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can you change the bail on a pearl pendant once set?

D2B

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,105
Hi
Sorry, I seem to be asking a lot of questions lately :doh:

i have a pearl that is a cheap and fun pearl, but the bail just doesn't suit it - can the bail be changed on a pearl pendant - I think one with a small diamond would look better - I hope I am using the right terminology - I mean the metal between the pearl and then chain that hold the two together... or is it a case of once the pearl has been drilled and the bail has been set into the pearl it can't be removed??
d2b
 

BWeaves

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
346
The epoxy or glue can be dissolved by certain solvents. My jeweler (who made me a custom pearl pendant) told me that the setting for a pearl has to be reversible in case they need to resize a ring, for example, or reset the bail like you want to do.

Are you asking if it can be done, or actually how to do it?

I don't know how to do it, myself, but I'm sure someone else will chime in.
 

Purranha

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
46
I believe there is a thread on the other forum about how to dissolve the glue/epoxy on pearl settings. I did not read in detail but I know the thread exists and there were loads of good info there!
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
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1,415
One safe way to remove the finding from the pearl is to soak it in Attack, a solvent. It will take more or less time depending on the glue that was used. The shortest time for me was about 24 hours, and the longest about a week. The pearl was not affected.
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
I used the hot water solution to loosening glue. It worked the first time on most items and had to repeat on others. All came off fine in a few minutes. This was discussed at the other forum also. I removed settings on Goldens SS and Tahitian pendants and stud earrings.

redo1.jpg

redo2.jpg
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
One thing to consider though, The peg on the new setting may be bigger than the hole that was drilled in your pearl. This happened to me when I changed out the studs to dangle earrings. I ended up drilling the hole larger with my drummel tool but it took some time and the right tools. Do you have them? Otherwise take it to your jeweler to do.

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D2B

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,105
Thank you - hadn't thought of doing it myself, but it is a cheap freshwater and I think I will give it a go :)
thank you all for your answers and the photos - it was really helpful

cheers
d2b
 

Pirard

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
557
NacreLover...I assume you mean the peg was wider than the hole in the pearl. If the peg were longer, it would be easy to trim away the excess on the gold peg.
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,488
My husband has done this for me with my pearls a couple of times. He doesn't put the pearl in the hot water, though, because we're afraid it will damage the pearls. He just holds the metal part into the hot water as far as possible without dipping the pearls in and the metal transmits the heat up into the pearl drill hole, apparently. But my first choice is what I've just done, send my earrings to PP and have them do it for me. I am not sure what all they'd want to bother with but I asked since I had bought the original earrings and the new settings from them. They said okay. :)

So, NC, I guess the hot water didn't damage your pearls. Hmmm... I have a couple more pairs of dangly pearl earrings I want to switch out. Often how a pearl and setting looks in my mind is NOT how it looks in reality!
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
Pirard, The hole was smaller in diameter and shorter than the post on the eyepin/cup. Three of the pearls were easy to drill deeper and a wider hole, the last one was like cement. I finally gave up and cut the post of the eye pin shorter. I used two part epoxy to glue into place.
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
Seaurchin, No, it was scary, but didn't harm the pearls. I was told to get the water as close to boiling in a tea kettle and then pop the pearls in. Because I was afraid of harming the pearls, I took them out too soon the first time and then found once the internal part of the bead heated up the glue was soft enough to wiggle loose. I did maybe 9 pearls in total. The earrings were the hardest because they were hard to hold the posts without breaking them off or bending them. I used paper towel and needle nosed plyers.
 

ennui

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
995
I once removed a pearl finding by simply soaking in water (room temperature) for a couple of days. I wasn't in any hurry, and the water loosened the glue enough for me to twist and remove.

I'm a little leary of hot water and organic gemstones. I recall someone who ruined an amber ring once with hot water; it actually softened the amber!
 

NacreLover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
1,939
Epoxy won't dissolve in room temperature water, and I would doubt super glue would either. The only reason this works is expansion and contraction.
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
Trade
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Oct 3, 2013
Messages
479
Too much twisting to loosen the pearl could just break the pin inside the pearl: then you are in big trouble unless you know how to drill out the broken peg. Better to get hold of some release agent. Use the proper stuff.

(If a glue dissolves after a couple of days soaking at room temperature I would not be impressed with the glue. Some 'pearl' glues are useless and you can just pull the pearl off the finding.)
 

kalmen22

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
141
Thank you pearlsngems for the name.

Sorry nacrelover, I missed the name earlier.
 

Pirard

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
557
NacreLover...that's the reason why I don't buy a lot of things...It's amazing how many people don't peel back the label or read the MSDS!
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
479
My stuff isn't called Attack. It comes in a little bottle like nail polish, with a brush and you sloosh it around the pearl setting and, with gel, a minute later the pearl is magically loose. Takes a little longer and maybe two applications for epoxy.
(May not be sold in America of course) But I get it where I get the gel superglue
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,415
I poured just enough Attack into an 8 ounce canning jar, applied the lid with the rubber seal and screwed on the band so that it would not evaporate while the pearl was soaking. This worked fine.

However, I discovered a year or so after initially opening the can of Attack, that it does not have a good enough seal once it has been opened and that essentially the entire can had evaporated. It was being stored in our basement.

I expect I will probably repurchase it at some point, but now I am aware that the screw-cap on the can does not have a sufficiently airtight seal once it has been opened. In the future I will use Teflon tape (plumber's tape, non-adhesive, inexpensive and available in any hardware store) on the threads to improve the seal before screwing on the cap. And seal the bottle in a zipper type bag for extra measure.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,415
Many solvents are dangerous. They do have to be treated carefully and used with good ventilation and minimal exposure.
 
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