Monday, June 13, 2016

Can Jewelry Go In Water?

Should I come here and update even when I have nothing to say?

I feel I'm letting my friends down... either way.  (Ah guilt.  Isn't it FABULOUS!?)

If I have nothing to say so say nothing, I feel I'm being unfair to those who follow my blog.

If I have nothing to say and yet come in here and babble about nothing, I feel I'm being unfair to those who follow my blog. 

Ha!

I come from a land of black and white.  It's very hard for me to do things part-way.  (Please stop rolling your eyes those of you who know me and know there is an endless supply from me of doing things part-way.)

What I mean is that... and this is probably one of the curses of people who have that "perfectionist" thing goin' on.  Oh, don't get me wrong, those people (of which I am one) aren't perfect.  They just want everything they DO to be perfect.

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, one of the curses of perfectionists is: If I can't do it fully the way it should be done, I don't want to do it at all.

Ugh!

How that translates to blog land is that I get ready to talk to you about something, but maybe I haven't taken the photographs yet... or haven't finished testing something yet... or haven't done enough research yet.  So I can't possibly come in here and do a partial job of showing/telling you anything.  I've got to have it all, and have it under my belt nice and tight, before I can spill the beans.

Phft!

So, in order for me to try to break myself of that habit, I will today tell you of a recent "thing" in my jewelry making world.  (And hopefully I'll come back and give you the conclusion to this thing too.)

I had a rather interesting custom order the other day (but that part doesn't go into this story).  One of the questions that arose was, "Can this jewelry go in water?"

That's a darn good question... with multiple answers.

The piece in question was a bezel set mood stone.  Mood stones are acrylic.  The rest of my piece was sterling silver.

So I figured I'd better experiment.

My normal response to "can jewelry go in water" goes something like this: "Most metal pieces suffer little damage with brief exposure to tap water (showers, etc), but saltwater (the ocean), bleach, and pool chemicals can be harsh to metal so if possible remove jewelry before pool or ocean water exposure and before using bleach."

But that's "metal pieces"... as in sterling silver or gold.  Adding a stone to the equation changes the answer.  Adding a synthetic stone to the equation changes the answer even further.

So I figured I'd better do at least a little testing before coming up with a response.

The only bezel set mood stone I had on hand right then was one set in sterling with a solid backplate AND glue behind the stone (the bezel wire was too short for the stone and this was a piece I'd made for myself... I only use glue when setting stones under the rarest of occasions and only if there's a good reason).

I put my ring into a glass of water for 24 hours.  After that time, the mood stone looked fine... at first.  Then, when I expected to happen happened.  Well, I don't know if that's really what happened, but I expected the glue to react with the water and become something that changed the look of the stone somehow (remember, mood stones are translucent).  Adding to that is the fact that the bezel is closed, so I'm picturing water behind the stone, mixing with glue, and no way to come out or dry up.

So here's what I have a bit after removing the ring from the water...


And several hours later...


So, to determine if it IS in fact the glue (please be the glue, please be the glue... or even just water that will dry up... I'm okay with that), I went ahead and set another mood stone in silver but this time NO glue (and open-back, in case trapped water is the issue).

That's in the water now so you'll have to come back tomorrow and see the results of that test.

I really like the idea of jewelry that isn't high maintenance.  Meaning, my preference is jewelry I can wear while washing my hands, taking a shower, and doing the dishes.  But we'll see where this mood stone thing sits.

I know not all jewelry will be like that and I'm okay with pieces that need a little more care.  I just want to make sure I know the difference.

See you later!

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