Archive for August, 2012

Cherry “Quartz”?

I admit it…when I first saw “Cherry Quartz” I loved the pinky-salmony color. I was in Alpharetta, Georgia visiting a bead shop with a friend, and couldn’t resist a strand of smooth chunks. The resulting necklace is below. I still like the necklace, but I have since learned a lot about this “stone.”

“Cherry Quartz,” being sold by vendors at wholesale shows, is actually a type of glass. Gemologists became suspicious of this materials when they noticed bubbles in the “stones” which turned out to be spherical gas bubbles.

There is a similar product, which I also am a sucker for, called “Pineapple Quartz.” It is a translucent yellow and I just love its light buttery color. It too is glass.

So if you like it – enjoy it! Make sometime beautiful but do not be fooled. The gas bubbles are often visible to the naked eye. If you get it for a good price, have fun with it as you would with any beautiful glass bead.

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August 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Removing Lacquer from Metal Jewelry

Sometimes you come across a piece of jewelry or a finding which has been lacquered, but maybe some of the lacquer has chipped, permitting oxidation on part of the piece. Now you are in the position of having to remove all of the lacquer without hurting the beads or stones.

An easy, organic way to accomplish this is to place the object in a boiling solution of baking soda and water.  After a while the lacquer will lift off.  You need to know whether your piece contains any heat-sensitive stones or glue, as this method would cause damage.

Another way to go is lacquer thinner.  Just soak the object in a jar with enough lacquer thinner to cover the piece.  You can re-use the thinner but keep the jar well-sealed or it will evaporate.  Make sure, when using lacquer thinner, that you are in a well-ventilated area away from heat.

After soaking for a day or more, remove the item and wipe the piece with a soft cloth that has been dipped in clean lacquer thinner.

Lacquer thinner is safe for use on metal, glass or stone, but it will dissolve paint and glue.

Lacquer thinner is available in most hardware stores.
Now…if you want to protect metal from oxidizing without using lacquer, try wax!

August 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment


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