Your Master Guide to Jewelry Repair

Your Master Guide to Jewelry Repair

Fine jewelry is often so much more than a dazzling diamond gracing your neck or a watch keeping track of time. Your jewelry may be a family heirloom or a celebratory gift after a first child. At the very least, your fine jewelry piece is an investment and one you want to take excellent care of.

From routine cleaning to jewelry repair, caring for your stones and precious metals is essential to keeping them safe, maintaining their value, and ensuring they stay a well-kept part of your collection for generations. Our team of experts has put together a helpful guide to educate you and answer your questions regarding jewelry, watch, and wedding ring repair.

 

Why Professional Jewelry Repair is Essential

Questions to Ask When Searching for Jewelry Repair Services

Limit Wedding Ring Repairs Needed with Routine Cleanings and Inspections

What Should I Expect During a Wedding Ring Checkup?

Reasons to Seek Wedding Ring Repair Services

Quality Jewelry Repair at Fink’s Jewelers

Exceptional Watch Repairs and Services

Fink's Jewelry Repair Guarantee

What to Expect from a Fink’s Inspection

The Cost of Jewelry Repairs

Jewelry Repair Timeframe

Helpful Tips for Caring for Your Fine Jewelry

 

Why Professional Jewelry Repair is Essential

Small tools used to fix jewelry

While some jewelry repair needs may seem easier to take on than others, a highly skilled professional jewelry repair specialist is always the intelligent choice. While even the most minor task like replacing your watch battery may seem simple enough to do yourself, fine jewelry repair is always best left in the hands of a trained professional.

Here’s why jewelry repair is important:

  • warranty remains valid
  • many luxury brands provide specialized training for repairs
  • use of proper tools and technology
  • high-quality replacement parts
  • no accidental tool marks or lost pieces
  • professional cleaning included
  • thorough inspection
  • rigorous testing upon jewelry repair completion
  • precious stones retain their value

 

Your Jewelry Warranty Protects Your Investment

"warranty" written on paper clipped to string

First and foremost, maintaining the validity of your luxury jewelry’s warranty is vital. Utilizing the services of your original jeweler for any wedding ring repairs or jewelry cleaning needs is always ideal. Your original jeweler knows the needs of your investment best and has offered you a warranty to continue meeting your wishes long after your purchase. Should you need wedding ring repairs or any jewelry repairs and services elsewhere, review your warranty to avoid any potential breaches, such as timing or parts, that may potentially void your warranty.

 

High-Quality Replacement Parts Matter

Five Round Diamond Ring in White Gold

Not all jewelry repair locations use the highest quality parts. Trusting someone with your luxury watch or diamond bracelet includes knowing it will be returned to you with replacement parts made for your specific piece. Generic replacement parts for items such as your Rolex watch can void your warranty.

As you search for a reputable jewelry repair specialist, it’s vital to ask questions about the replacement parts they use. Inquire about their standards, their repair process, and the training of their staff. Also, find out what policies they have in place to ensure brand replacement parts are used in their repairs. Protecting the longevity and durability of your luxury jewelry items is essential to preserving their value.

 

Rigorous Testing Upon the Completion of Your Repair is Essential

Highly skilled jewelry repair specialists put much time and care into testing your repaired piece. Sending you home with a new but faulty clasp or an improperly sealed watch gasket could be detrimental to your investment. Trained specialists know precisely how to test and what signs of concern to look for to ensure your repair is complete.

 

Questions to Ask When Searching for Jewelry Repair Services

"how do you do it?" spray painted on pavement

Entrusting your treasured pieces to someone and receiving the best jewelry repair service possible ensures value and integrity while bringing you peace of mind. Whether your bracelet needs a clasp replacement or your engagement ring has a loose stone, finding a knowledgeable and skilled jeweler is vital. While seeking routine cleaning and jewelry repair is typically handled at your original place of purchase, there are many reasons you may be seeking a trustworthy jeweler elsewhere. If this is the case, preparing a list of questions will help you get a feel for what to expect and what each jewelry repair team can offer you.

