Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Size of cup findings for pearls


#1

I have been asked to reset two pairs of pearl studs. One pair are
apparently set in a “fake gold” which has tarnished badly and so the
customer wants solid gold. One pearl of the other pair has become
unset and the setting is lost so I will be replacing both pairs of
findings. Ill use the advice in the Orchid archives re removing the
pearls from their existing settings, ie gentle heat and then acetone
if the heat fails.

The pearls in question are 6 mm pearls, so I went hunting my
suppliers website for the appropriate findings. They have various
sizes, so I asked them whether the 6 mm meant the cup was 6 mm OR if
it was to take a 6 mm pearl. The answer came back that the cup is 6
mm and that it takes a 6 mm “gemstone”. This doesnt sound right to
me, as that would mean you would see the cup around the outsides of
the pearl - more like a bezel. On every pearl-set stud earring Ive
ever seen, the pearl has a larger diameter than the cup it sits
in/on.

So my question is, if you were setting 6 mm pearls, what size
cup/stud would you buy? 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm? Thanks for any advice you
can give me.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk
http://helensgems.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#2
ie gentle heat and then acetone if the heat fails. 

Actually I think the other way around, particulary if you havent
done this before. But make sure they are indeed pearls, simulants
will lose their coating in acetone.

if you were setting 6 mm pearls, what size cup/stud would you buy? 

Pull the pearls off the studs first, see if youre maybe dealing with
3/4 pearls. If so you obviously need a cup at least the size of the
flat. But otherwise I think a 3 or 4mm cup

What size cup is on there now?


#3

Hi, Helen,

I asked them whether the 6 mm meant the cup was 6 mm OR if it was to
take a 6 mm pearl. The answer came back that the cup is 6 mm and
that it takes a 6 mm "gemstone". 

I suspect what they meant to say is that the curvature of the cup is
designed to properly seat a 6mm round pearl, as the arc changes with
the pearls sizing.

Cheers,
Lorraine


#4

it would be most direct to simply use your circle cutting punches,
and cut a bunch of 6.5mm circles and then form them with your dapping
block into a cup shape,twist your matching wire and cut to length
leaving a bit extra to work with - 1 inch is more than plenty-for the
metal used (or go ahead and cut extra circles while you are at
it,some in silver and some in the gold you most commonly use).Then
drill a hole the same size as the wire and solder it ( from
underneath the cup) to the cup. Nip off any excess and fully finish
the setting and any other fabrications.The pearl should then just be
slipped onto the resulting twisted wire peg,and cemented in place
with gs hypo cement or old fashioned white chunk pearl cement
prepared as you would a vitreous enamel by grinding smaller pieces in
a mortar and pestle set,and then adding water to activate the
cement,as you don’t want to thread the inside of a valuable pearl
(and if it’s already been fabricated the shaft is there). That is
easier and cheaper than any other solution if you have everything on
hand already…

BUT each manufacturer has a different approach to sizing, and most
list the setting for the pearl’s size…as a sweeping generalization.
A 6mm setting is in fact a bit larger than 6mm, but designed to
accept the size of the pearl listed. this is not the same for
faceted gemstones though- strictly speaking, I am writing about
prefabricated cup settings for pearls.It is always wise to call the
manufacturer or vendor and ask what their pearl settings specs
are.Faceted stones are a different story.

rer


#5
I suspect what they meant to say is that the curvature of the cup
is designed to properly seat a 6mm round pearl, as the arc changes
with the pearls sizing. 

This is precisely why I asked them the question, as the product
description does not say, and I realised that the arc changes with
the pearl’s sizing, so I needed to be sure what the 6mm in the
description referred to - 6 mm diameter setting OR to take a 6 mm
diameter pearl. Her answer was SO unhelpful and made no sense
whatsoever, ie that it was 6 mm in diameter and takes a 6 mm
"gemstone". She clearly does not really understand the product and
has possibly not seen a pearl stud to realise the size relationship.
I explained that it is somewhat like a football sitting on a teacup
saucer and that a 6 mm setting is not normal to fit a 6 mm pearl, but
she was still no help.

I have, however, had some very good answers both on and offline from
Orchid members - so thanks once again Orchid folk - you rock!

Helen
UK


#6
I am writing about prefabricated cup settings for pearls.It is
always wise to call the manufacturer or vendor and ask what their
pearl settings specs are. Faceted stones are a different story. 

I did contact the manufacturer, but they were no help whatsoever,
hence me asking the list.

