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Tumbling a chain with briolettes


#1

Hi,

This is my first post to the forum! I hope somebody can help me. I
have made a sterling silver chain with labradorite briolettes. The
briolettes are not wired to the links, but put in a thin circle,
which is soldered (I hope my explanation makes sense). I have
carefully pickled the silver, so the gems wouldn’t touch the pickle.
I want the chain to be shiny. Here’s my question. I usually put the
finished jewellery into the tumbler to polish, however I am not sure
how to do this considering that the gemstones are already attached.
Is there any way of polishing this type of jewellery? Also, as the
pickling was a very time consuming process (I was holding the brios
with my fingers, so they don’t drop into the pickle), is there a
different way of doing pickling or another pickle formula (I
currently use ‘safety pickle’ bought from a jewellery supply
company.

Many thanks,
Lilia


#2

Lilia,

Well, I would have put the briolettes on last, after pickling and
tumbling the chain. I’m surprised that you managed to solder the
links with the labradorite on them (unless they are quite large in
diameter and you used a good heat sink). Normally, the labradorite
would not be able to tolerate that… Are the labradorite brios
literally threaded onto the hoops soldered to the chain or are they
separately wired to the hoops?

I would not recommend putting the chain into the tumbler with the
brios on there. I think it will destroy the stones.

Hope this helps,
Karen Goeller


#3

Karen,

The brios are threaded on the chain hoops-links themselves (I now try
to avoid wiring on brios - they constantly remind me of mini
coathangers :-)). I used cooling gel whilst soldering the brios. The
hoops are quite large and the wire is thin, I have slightly hammered
it to make it hard (which worked). Now I just need to polish it
somehow.

Lilia