I thought I would comment on my experience with an attempt to
stabilize turquoise in the home environment.
I bought some of the 330 Epoxy, which I believe was made by Opticon,
and applied it following the directions which involved baking the
turquoise in the oven. I used some old disposable pie plates, which
worked fine for the application of the epoxy.
Then, the epoxy seemed to take forever to dry. Some of them took
literally months before they dried. I assume my mix of the epoxy
was to blame, because some of the batches were better than others.
The ones that were the worst were so tacky, that the dirt would stick
to them while handling and get in the tiny pores of the stone making
it very unattractive. However, a better mix of the epoxy would
probably have prevented this problem.
The turquoise I was working with had already been made into beads,
so the holes were present when I performed this treatment. The Epoxy
filled the holes, even though I had left the string in the beads,
and many of them had to be drilled again to open them up.
Since I had no experience with drilling bead holes, it took a few
broken beads, a broken drill bit or two, and a quick reference to the
Orchid site to discover that they needed cooling during the process
and that I needed a diamond drill bit. Let me tell you I have a lot
more respect for those folks who drill beads than ever before
(boring, tedious, boring, boring, tedious!)
In the end, I think it did make an improvement to the beads, at
least the ones that were done right. I think it would take a little
practice to really get the process down, but I don’t really want to
try it again.
Sun Country Gems