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Question about odd gem balls

Hi Folks! At a recent gem show I picked up a large closeout lot of
half drilled gem balls (9 and 10 mm) that were half-drilled. Not
something I’d normally go for, but it was literally a steal. Upon
examination, I discovered the the holes appeared to be core drilled…
the holes are a whopping 3.25mm in diameter. Much larger than your
typical post. I have a couple ideas about what I can do with them, but
one nagging question remains.

It seems to me that if they were drilled this way, it must have been
for a reason. Does anyone know why gem balls would be drilled with
such a large hole???

P.S. One of my ideas is to use tubing to fabricate a post… another
is to slice off the front half of the beads to make cabs, but I’ve
certainly got plenty of those already!

Thanks in advance,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Hello Dave, I’ve seen key rings (U-shaped) made in Mexico using
stones on each end. One stone was glued in place the other had a
metal liner with screw threads and was screwed on the other end of
the “U”. Removal of the screwed on stone allowed keys to be added or
removed; the stone was replaced to prevent keys from falling off.
Perhaps your gem balls had similar purpose.

Judy in Kansas

You could tube set diamonds in the holes.

You could drill a small hole from the big hole to the opposite side
and then make bead clasps with threaded tubing similar to the ones
done with large pearls, etc. or a flush mounted type of bayonet

You could insert thread tubes in the holes so you have
interchangeable beads for earrings, pendants, etc.

Hope these help.
Donna Shimazu

Dave & All, Most close out finished gemstones are the result of being
rejected from jewelry manufacturers. In your case the holes are too
big to be easily assembled to a post. This is reason enough for a
manufacturer of jewelry to reject these stones. You will find the
same thing in calibrated 3.5mm rounds are not a standard
size and are rejected by the jewelry manufacturers. You can find all
the 3.5mm rounds you can stand in buy out sections. I would suggest
that you make some earrings with larger posts to accept these

Gerry Galarneau

I’ve seen a few items like lampshade top nuts and pull chain dangles
made of gemstone material with a threaded insert about that size
epoxied into the stone.

 Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
 @Ron_Charlotte1 OR

Dave, A friend of mine has a great key holder in a horseshoe shape
with screw-on tiger eye spheres at each end. The 3.25mm 1/2 drill
is for the threaded fitting. These keyholders are really neat in
their own way. Hope this helps.

Vera B.