It is DONE! Success! Still doing a happy dance here. I learned
something in this endeavor, I didn’t know that emeralds are
impervious to acetone. Thank you Hans Durstling!
As you remember, this job was to reset a good quality emerald that
was so occluded that it looked like crushed ice inside with
inclusions reaching the surface. The biggest one transected right
through the middle of the stone. It looked like if it was removed,
it would fall into two or more pieces.
I thought about how to do this for over a week. I decided that I
needed to work quickly supergluing the emerald and getting it out of
the old mounting before it stuck so much that the removing itself
broke the emerald. I got lucky in that some prior jeweler had
’tightened’ the stone with glue in th ecorners where the new prongs
would be so it chipped off there easily. Then I placed it upside
down in a puddle of superglue on a plastic bag to get athick coat on
the table leaving the girdle free of glue.
I run a busy store while also being the bench jeweler. I put this
job off until 9:00 PM, unplugged the phone and turned off my cell to
ensure NO interruptions! I finished around 11:00 PM.
I cut the prongs to exactly the shape of the stone so that no
pressure was needed to secure the stone. I used the old trick of
using a hair fine saw blade to cut under the prongs to bend them
down onto the top of the upper facets. The stone just happened to be
good quality and faceted well so that the angles of the prong cuts
aligned perfectly to keep it square in the mounting.
When I was done, I put it in acetone and when I took it out found it
in ONE piece! YAY! Go Me! I also noticed for the first time that one
of the corners was so heavily included as to appear crushed inside,
no cracks outside so it must have been that way, glad I didn’t
notice that upfront or it would have scared me.
It has now been sitting in oil since Saturday night. I don’t know if
there is a process to oiling an emerald beyond this but the stone
looks gorgeous with the oil on it.
I know that no sane jeweler would have taken on this project but
herein lies the reason I am still interested 25 years later. It is
the opportunity tolearn something and to do what might previously
been thought of as impossible. It still thrills me to the bone to
pull off something I didn’t think could be done.