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any way to clean off glue? Permanent damage?

GemFever

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,419
Hi guys!

I hope it's ok for me to post a question here, since I've switched to Trade a while ago. But I don't know who else to ask.

Long story short -- I had a pair of earring findings and recently found loose pearls to use with them. Took everything to my jeweler, who likes to be helpful and quick... he glued them in on the spot and didn't charge me for the work. Which is really nice. But one of the earrings has glue spilling over onto the pearl. I have no idea if this can be safely cleaned up, or if this is a damaged earring now. Any advice?



Thanks for your time!

img_11874.jpg
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,240
Put a little acetone on a swab and carefully clean it off, then afterward remove any acetone residue with some fresh water and wipe dry.
 

GemFever

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,419
Thanks pearlsngems! I've used acetone to remove glue on a hard gemstone before, but never a pearl. I'll do a bit of googling now, I suppose I should have done that to begin with!

... post googling: will order some "Attack adhesive remove" from rio grande. Seems to be safe for pearls.

Thanks again!
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,240
Attack is a good way to remove a pearl from the setting it's been glued into-- for example, if you want to use a different setting. Attack works slowly, in my (admittedly limited) experience with it. I used it to remove 2 pearls from settings. In one case it took over a week; in the other case, the next day.

Acetone is safe, too, for the brief exposure I described, although I would not soak pearls in it. It works faster to dissolve excess glue.

A caution about Attack-- it is highly volatile and unhealthy to inhale. Be sure to use it in a well ventilated area, and after you screw the cap back on the tin, seal it in a ziplock bag. I didn't seal my tin in a bag and the entire tin evaporated, even though it was screwed shut.
 

GemFever

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,419
Oh, that is great to know! Very important info, esp with a kid crawling around. Maybe I'll just try acetone after all. Thanks!
 

Siameseroo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
1,475
Can you scratch it off with your nail? It won't damage the pearl. Rio grande also recommend carefully flicking off the dry glue with a knife.
 

GemFever

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
2,419
Hi Siameseroo! My nail isn't strong enough to get that glue (it's too thick) and I'm terrified of trying a knife. I know I'll scratch the pearl and make the situation worse than it is. I still haven't tried the acetone, I may just live with it as-is. The earrings were going to be for sale but now I may just have to keep them. :naughty:
 

Siameseroo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
1,475
Oh no! The earrings look beautiful at any rate, and I'm sure the acetone would work. I've read that it's safe to use on pearls.

For future reference it's quite easy to set pearls! I use 5 minute 2 part epoxy from rio grande and follow the instructions in their tutorial:

https://www.riogrande.com/Product/14k-yellow-gold-post-earring-with-cup-and-peg/640434

A little glue goes a long way and I find it's very easy to flick off any excess with my nail.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,240
Acetone is safe for real pearls if the exposure in relatively brief-- that is, I would not want to soak pearls in acetone for a long time.

There are special, very pointy cotton swabs meant for makeup application. My daughter buys them. These would help you control where the acetone goes.
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
426
Next time do it yourself with a gel superglue and have the release liquid to hand in case it goes wrong - paint that on and the glue releases its hold and you can clean and start again, or put different pearls on the setting if you get bigger or better or different colour.
Glue and release should cost about $6. No more.
The present overspill should clean off if you use a needlepoint to pick and flick
 
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