Daily Wire Tip May 28: Enlarging the Holes in Pearls

By on May 28, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
May 28, 2010

Question:

I want to start working in pearls but the holes are too small for the application I want, how do you enlarge the holes in pearls without breaking them?

Answer:

Thanks so much for asking! As most of your know, I use a lot of freshwater pearls in my wire jewelry designs, as such I asked Wire-Sculpture to help all of us out and they listened. We now carry two different sizes and two different colors of LARGE HOLE pearls!! I checked them out personally and here are my results: with the exception of the 5.0 to 5.5mm potato pearls in blackish purple/red (that will fit on gauges and shapes up to 20g square) ALL of the rest will fit on wire gauges up to and including 18g round and 20g square! So, you could save yourself a lot of work and purchase them here: Large Hole Pearls

Or, if you already have a supply and need to drill them out, we have a great ‘in-studio’ video to help you with this chore, here: Bead Reaming Made Easy where Scrimshaw Mary demonstrates and explains just how to ream pearls without damaging them.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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3 Comments

  1. avatar

    Elaine

    May 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you so much for the help I am now inspired to start making jewelry again.

  2. avatar

    Linda Mason

    June 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve read that you should use water when drilling to enlarge holes in pearls, since the dust is toxic.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      June 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      Yes Linda, and the video I linked to shows using water to ream a pearl. It is also important to use water when reaming any type of material, as the water flushes out the drilled ‘mush’ and the dust from many other minerals/items is also toxic like malachite, azurite, bone, etc.

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