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Stubborn pearls


#1

Hi, all!

Has anyone run across pearls that would not come off of their
posts when heat is applied? I have been successfully using the
heating method since it was suggested here on Orchid, but I have
this one pair of pearl studs that just won’t let go. These are
very high quality 8m pearls so I’d rather not ruin them, and the
customer wants to wear them this weekend. I’m supposed to put
threaded posts on. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sharon Ziemek


#2

I removed the broken post from a pearl by immersing the pearl in
Acetone. It took, I believe, an overnight soaking to loosen the
post and I used a slight pull of the tweezers to remove the
stubborn post. The pearl was not damaged.

Mary


#3

Has anyone run across pearls that would not come off of their
posts when heat is applied?

Hi Sharon, the pearls may be screwed on. I’m hesitant to suggest
any further techniques, some esoteric epoxy may have been used. I
would simply try turning while pulling.

JE


#4

Has anyone run across pearls that would not come off of their
posts when heat is applied?

I use a combination of heat and ultrasonic: I heat the pearl from
beneath. When it doesn’t come out and I’ve heated it enough, I
let it cool then I put it the ultrasonic machine with hot water
and hand detergent. I repeat the process- heat and ultrasonic-
until the pearl gives up ( or I do.)

FADY SAWAYA.
@Artemis


#5

Sharon,

You might try attack. solvent for epoxy available at your local
jeweler supply. Nasty stuff so don’t get it on you hands or
breath it. follow the directions. I have used it on pears with no
problems but try it on a cheap one first just to be sure. soak
usually a couple of hours to overnight. Frank


#6

Sharon,

We use a product called pearl remover from Rio. It is a lovly
purple color and does not damage the pearls at all. I put a
small amt. in a small jar with a lid (after you see the price you
will understand) and have made a hanger to hang the jar in a
heated ultrasonic. Works for most pearls, but some are still too
stubborn. If they are studs you can destroy the mounting, drill
the post out, and then set them on the new mountings. Its more
costly this way but it gets the job done.

Good Luck

Ray


#7

hi sharon,

sizeable enough to be careful. if you have a steamer without a
selenoid switch,(or a cuppaccino maker) fill a cup of water and
pull your lever slightly to steam your cup of water with the
pearls, tipping the cup away from your hand and body and steam
the water for a minute or two. stop every so often and try to
twist the pearls off. you can try to hold the posts with pliers
and the pearl with a ring clamp. you could also try extra strong
solvents like toluene. immerse the studs in the solvent which
should be in a glass container and put the glass in the ultra
sonic.

best regards and good luck,

geo fox


#8

Thanks to all for the suggestions on removing the pearls. I will try them
out after I return from vacation.

Sharon


#9

Hi George,

Do you think the cappuccino maker can be used for general
jewelry steaming? A steam cleaner is one of those pricey items
I haven’t acquired yet, but my S.O. (Significant Other) has one
of those machines! I don’t think she’d let me take it out to
the studio, but she might let me use it! I don’t drink coffee
in any form, so I might have her give me a lesson on it! :wink:

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#10

Has anyone run across pearls that would not come off of their
posts when heat is applied?
These are very high quality 8m pearls so I’d rather not ruin them, and the
customer wants to wear them this weekend.

Hi Sharon,

Perhaps there is a thread cut on the pins and they are screwed
into the pearls. Another posibility is that the pins are formed
like miniature keys and the pearls have a groove routed along
the bore that turns at right angle at the end of the bore inside
the pearl. The pearl is put onto the pin so the bit of the "key"
runs in the groove, and when hitting bottom, twisted. This way,
the bit locks the pearl. As glue is used also, it gets a bit
difficult to find out what method was used, you’d have to heat
the pieces and try to twist the pearls (what direction?). Hope
this is of any help, Markus


#11
You might try attack. solvent for epoxy available at your local
jeweler supply. Nasty stuff so don't get it on you hands or
breath it. follow the directions. 

Isn’t this stuff just ordinary acetone(with all it’s inherent
dangers)? If so, it is much cheaper buying it at the paint
store. I have been using it to loosen and remove other epoxies,
and it behaves the same way. If it is not just straight
acetone, what is added to make it even more hazardous? (as I am
sure it does!)

<> Marrin T. Fleet <>
<> MFleet@cc.memphis.edu <>
<> SCT Corp. in adminstration of: <>
<> Admin. Computing Services <>
<> The University of Memphis <>
<> Memphis, TN 38152 <>
<> 901-678-3604 <>


#12

Mark,

no Attack is not just acetone. I don’t have the can with me at
present to tell you what is in it, but it is a much more active
solvent and is toxic and absorbable through the skin. There is
noting like it to remove epoxy. Another safety caution that i
have not seen mentioned in conection with epoxy is that when it
is burned it creates a nice little source of NERVE GAS so use
caution and ventalation when buring out epoxy used in settings
or background on rings. Frank


#13

no Attack is not just acetone. I don’t have the can with me at
present to tell you what is in it Frank

As I recall, Attack is basically composed of methyl chloride.
Not good stuff to be inhaling or in contact with, but it does get
the epoxy removal job done. Keith

Keith Farley
P.O. Box 184
Alexandria, KY 41001
(606) 635-1996 or (606) 635-6562


#14

Do you think the cappuccino maker can be used for general
jewelry steaming? A steam cleaner is one of those pricey items
I haven’t acquired yet, but my S.O. (Significant Other) has one
of those machines! I don’t think she’d let me take it out to
the studio, but she might let me use it! I don’t drink coffee
in any form, so I might have her give me a lesson on it! :wink:

hi dave,

it would work fine i suppose. i believe it is charles
lewton-brain who suggests just that in his book “cheap thrills”.
with most cappaccino makers, you put a stopper whre one would
usually put the espresso. the ‘stopper’ is marked 'steam only’
and is most always misplaced in a utensil drawer somewhere.
being a coffee drinker myself, i’m hesitant to use my morning
shrine to derouge jewelry. the backsplash could be a little
toxic.

if you found one at a garage sale(if i were you, i’d leave the
S.O.'s alone), it would probably be a great sub for a steamer.
the heating element may burn out quickly, so i would suggest to
use it for short durations. don’t leave it on all day.
cappaccino is made in a few minutes. though it may be perfectly
safe to leave it on as long as there is water in it.

best regards,

geo fox


#15

Isn’t this stuff just ordinary acetone(with all it’s inherent
dangers)?

I use acetone purchased from beauty supply stores. It’s usually
the main ingredient in nail polish remover. There are some nail
polisher removers that are purely acetone.

I haven’t tried to remove pearls with it (but I’m about to), I
use it to remove lacquer from my copper jewelry.

Candy Glaze