Denatured Alcohol for Stones

Jeff R Graham shares his thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See the use of denatured alcohol in Just Ask Jeff: What Kind of alcohol should I use?


Denatured Alcohol for Stones

Use denatured alcohol to melt the wax off of stones by soaking the stones in a small jar filled with it. Make sure the jar has a good air tight lid. You do not want to spill any of the alcohol and it also evaporates.

An added benefit from soaking the wax off stones in a jar is that after you have done it for a while the lacquer builds up in the alcohol and this solution can be used for the dopping process.

Alcohol is also used to clean all the surfaces (dop & stone) before dopping.

I use denatured alcohol. It costs a little more than other types of alcohol, but it has the advantage that you can use it to burn in an alcohol lamp, which I prefer for dopping.

You can buy it at any hardware store. A quart goes a long way.

Note: The alcohol will evaporate from your lamp, especially in hot climates. So I only fill it a little bit at a time unless I know I am going to be using the lamp a lot.

Jeff R. Graham

The late Jeff Graham was a prolific faceter, creator of many original faceting designs, and the author of several highly-regarded instructional faceting books such as Gram Faceting Designs.

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!