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Repairing sterling and turquoise bracelet


I recently received a bracelet for repair from a friend. It appears to be Native American and is pretty old. There are no markings but there are 5 elongated oval bezels across 3 bands around wrist. One of the bezels had come unsoldered so I agreed to fix it. I removed the first stone and realized that it had been set in copious amounts of what I am guessing is E-6000 with some JB Weld added in places. The bezel wire is very thick and rounded at the top and did not appear to have ever been disturbed by anyone else.

Of the 15 solder points for the 5 bezels, 8 are broken. I am now soaking the bracelet in a cup of Dawn liquid and water to dissolve the generations of hand lotion before proceeding. Maybe I will also soak in acetone to dissolve all of the gunk before heating. Anyone else seen mountings like this? I was expecting sawdust, not glue.


Yes and I wish I had not. Some of the Native American work is quite good. Others not so. I am much more cautious now.


Careful! This is the majority of my work as I specialize in this in kind of repairs.Glue is very comen in previous repairs and also original construction.Acetone soak is good if you remove all stones first You never know what kind of treatment the tuquoise has had.I can tackle these conumdruns with my laser,the only to way save piece and not your shirt or blouse and the piece.


Ugh,I hate dealing with glue. Usually, I love working on Native American pieces, at least the well-made ones. Do be careful with the acetone, like 2audrita said.


Thanks all. I was able to remove all of the stones prior to an overnight soak in soapy water. This morning I soaked it further in acetone and it finally looks clean. Now to gently clean the adhesive from the stones, re-solder the broken connections, pickle, tumble, patina and reset the stones. BTW, does anyone else use Oakite for tumbling in lieu of Dawn liquid detergent?


Here is the ‘before’,