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Topics: Gemstones, Smoothing Edges

Q.
I recently purchased packets and strings of gemstone beads. Some of them have jagged, rough edges. What can I use to smooth them?
- Monnika
A.
A bead reamer is the recommended tool for removing rough and jagged edges on gemstone beads. A bead reamer has a diamond encrusted tip that will smooth out rough edges as well as enlarge the bead holes, if needed. This tool is available in either a hand-held manual option or an electric one.

Diamond burs and bead reaming tips come in different sizes; be sure to choose the tip and size that is suitable to your beads. When reaming, do not force a bit into a hole as you could damage the bead material. When operating a bead reamer it is best to use water to flush out the bead hole and to keep the bit clear of debris. The water also helps keep the materials cool when using the electric bead reamer. It is advisable to wear goggles and a dust mask while reaming. Wash and dry your reaming bits when you are done working so they remain in good working order and don't rust.

- Kristal Wick, Designer, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Swarovski crystal Ambassador

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