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PSA: Check your findings. Scratched pearls.

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,354
PSA: Sharp edged findings can and do scratch pearls.

PS consumers: If you’re buying your own findings, check them over and give them a smoothing before mounting anything. A dremel and a spot of rouge works great.

PS consumers: Not all vendors check for this before mounting. This is not a “cheap pearls vendor” thing - this includes some vendors of pricey pearls. I will be explicitly telling all vendors that I work with in future to verify that all findings have loupe-smooth edges.

This is intended to be a general PSA. As such, I will not be discussing vendor specifics. I ask that other PSers do the same, and I ask that vendors who choose to comment refrain from critiquing each other. I thought about whether to post for some time - I’m obviously unhappy about this but for various reasons I will be keeping the pearls, and the vendor is aware of the issue and I hope steps are taken to avoid recurrence in future.

Ragged cup lip on left scratched the black pearl. Finding that scratched the white pearl is not shown. Compare to smooth lip on right.
B3E1EC05-E11A-4DE6-A15A-C880F15565A1.jpeg

7DDC240A-B094-4660-8BE2-12AD4FE07064.jpeg
DD6D3BFE-8803-4546-952C-8121BF24E4DC.jpeg
 
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Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
2,153
Oh my, my, that’s too bad! Sorry that happened to you. I never in a million years would have thought about this…

Thanks for giving a warning to prevent any further pearl gauging!
 

katbran

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
812
Well it's an interesting situation. I can only say , an I hope other vendors will chime in, I have never seen a new finding that looked like this. I cannot even imagine a new finding looking like this... good findings are cast as they come out exactly the same.

A proper pearl drill would not make this mark . Tomorrow I'll photo my collet so you can see the shape - its more of a pointy cone. But I will test out my dremel to see what happens. Thats a hand held drill with a different collet.

Anyone with a pearl drill take a look and see if this mark is possible. There are different models and they may be shaped differently.

One way you can get this mark , but not around the drill hole. Is tightening the pearl in a brass holder and making it too tight. This can cut into the pearl. But again this is avoided with padded cups. And certainly wouldn't have anything to do with a damaged pearl cup.

So its a bit of a mystery.
 

Rhd3

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
89
Yikes! This is exactly the sort of thing I would obsess over. I’m sorry this happened.
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
548
I've never seen a new finding like that either. As Katbran said, they are made by machine and casting.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,354
My case is a bit complicated.

The very very short version - one pair of black pearls, one pair of white pearls, and three are scratched (both blacks and one white). All pearls and findings were from the same vendor and the vendor mounted all the earrings. I unmounted them by soaking in Attack until the posts slid out, no twisting (I have read that twisting may loosen the nucleus!?). The scratches on all three pearls are located exactly where cup lips sat on those pearls (the cups were wider on the white pearls).

I know for sure that at least in my case the ragged edges of the cup lips are to blame because the blacks are incorrectly drilled (drill holes go off to one angle), and the scratch is a partial arc on the side where the cup lip digs into the surface - at the arrow.
AA5917CE-22C2-414A-A7DE-B5C06FE2AF7D.jpeg

I unmounted all my pearl studs (except the Mikimoto!) and only pearls from this vendor show this issue, and only the findings from this vendor have rough edges. I don’t know where this vendor sources findings. I also wasn’t sure if most vendors smooth their findings out before use.

@katbran you’re right though, even sharp or rough edges can’t ever scratch with only compressive pressure. Scratching requires shear. No idea shear/twist comes into play when mounting studs! My vendor didn’t know either.
 
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LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,311
PSA: Sharp edged findings can and do scratch pearls.

PS consumers: If you’re buying your own findings, check them over and give them a smoothing before mounting anything. A dremel and a spot of rouge works great.

PS consumers: Not all vendors check for this before mounting. This is not a “cheap pearls vendor” thing - this includes some vendors of pricey pearls. I will be explicitly telling all vendors that I work with in future to verify that all findings have loupe-smooth edges.

This is intended to be a general PSA. As such, I will not be discussing vendor specifics. I ask that other PSers do the same, and I ask that vendors who choose to comment refrain from critiquing each other. I thought about whether to post for some time - I’m obviously unhappy about this but for various reasons I will be keeping the pearls, and the vendor is aware of the issue and I hope steps are taken to avoid recurrence in future.

Ragged cup lip on left scratched the black pearl. Finding that scratched the white pearl is not shown. Compare to smooth lip on right.
B3E1EC05-E11A-4DE6-A15A-C880F15565A1.jpeg

7DDC240A-B094-4660-8BE2-12AD4FE07064.jpeg
DD6D3BFE-8803-4546-952C-8121BF24E4DC.jpeg

This kinda hurts...:(2
 

Pearlescence

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
548
Jut to keep this in proportion, I have been using findings for 20 years to make earrings..carat gold (22, 18, 14,12 and 9 carat), silver, vermei. Thousands of findings. I have never encountered such a finding.
I once had a butterfly (trans: nut) missing a hole, but that's it for flawed cup and post findings
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,354
When I first contacted my vendor, the vendor indicated that most people would never remove findings from their pearls, so they would never even know the pearls were scratched. The vendor I purchased these from is used by other PSers, and this problem is super easy to avoid by explicitly requesting loupe-smooth findings. Hence the PSA! :))
 
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