Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Question regarding gold beads


#1

Hi everyone! I noticed in the Rio Grande catalog that 14k beads are
offered in light-wall, heavy-wall and extra-heavy-wall varieties.

I would like to make a necklace and matching bracelet using larger
stone or glass beads that alternate with small (3 or 4mm) round gold
beads. I have several questions: 1. Would the thin wall 14k beads be
too fragile to use in a necklace using large, heavy glass or stone
beads and would they be too fragile for a bracelet? 2. Would a thin
wall bead cut through silk if I use silk as a stringing material?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Dan T.


#2

Dan, It would not be recommended that you use the thin wall gold
beads. They are too fragile to be used successfully next to heavy
stone or glass beads. The heavy or extra heavy wall beads would be a
better choice. They will hold up better against the heavy stones as
well as the abuse that a bracelet may receive. The light wall beads
would be better used for earrings or light weight necklaces.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance please contact me
and I will be happy to assist you.

Phillip Scott G.G.
Technical Support & Sales
Rio Grande
1-800-545-6566


#3
     1. Would the thin wall 14k beads be too fragile to use in a
necklace using large, heavy glass or stone beads and would they be
too fragile for a bracelet?  2. Would a thin wall bead cut through
silk if I use silk as a stringing material? Any advice would be
appreciated. Thanks!   

Hello Dan T., I have used 3mm light-wall smooth 14K beads in
necklaces between 8mm stone beads like lapis. They do sort of
squash as time goes on, but have not dented (so far as I know),
probably because they’re smaller than the larger beads.

Bracelets are another story.  I'm not sure that even the

extra-heavy- wall 14K beads can take the potential banging to which a
bracelet is subjected. My daughter “road-tests” things for me. She
wore such a bracelet strung on 14K chain for about a week before the
lighter weight beads were noticeably dinged. Corrugated beads were
OK.

My mentor, James Cook, gave me a time-consuming way to reinforce

the thin-walled gold beads. It might also reduce the likelihood
that the stringing cord would be cut by the metal edge of the bead’s
hole. Here goes: You need 2-part epoxy, several syringes with large
gauge needles, child’s modeling clay, and appropriately sized drill
bits.

1.  Mash some clay onto a table top.  Push one hole of the gold

bead lightly into the clay. You have plugged one hole of the bead
and stabilized the bead in an upright position. Set up all your
beads this way.

2.  Remove the needles from the syringes. (If the needle is long,

it might be useful to carefully cut it off to 10mm or so, making
sure the needle is open.) Mix up some epoxy and suck it into the
syringe barrel. Replace the needle. Work QUICKLY.

3.  Insert the end of the needle in the bead and fill it with

epoxy. Moving quickly, fill as many beads as you can until the
epoxy begins to harden. Repeat step 2. until all beads are filled.
(Now you understand why several syringes are necessary)

4.  Let the epoxy harden. 

5.  Using a drill bit the same size as the bead holes, drill

straight through the hardened epoxy from one hole to the other.
This would work best if you had a drill press.

6.  String as usual. 

I’m sure someone can think of a better method to obtain a hole
through the bead. Just remember that one end of the bead needs to
be plugged well to contain the epoxy.

Hope this is useful. I have a necklace with 8mm thin-walled 14K
beads between lapis beads. 25 years later, no dents. Judy in
Kansas, where it’s time to plant potatoes and peas. I’m working
hard to get my new strawberry patch ready for planting.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936


#4

I would say the thin wall are probably to fragile. I once had a
customer bring in 3 necklaces (24" ea.) of 4mm garnets with every
10th bead a thin wall gold bead. All but 6 or so of the gold beads
were dented - and the necklaces had never been worn. He was asking
me to ‘please remove the dents’, I had to tell him I didn’t have any
way to do that but could restring and replace the gold beads. He
decided the price for that was too much.

Lorri F


#5
 All but 6 or so of the gold beads were dented - and the necklaces
had never been worn.  He was asking me to 'please remove the dents' 

Just thinking aloud here… I wonder if it would be possible, in
this situation, to fill the beads with water, seal them (tape?) and
freeze them. The expanding ice might drive the dents out without
splitting the beads?

Hmmm…

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#6

Wonderful suggestion about filling the thin gold beads with epoxy.

I have an antique bead from Sumatra which is a medium thick gold
covering a pitch (hard type) shape inside. Maybe this also could be
developed and used. One problem with filling gold beads, especially
with epoxy is that is Asia gold is more than for decoration and is a
type of home bank account. When things get tough gold jewelry is sold
or melted down. Can the epoxy gold filled beads be melted? They
probably couldn’t be re-sold as gold outside of the U.S.

But even so Asia has wonderful very thin gold beads which I have
wanted to use but couldn’t…up until now. I guess I will just
have to fly back to Saigon and buy some to put into my own jewelry,
after ‘fixing’ them up of course.

Sharron, happy to have a week off from school and flying to an
island to sun and sand it and just chill out.