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Thread: Advice on gold and pearls

  1. #1
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    Default Advice on gold and pearls

    Hi there

    I've been handed someone's unloved jewellery to make something new out of and looking for some advice. The jewellery in question is a set of gold studs in the style of little flowers with pearls inset into them.

    So I'm liminited to cold connections and can't use heat. I was thinking along the lines of creating something quite contrasting like an oxidised silver branch that's contemporary looking and adding the flowers to this - the customer likes the idea, but waiting to see if it is possible. My main worry is damaging the pearls. I've never worked with pearls before, so no idea how resilient they are.

    So options would be to rivet the studs into the branch but would I be able to do this without breaking the pearls?

    or use a tap and die set and turn the earring posts into screws so they can be screwed into the branch?

    I've never used a tap and die set so not sure how small you can go - the earring posts are a standard 0.8mm so is that possible?

    Any advice, help or suggestions welcome...

    Will try and post some photos of the earrings later as I've not got them to hand right now.

    Thanks

    Evie
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  2. #2
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    Hi Evie and welcome back.
    It needs a lot of practice to use a tap and die set for this and get a tight fit. Apart from that they are quite pricey.
    You are right in supposing that pearls are fragile. They are easily scuffed or cracked.
    One idea would be to insert the posts into short lengths of close fitting tubing and then crimp the tubes somewhere out of sight, so they don't show. Just round nosed pliers will do that.
    Alternatively you could pass the posts through holes in the twig and then form the ends into tiny loops. Finally you could combine both ideas. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 20-02-2020 at 08:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    These are tge earrings....
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    First of all - and this is a basic - are you sure that these are real pearls? Many fakes set into gold, from designer brands on down.
    Why don't you just remove the pearls from the earrings and then you can do whatever you want?
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk
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  5. #5
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    The customer assures me they are real pearls. They're a family heriloom.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Hi Evie and welcome back.
    Alternatively you could pass the posts through holes in the twig and then form the ends into tiny loops. Finally you could combine both ideas. Dennis.
    I wonder whether I could insert the earring posts into tightly drilled holes and loop at the back and then set whatever the holes are drilled into into something else with a claw type setting. That way the back is hidden and the flowers are firmly held in place. You've got me thinking of something un-branch like now, but that's not a bad thing. She wants something contemporary and bold with the twee nod to the past. So that might work.
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  7. #7
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    Yes that is what I think about in the middle of the night. Dennis.

  8. #8
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    You could possibly use the post like a rivet on the back and be able to splay it enough to be secure.
    Family heirlooms! I’m not sure how many things I’ve been told growing up that they were family treasures and turned out to be completely worthless. It might be worth getting the pearls assessed and then if they turn out to be fake it would make the process much simpler

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    You could possibly use the post like a rivet on the back and be able to splay it enough to be secure
    That's what I thought initially, but not sure how I'd splay the rivet through hammering without damaging the earrings on the front of the piece.

    As for getting the pearls assessed - hardly worth it for a job like this as they want something made from the earrings as they are, not with the pearls removed.
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  10. #10
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    That doesn't mean they are real. There were only wild pearls or fakes before around 1935. I come across many strands of 'Granny's ' heirloom pearls which are fakes. Unsetting the stones, whatever they are is your easiest way to go. Do the work and then re-set.
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