To pitch or to repair? How can you tell if that vintage necklace at the bottom of your jewelry box is fixable? Or maybe, all of that hand washing has caused your diamond wedding ring to “shrink” (that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!) Can it be resized?
Each piece of jewelry has its own story and characteristics that play into the overall resize/repair process. We’ve got some insider tips that will help you determine if your jewelry can be repaired, and what to expect when you take it to the jeweler for service. Consider this a jewelry repair guide of sorts!
Does Your Jewelry Need Repaired?
If, every time you brush your hand against your sweater, you end up with a snag, or if you can feel a sharp piece of metal or even stone when you touch your ring, chances are that you need your jewelry repaired.
Maybe you can actually hear a rattling sound when you shake your ring up next to your ear. That’s a sign that the stone is loose and needs checked out. Or you find your bracelet or pendant suddenly coming undone and slipping off. That could mean your clasp is failing. Better head to the jewelers!
What To Expect When Taking Your Jewelry In For Repairing
Well, if you stop by OUR store, then expect some Pitbull blaring from the radio, and Scott and Jacob having a deep discussion about Bigfoot. Just kidding. Kind of.
Actually, when you bring in a piece of jewelry for repairs, the jeweler will first begin with cleaning your piece in an ultrasonic machine. Then they’ll bring out the loupe (the little microscope that they place by their eye to get a good look at your jewelry). Makes them look like Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heros… IYKYK.
That inspection will allow the jeweler to look at all the parts that make up your ring, pendant, bracelet or earrings, and see if there’s anything broken, worn or missing. Once they determine the condition, they will be able to come up with a plan to get that jewelry repaired and back on your body!
SYSK: Jewelry Terms
There are two main parts of a ring. The top, called the head, which may contain diamonds and gemstones, and the part that goes around the finger, called the shank. Anyone else think heads and shanks sound like gang names?! I digress.
The little gold or platinum bumps that hold your diamond in place are called prongs. They are arranged like a basket to cradle the gemstone.
And necklaces are different than pendants. Pendants are pieces that hang from a chain, and can swing on the chain (like a pendulum). Necklaces have decorative stations that are part of the chain. So they tend to “travel” on your neck, and need adjusting.
Let’s Talk Ring Repairs
Women love rings. Maybe because they can actually see them. Whatever the reason, rings are definitely a fan favorite. But they do get a lot of abuse. From smacking them on the granite countertops while making dinner, to crushing them between doors, rings are probably the most repaired piece of jewelry. So, if your ring needs a little TLC, just know it happens to the best of us!
Also, hands change. It’s just a fact (definitely not the pandemic potato chips we’ve been eating). If you can’t get your wedding band off with all the YouTube tricks, we can cut it off with a special tool that makes it super easy to weld back together after we correctly size it. Do not try this at home!
But can they all be fixed or sized? Short answer: probably, yes!
Common Types Of Ring Repairs
Most precious metal rings (gold, platinum and silver) can be sized up or down, depending upon how the ring was originally designed. And the parts holding the gems also were made to be repaired.
Unfortunately, rings made out of ceramic, titanium, steel, carbon fiber or any other alternative metal, can not be sized or repaired. The good news? These pieces generally cost very little, so replacing them isn’t very expensive.
But if the ring has, for instance, diamonds going all the way around, it’s called an eternity band. Once not so common, but with the affordability of the new, lab grown diamonds hitting the market lately, more people are choosing this style for their custom wedding band.
Unfortunately, you can’t easily size an eternity band. When we custom design them, we do account for future sizing by making the inside of the ring a little thicker. That way, we can shave off a bit to make it larger, without sacrificing strength. We can also add some gold bumps to the inside if needed, to make it fit tighter.
Diamond And Gemstone Repairs
Gems can get loose in their settings. Maybe the little prongs that hold the diamonds in place are worn, or even missing. Or the channels of gold that edge the stones on the band are paper thin now. You can check the prongs yourself by running your finger over them. If you can’t feel a little bump, or it feels jagged, then it’s time to get them checked out by the jeweler!
Most prong and channel repairs can be easily fixed by re-tipping, re-pronging or re-channeling the ring. An experience jeweler (that’s us!) will be able to determine if it’s better to repair those prongs, or replace the whole top with a new one.
Your toddler grabs your neck during a tantrum… And rips off your favorite pendant. Or your dog explodes with excitement when you come back from getting the mail. So much, in fact, that he jumps up and snags your chain off. We’ve seen it all. Many times.
Fortunately, most gold chains can be repaired, either traditionally with a torch, or a laser machine (we use both at Scott’s).
But what if the clasp suddenly stops clasping? Don’t throw the chain out (so many people do this!!!) They are replaceable too, and much less expensive than buying a new chain.
Speaking of clasps. As we get older, those clasps must also shrink! Replacing a clasp with a larger, easier to open style, is again, less expensive than buying a whole new chain.
The next time you’re in the jewelry store, ask about clasp options!
Speaking Of Getting Your Jewelry Checked…
If you wear your jewelry everyday, like your wedding ring, or engagement ring. We advise you to get your jewelry checked by your jeweler every six months. Just like your teeth! Regular checking and cleaning by your jeweler catches any small repairs early, which also means a less costly repair.
Of course, if you’ve whacked your ring really hard, or let’s say, it fell off into the garbage disposal (true story – we’ve resurrected a LOT of garbage disposal rings over the years), don’t wait six months. Your jeweler can check to see that all is well with your piece!
Visit Scott’s Custom Jewelers For Your Jewelry Repair Needs!
Our family-owned jewelry store is conveniently located in Dublin, Ohio to make repairing your favorite pieces a breeze! We love walk-ins and meeting new faces, so stop on by and let us know how we can restore your jewelry to its rightful state! See you soon!
Got questions? Contact us and let us know how we can help.