Pro Tips for Jewelry Repair for Your Favorite Pieces -

Breaking a favorite piece of jewelry doesn’t have to be a disaster if you have a jeweler you trust to repair it. We talked with a jeweler who has more than 30 years of experience, Keith Austin of Austin’s Fine Jewelry, to find out about jewelry repair and to learn about other options for broken pieces.

Jewelry Repair Basics

Whether a stone has come out of its setting, a clasp has broken, or even a watch crystal has cracked, a professional jeweler can help with jewelry repair. When selecting a jeweler to consult about repairs, one question to ask is if the work will be done in-house or if your piece will be sent elsewhere. Sending the piece away may increase the possibility of it being lost in transit.

Austin’s Fine Jewelry does its jewelry repair in-house with its own experienced team, except for pieces needing laser welding for which he recommends an excellent source.

Jewelry pice in tweezers for jewelry repair.

What Can be Repaired?

If the jewelry still is in useable condition, repairing a piece so you can continue to enjoy it is an option. Repairs usually can be made on any gold, silver, or platinum jewelry. Damage to older gems that are worn or cracked may not be repairable. This is also the case for metals that have worn through or are badly damaged.

Jewelry with gemstones, such as extremely hard stones like diamonds, may be repairable. In this case, the determining factor is whether the jewelry can be repaired with a torch or whether the jewelry requires repair with a laser welder, a specialized piece of equipment.

Damaged Southwestern jewelry can also be repaired. It is possible to remove and re-set stones and match missing turquoise or coral. Keith Austin notes that it is important not to clean Navajo jewelry by immersing it in a cleaning solution. Some stones are set with sawdust under them to prevent damage. When the sawdust becomes wet, it may expand and damage the stone or setting. But if that has already happened, an experienced jeweler may be able to make repairs.

Some jewelers, like the one at Austin’s Fine Jewelry, can repair eyeglasses made of certain metals, replace some watch crystals, install batteries, and attach watchbands.

If you’re unsure if a piece can be repaired, take it to a trusted jeweler to consult about the practicality, time, and cost of a repair.

Redesign a Piece of Jewelry

If your beloved piece of jewelry can’t be repaired, there are other options. You may be able to work with a jeweler to design a new piece using the metal and stones from the broken piece. Your jeweler should be able to advise you on ways to retain the sentimental or financial value of your jewelry by creating a new piece.

The precious metals from your broken jewelry can be melted and cast or molded into a new design. Precious stones can be mounted into a new setting for a ring, earrings, or necklace. That way you maintain a connection with the old, beloved piece, but have something new to enjoy.

Jeweler looking at a piece of jewelry.

Trade for Services or Jewelry

If you’d rather get something different, some jewelers — like Austin’s Fine Jewelry — may accept your jewelry as a trade. Precious metals and other jewelry of value may often be traded for credit.

You may not even be sure of what type of metal or stones your piece is made with. A jeweler should be able to test them to let you know. Some will charge for this service. Austin’s will test the metals for free. There is also no charge to identify and advise you on a diamond.

Colored gemstones require more extensive testing, so there is a fee at Austin’s for evaluations of those gemstones. Keith is a GIA gemologist and can advise you as to whether to pursue an evaluation.

Most jewelers can provide both insurance and estate appraisals of your jewelry. Ask what you should get if you need an appraisal and about the cost.

Don’t despair if your favorite piece of jewelry is damaged. Jewelry repair is one option that is available!


Story sponsored by Austin’s Fine Jewelry

Visit the Austin’s Fine Jewelry Website

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