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Unglue screw clasp from pearl

Can anyone help me with getting a “Mystery pearl clasp” out of the
pearl so Ican restring? It has been soaking in acetone for two weeks.
I give up!


I have done this before–you will need to gently reheat the metal
with your torch and stay far away from the pearl. Very scary, but
often the only solution! Repairs are the reason not to use insanely
strong glue when gluing in pearls!

Maggie Glezer

You may try want to try soaking in something like “Attack Adhesive
Remover”. This will usually dissolve the adhesive enough to allow you
to remove the finding. It sounds like it was in pretty tight. I would
try putting the other side into the threads to give you something to
tug on to see if it is loose.

Hope this helps.
Best regards,

Phillip Scott
Rio Grande

I have done this before--you will need to gently reheat the metal
with your torch and stay far away from the pearl. Very scary, but
often the only solution! Repairs are the reason not to use
insanely strong glue when gluing in pearls! 

If you can thread something into the finding, and heat THAT, you
have less risk of damaging the pearl, AND you have something to
gently pull.

These days I usually use a very fast, extremely low setting on the
laser to heat metal findings and break down cement, but not everyone
can run toa laser for removing glue.

Margie If you have something to grab on to, my trick is to heat up a
pair of pliers very hot. and just grab on to the end of post, give a
couple seconds, and pull, works everytime.

Find a screw that will fit in the part inside the Pearl, heat screw
withtorch, careful, first sign of smoke, glue bond is broken. Or,
heat 5 seconds, stop, try pulling it out, heat 10 seconds, heat 15
seconds, ect.

I didn’t see he start of this thread so I don’t know what glue you
are using - but if it is an epoxy then heat is the answer. AIso, I
don’t know exactly what is holding on to the pearl but you want it
to come loose. Acetone is not the answer. Rather than a torch I
might try to use a technique I have used, although in a different

I have been making boats of an antique design and they are fastened
with many, many small bronze screws - not jewelry size, but quite
small, approx 1/16" or thereabouts in diameter or maybe a tiny bit
more, and anywhere from 1/2" to 1" long. I put epoxy in the hole
before installing screws and that makes for a good seal and keeps
things from working loose. BUT, sometimes for repair or other
reasons it is necessary to remove screws. Trying to break one loose
from the grip of the epoxy can result in damage to the screw slot
thus making it impossible to remove without some undesirable
butchery to the surrounding work. Or it might result in me twisting
the head right off of the screw. Either result is no good. So - I
use one of those small soldering guns beloved of people who do small
electronic work. One could also use a wood-burning tool. In any
case, I apply the pointy tip of the tool briefly to the screw head.
The heat quickly travels by conduction down the stem of the screw
and degrades the epoxy, loosening its grip. This takes just a very
few seconds. You don’t have to keep the screw hot in order to
continue. The screw then is easily unscrewed. The epoxy requires
approximately 160 degrees fahrenheit to soften, and for only a very
brief time, a second or two. This means I don’t end up with charred
wood or discoloured paint around the screw hole. I don’t know how
delicate or reactive to heat pearls are, but perhaps this will work
for you. It won’t require the finesse and luck that a torch would
require to do this job and it avoids applying excessive heat to the
pearl and surroundings

Anyway - a little experimenting with your glue - on less precious
objects, of course - should answer your purposes.

Let us know if it works.
Marty - coming unstuck in Victoria BC

Try heating it as suggested. but keep in mind that on rare occasions
old world craftsman sometimes split the prong and insert a wedge
into the split and then press it into place without glue at all
forcing the prong to open up and grip the inside of the Pearl. Only
way to remove it that I know then is to cut or break the prong off
and drill it out. good luck.

I use MEK, methyl ethyl ketone, and a small brush.

Apply a small amount on the glue, wait a few minutes and them pull
the parts apart.

Veva Bailey

Hi Veva

Well my wife, the boss and pearl stringer, will ask me to remove
these from time to time. For sure she has already tried acetone and
attack. I always suggest to boil in water and if stubborn back into
acetone then boil again.

I am sure I am part of this problem. When i am asked to install a
screw clasp in a pearl strand I use heat and a tight fit to secure.

Seems some others are like minded.


OK, I tried the soldering iron. It did not work! I’ve never seen
anything like this. I tried the laser too.


Can I soak a pearl in MEK? I have thought of trying it.

I’m also going to try the soldering iron.


Ditto. I had a client who wore her pearl ring constantly and after
the second time the pearl came loose, I told her that I could secure
the pearl but when it needed to be replaced, it would have to be
drilled off. She agreed to the little wedge/shim in the top of the
pearl post. I heard no more from her, but have wondered about the
experience of the jeweler who got to do the replacement repair!

The customer is always right.

Judy in Kansas, who is enjoying the most gorgeous deep purple iris

I’m not sure what that is but if the glue won’t come off heat the
metal part with the edge of a flame from a lighter or torch. Once it
gets warm enough just pull and twist with a tweezers or pliers. Heat
will make the glue let go. If it’s the glue in the thread hole just
drill it out.

Hello Margie,

Sorry my idea (small soldering iron) didn’t work. You seem to have a
stubborn problem. I’m just wondering if the pearl is being held by
some mechanical connection rather than by the adhesive. And, of
course, as I mentioned, I don’t know what kind of adhesive you are
dealing with. I guessed at epoxy but I suppose there are other
possible candidates.

Anyway- that’s all I can offer from this distance and with the
absence of further

Best of luck! I’m sure the entire Orchid universe awaits news of
your eventual success and will give a rousing cheer when you find
your solution.

Marty, still stuck in Victoria, BC

I know that it is glued in, I can see it.

I have ordered some “Attack”. Will see what it will do I will let you


Hi Margie,

I know that it is glued in, I can see it. I have ordered some
"Attack". Will see what it will do I will let you know. 

Any chance of uploading a picture?

I would like to see why heat does not work, for my future reference.


I am also curious to hear the end of this stubborn pearl mystery.
Could it be that the pearl is actually held in place not by the
glue, but by a pin which was split and wedged in its hole as other
posters have suggested? (It’s what we woodworkers call a blind,
foxed tenon) The glue may have been added as a backup or to prevent
the pearl from rotating around the pin.

I would show you a picture, but I do not understand how to do it.

The pearl has been soaking in “Attack” for two days. It’s not out



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to your Orchid post.


I can not see a pin through the hole, so I don’t think there is one.
I think it’s just the glue.