Fine jewelry often requires upkeep and common repairs. If you notice an issue with your bracelet, necklace, or ring, then you'll want an experienced jeweler to take a look at the damage and determine the best way to repair it.
There are often warning signs to watch out for before your jewelry fully breaks. Sometimes, though, there's no warning. Here are the most common jewelry repairs, what to watch for to prevent breaks, and how experts will repair the damage. Learn more with Martin Busch Jewelers in New York City.
What Classifies as a Broken Chain or Clasp?
When the metal rings of a chain or clasp separate, fracture, or break, then your chain or clasp can become broken. The most common cause of a broken chain or clasp is when your necklace or bracelet gets snagged on something. Occasionally, it can also be caused by normal wear and tear over time.
What should you watch for? If the chain breaks or the clasp stops working, then your necklace or bracelet may fall off while you're wearing it. Occasionally, you may notice that the small rings of the chain or clasp are starting to stretch or wear thin before it actually breaks, but this doesn't happen as often.
How is it repaired? The same type of metal as the chain or clasp is used to make the repair. The damaged part of the chain or clasp is removed and replaced with a new metal ring or clasp. Although, if the chain or claps are stretched out, sometimes it can be tightened and soldered to prevent future damage.
What Is Ring Sizing?
Ring sizing is changing the band size of a ring. Ring sizing is probably the most common jewelry repair. No one wants their ring to slip off and get lost because it's too big or have it live uselessly in a drawer because it's too small. Rings can be resized up or down to whole, half, or quarter sizes.
What should you watch for? When you take your ring on and off, it should be easy to slide your ring on and only take a little wiggling to slide your ring off. If there's any struggling, you may want to see a jeweler about resizing your ring.
How is it repaired? Ring sizing is a simple repair. The jeweler cuts the bottom of the band, technically called the shank. Depending on whether the ring needs to be sized up or sized down, the jeweler will either add or remove some metal to create the correct size. The metal is then soldered, shaped, smoothed, and polished, so the ring looks good as new.
What Is a Broken Shank?
A broken shank is when the band part of the ring breaks or fractures due to stress or normal wear. You wouldn't think it because metals seem so strong, but broken shank repair is actually a common ring repair. Usually, a break or fracture happens at the bottom of the shank.
What should you watch for? In this case, there's not really anything to watch for that will prevent damage. Once a fracture or break happens, you'll see it. There are some preventative measures you can take, however:
- Don’t wear your ring at the gym.
- Don’t wear your ring while working with heavy or hard items.
- Don’t wear your ring when you go to the pool or the hot tub.
How is it repaired? This repair is similar to resizing a ring. The shank is already broken, so the metal is soldered together, formed back into the correct size, then shaped, smoothed, and polished.
What Is Prong Repair?
Prong repair also called prong re-tipping, is when the little metal fingers holding a gemstone in place become thin or break due to normal daily wear and tear.
What should you watch for? Over time prongs will wear thin and flatten. When this happens, you'll notice the top of the prong is no longer rounded, but instead flat like a pancake. This means that your gem is possibly in danger of falling out and getting lost. A small hit to the metal or total wear through the metal could easily break the prong.
How is it repaired? This repair depends on how the prong is damaged. If the prong is thin or flattened, more metal can be added to the existing prong to build it back up. If the prong is broken or missing, then a whole new one will need to be soldered on. Sometimes it's just one prong that needs to be repaired, but often it's best to repair or replace all the prongs at the same time.
What Classifies as a Loose Gemstone?
If the gemstone in your ring wiggles, spins, bounces or moves around in any fashion, then it should be repaired. Sometimes gemstones get loose from the natural wear on the notches, or seats, in the prongs of the ring. It can also be the result of your ring taking a hard hit against something.
What should you watch for? If you see the gemstone in your ring move while going about your daily business, or if you can fiddle with the gemstone and get it to wiggle, you'll want to immediately stop wearing the ring. Store the ring in a soft cloth or in a fabric-lined jewelry box until you can take it to a professional jeweler for repair.
How is it repaired? This problem can be solved in several ways based on the reason why the gemstone is loose. Sometimes the repair is as simple as tightening the prongs by bending them back into their original positions. Other times, the seat in the prongs is worn and needs to be re-tipped, or the prongs are so worn that they need to be replaced with new ones.
Contact Martin Busch Jewelers for Quick and Reliable Jewelry Repairs!
There you have it: We’ve given you a rundown on the most common jewelry repairs. We hope you found our guide useful. Whether you're interested in having your jewelry repaired by a professional or buying new jewelry altogether, contact Martin Busch Jewelers so we can help you out.