a few other
beads since I knew they would bleed.

Eva


#11

Hello, If your customer is no longer interested in the 250ct aqua
briolette, I would be interested in taking a look at it. If that is
the situation please reply to me on e-mail or call my office at
(212) 772-7300. Stephanie Young


#12

Thanks to all for the tips about resolving the problem with the
Aquamarine beads. I forwarded all of the tips received, on the list
and privately, to the customer.

I also agree with the opinion of James in SoFl that the main problem
is that the 6 mm beads have a much smaller color mass so that even
though they were from the same rough they will be a lighter color.
The frosted drill hole does have an influence, though, as I have
compared non-drilled beads with the drilled ones and the frosted
drill hole changes the appearance.

Unfortunately no lapidary in his right mind would take $70/gram
saturated color aquamarine facet rough (which would have been
necessary to get the same color in the end result ) and make it into
6 mm drilled beads - unless he got paid upfront - which didn’t
happen in this case.

I am pretty sure that the customer has already sent the beads back
to me. So much for custom ordered faceting - without getting an
upfront deposit.

So if anyone is in the market for 6 mm spherical faceted drilled
Aquamarine beads (51 pieces available) - come by my booth at the GJX

205. I have a whole file of tips on how to make them look nicer,

also.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - February 2 - 7, 2005 - GJX # 205
e-fax: 1-240-757-6022
e-mail: USA < robertplowejr@juno.com >
e-mail: Brasil < @Robert_P_Lowe_Jr1 >