Common Jewelry Repair Misconceptions
Learn from Volusia County’s jewelry repair experts
Jewelry repair can be a confusing thing, especially if you don’t know much about how it’s done. At LaBosco’s, our Master Jewelers have been doing jewelry repair in Port Orange for decades. We’re here to answer any questions you have and provide you with professional service that you won’t find anywhere else.
Misconception #1 – Jewelry Lasts Forever
Even the highest quality jewelry needs maintenance! Fine jewelry is made from some seemingly durable materials: metals and gemstones. We think of metals as very strong. Metal is what suits of armor and cars are made out of. We can’t bend or even scratch most metals without the help of tools. Gemstones are rocks which we think of as hard and unbreakable. Diamonds are used to cut through even the toughest materials. So, why would something made from such strong substances need regular maintenance?
There are two reasons for this. First, the metals and gemstones in jewelry are not as durable as we imagine. Precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver are very soft as metals go. In fact, a large part of what makes them perfect for jewelry is how soft and malleable they are. Unfortunately, the daily wear and tear we put on our jewelry takes more of a toll than we think. Also, not all gemstones are as hard as diamonds. Gems like opal, emerald, pearls, and more are actually very “soft” on the hardness scale. This makes them susceptible to small scratches and scuffs which make them look worn over time. Of course, no gemstone is unbreakable, and even diamonds can be easily broken if they are hit at a cleavage plane.
Does your jewelry need some TLC? LaBosco’s is proud to offer free jewelry evaluations. We’ll have our expert gemologists and master jewelers examine your jewelry to see if any maintenance is needed, and provide you with a detailed estimate on the cost or repair and time to expect. Contact us today to learn more!
Everyday wear can sometimes cause accent stones to fall out of delicate halo settings.
A jeweler preparing to solder sizing stock into a ring shank.
Misconception #2 – Sizing Up is as Simple as Stretching
A client recently expressed concern that her ring might be too thin after we sized it up. She thought, as many do, that when we size a ring, we just stretch it up, causing it to get thinner. It turns out sizing a ring up can be more complicated than that. Often, a jeweler is required to cut the ring and open it up the right amount to achieve the new size. Then, a piece of precious metal is prepared to match the ring in color and shape. Finally, the jeweler will weld or solder that piece into the ring and smooth it down to match the rings shank profile. Now, there is one case where we will stretch a ring if we can. With wedding bands, it is often better to maintain the structural integrity of the band by stretching it, instead of cutting and sizing. However, if the band is not one solid piece (it has been cut before) or if stretching will make it too thing, we will still opt to add metal like normal.
Misconception #3 – GEMSTONES ARE FIREPROOF
3. Some gems can’t take heat while diamonds can take a lot. Forged under high pressure and temperature, a diamond can take a tremendous amount of heat before it is damaged. This isn’t the case with all gemstones, however. More fragile gems like opal, pearls, amethyst, topaz, and many others are easily damaged if exposed to excess heat. Even some diamonds can be damaged by heat if they have been treated to enhance clarity or color. What does this have to do with jewelry repair? Many repairs are traditionally done with a torch. Jobs like soldering broken links, re-tipping worn prongs, and sizing a ring all require a great deal of heat. However, if a sensitive gemstone is set in jewelry that needs such a repair, there can be a problem. One solution is to go through the time consuming and expensive process of removing each fragile gemstone from the piece before the work is done and resetting them after it is finished. A better solution is to use a high-tech laser welder to only apply heat at the specific location it is needed. This way, heat-sensitive gems stay nice and cool, and the job can be done more efficiently.
We hope you enjoyed this little run down on jewelry repair. Have questions? Leave us a comment below. We would love to talk with you. Or, if you’re in the Port Orange, FL area, feel free to bring your jewelry in and our jewelry repair experts can take a look at it for you.
Diamonds are usually insensitive to heat, but treated diamonds can be damaged.