You know that sinking feeling you get when you take a piece of jewelry out of the ultrasonic and stones are missing-and your cleaning solution is hard to see through? Now, thanks to JA Certified Master Bench JewelerT Jeffrey Mathews of Jeffrey Mathews Designs, Dallas, Texas, you can avoid that feeling by using his quick and simple process to locate and retrieve them.

  1. Select a standard drinking glass.

  1. Lower it bottom first toward the bottom of the ultrasonic tank.

  1. While moving the glass around the tank and looking through the bottom of the glass, locate the missing gemstone.

  1. Once the gemstone is found, remember its location and carefully remove the drinking glass from the tank.

  1. Rinse and dry the glass.

  1. Melt a generous portion of soft red sprue wax onto the bottom of the glass.

  1. Allow the wax a minute to cool (or run cold water over it).

  1. Replace the glass into the ultrasonic tank at the location of the missing gemstone. Gently lower the glass over the gemstone, allowing the soft and sticky wax to “pick it up.”

  1. Remove the glass from the ultrasonic tank.

  1. Remove the gemstone from the wax, clean it, and reset it.

Bonus Benefits for the Working Bench Jeweler

  1. Increases productivity. Saves precious and valuable time locating dislodged gemstones.

  1. Protects gems. When carefully accomplished, the procedure will cause no damage to the gemstone.

  1. Continuing education. This technique will be helpful to those taking any levels of the JA Bench Jeweler Certification practical bench tests.

JA Masters in Motion will be conducted during the Rio Grande Catalog in Motion at the Tucson East Hilton, Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 2-4, 2001. Jeffrey Mathews and two other JA Certified Master Bench JewelersT will present four live 90-minute demonstrations via high-tech close-up video cameras and large-screen monitors, during which they will share their tips, tricks, and techniques. The sessions are interactive, and there is no cost for admission. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Contact JA for information at (800) 223-0673.

Bench Tricks is an exclusive monthly column designed to give jewelers a quick and handy reference for solving many common jewelry repair dilemmas. Be sure to look for Bench Tricks every month in JCK. We extend many thanks to Jewelers of America for providing this valuable service to our readers.