For some reason, I would never buy a manufactured setting for a
faceted gemstone - I always make my own. But when asked to do this
job, my first instinct was to buy them ready made. I don’t know why,
but it never occurred to me to make my own pearl settings. I guess I
could do - there’s absolutely no reason why not. I’ll price up the
gold as I think she’s going for gold. Silver is neither here nor
there if she wants that, as I have plenty of it lying around
(although obviously I’ll charge her for it). I was, however,
impressed with the low cost of the manufactured settings - although
they may be a bit lightweight when I get them in my hand (many
commercial earring settings seem to have really thin posts and tiny
backs - it wasn’t easy to appreciate the scale from the picture and
there were no dimensions other than “6 mm”), and so perhaps
fabricating them myself will give a more substantial product.

Thanks for the suggestion R.E.R. Food for thought.

Helen
UK


#7

Hi Hellen, Any manufactured cup will hold a pearl but it will not be
thick enough to be stress bearing. If weight is to be placed on it,;
as in an omega back attatched to the cup, or if it is at the end of a
wire where it might get bumped, you must make your own. Cast pearl
cups are usually ok but not the stamped ones. Have fun.

Tom Arnold


#8

Helen,

Couldn’t you dap a piece of metal to the appropriate curve, solder
in the stem, then chuck it up in your handpiece to refine the shape
using files and sandpaper? I’ve successfully used this method to good
advantage when I’ve had no access to properly sized disc cutters.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#9
Any manufactured cup will hold a pearl but it will not be thick
enough to be stress bearing. If weight is to be placed on it,; as in
an omega back attatched to the cup, or if it is at the end of a wire
where it might get bumped, you must make your own. 

Thanks very much for the info Tom. Making my own is looking like a
more attractive proposition.

Helen
UK


#10

Hello Helen,

When you make pearl cups, the post should never be straight round
wire. Make it either twist wire or square wire you put in your flex
shaft and twist. Drill thru the cup and solder the peg from the back;
this will make it secure.

Tom Arnold


#11
Couldn't you dap a piece of metal to the appropriate curve, solder
in the stem, then chuck it up in your handpiece to refine the
shape using files and sandpaper? 

Sounds like a plan. I’ve never chucked such things up in my
handpiece before though. I usually just sand the edges after dapping
the circle. Your suggestion would work if I soldered on the post
first and put that in the chuck to sand the cup - then solder the peg
in? Sounds like it could work, although I was planning to solder the
peg in first, then the post on the back. Some experimentation in
order methinks. Thanks for the suggestions Mike.

Helen
UK


#12

Hi Tom,

Drill thru the cup and solder the peg from the back; this will make
it secure. 

If I drill through the cup and solder the peg from behind, I
wouldn’t have a solid surface to solder the ear post to. I’m not
worried about the security of soldering the peg in. I only use hard
solder and always make sure my joints are not going to give way. So
couldn’t I just solder the twisted square wire peg into the inside of
the cup and the post onto the back, drilling holes into a firebrick
to support the peg and cup whilst soldering the post on?

Helen
UK


#13
Drill thru the cup and solder the peg from the back; this wll make
it secure.

Helen, To some degree, try something and if it works; it is the
right way to do it.

Have fun. Tom Arnold


#14

The pearl peg and earpost could be made out of one continuous piece
of wire. Just flatten and twist the part that is to go into the
pearl. Then it is so simple to solder it in the hole drilled through
the cup.

M’lou


#15

Hello Helen,

Why not drill a hole in the disc’s center, shape the cup, put a
single piece of wire through the hole (size same as wire diameter),
and solder the cup and wire together. Then cut the peg and post to
appropriate lengths before finishing. Of course, if the pearl hole is
pretty big, you’d need to wrap another piece of wire around the peg
and shape (mash and file). The coiled wire might just act like screw
threads to vastly improve the ‘grab’ for the epoxy. Don’t forget to
give the post a twist to straighten and work harden it.

You’re inventive enough, I’m sure you’ll find a good approach. Let
us know what you finally decide to do.

Judy in Kansas, where a microburst a couple nights ago broke the
crown out of a large sycamore - quite a mess.


#16
The pearl peg and earpost could be made out of one continuous
piece of wire. Just flatten and twist the part that is to go into
the pearl. Then it is so simple to solder it in the hole drilled
through the cup. 

Thanks M’lou. Somebody else made the same brilliant suggestion to me
offlist today. That makes much more sense than having a peg and post
separate - thanks both. I’ll give it a whirl.

Helen
UK


#17

Hi Judy,

Why not drill a hole in the disc's center, shape the cup, put a
single piece of wire through the hole (size same as wire
diameter), and solder the cup and wire together. 

This seems to be the favourite idea. I’ll give it a go using this
method. Two people have suggested flattening one end of the wire and
twisting it into a spiral, with the plain end acting as the
earring’s post. Sounds like a plan. Thanks for the advice.

Helen
UK
PS. Shame about your sycamore tree!