We highly recommend asking the following questions as you begin your search for your jewelry repair services:

  1. Will you perform all jewelry repairs in-store?
  2. Are your jewelers and technicians qualified to handle my repairs?
  3. Do you provide a written quote?
  4. Can you guarantee my stones will be returned to me after my repair

 

1. Will You Perform All Jewelry Repairs In-Store?

Inside a jewelry store and all of the displays

Never hesitate to ask if your wedding ring repairs or any jewelry repair will be performed in-store or off-site. You may find many jewelers send jewelry repairs out rather than performing them in-house. Some jewelry stores may not have a dedicated jewelry repair team, while other repairs may require that your piece be sent into the brand for additional parts and services. Either way, it's essential to know who will be tending to your items at all times. Keep in mind: off-site repairs may incur higher price estimates and add additional labor wait time. Discussing these possibilities in advance will keep you well-informed of their process. 

 

  1. Are Your Jewelers and Technicians Qualified to Handle My Jewelry Repairs?

Your jewelry repairs, including watch and wedding ring repairs, should be handled by bench-certified professionals. Many luxury brands, including Rolex, require their authorized repair stores to complete rigorous training on parts, techniques, and instruments. This ensures your jewelry repairs are done by highly skilled professionals that are recognized as authorized, trusted technicians.

National standards to help instill confidence and assure optimal service have been put in place for your fine jewelry and watch repair needs. Searching for jewelers who have a Bench Professional Certification will provide you with a jeweler your family can trust and rely on. We highly recommend you ask to see a jeweler’s degrees, certificates, and memberships, especially if you have any doubts regarding their jewelry repair work or skills. A trustworthy jewelry repair team will be more than happy to share this information with you to put you at ease.

 

  1. Do You Provide a Written Quote?

Before you leave your jewelry for services, ask for a written, detailed receipt. This should include a quote for all foreseeable costs to give you an idea of what to expect upon completion. While there may be additional repairs needed upon closer inspection, a written quote helps you prepare for the possible costs involved.  

A reputable jewelry repair team should provide you with paperwork that covers:

Typed out quote and total due on paper
  • work needed upon inspection
  • estimated repair and labor costs
  • time estimates for repairs
  • details of the jewelry item left in their care

 

  1. Can You Guarantee My Stones Will be Returned to My Jewelry?

Sabel Collection 14K Yellow Gold Oval Mocha Diamond Ring With White Diamond

Get to know your jewelry before repairs are needed to help ensure the authenticity of your stones after any cleaning or jewelry repair. Reputable jewelers want you to feel confident about your decision to entrust them with your needs, from wedding ring repairs and watch adjustments to clasp replacements on your tennis bracelet. The more you know about your jewelry, the easier it is to recognize defining characteristics when you pick up your jewelry. If available, bring your diamond certificate with you and ask to examine your stones under a microscope. A trustworthy jewelry repair team will be more than willing to help you identify your stone’s characteristics before and after your jewelry and wedding ring repairs.

 

Limit Wedding Ring Repairs Needed with Routine Cleanings and Inspections

A wedding ring is a treasured piece of your jewelry collection and an investment worth protecting. More than likely, it is an item you wear daily.

Along the way, your wedding ring may endure:

  • accidental bumps and drops
  • chips and scratches
  • exposure to elements, including saltwater and sand
  • dirt, lotions, and oils

 

While all are entirely normal, they can each do their fair share of damage to your diamond and setting. Bi-annual routine cleanings and inspections are highly recommended and may be required to honor your warranty. These preventative visits can help protect you from loss, additional damage, and the need for expensive wedding ring repairs down the road. You’ll also walk out with your ring shining as brilliantly as the first day the engagement ring was slipped onto your finger!

 

What Should I Expect During a Wedding Ring Checkup?

If you return to the jeweler you purchased your diamond ring from, your warranty usually covers the costs of your bi-annual ring cleanings and inspections. If your procrastination stems from lack of time, don't worry, routine cleaning and inspection are generally done while you wait. Honoring your warranty schedule ensures the jeweler’s diamond replacement guarantee should you suffer a loss or significant damage to your stone. We'd say that's well worth the trip every six months!

Your visit will typically include:

14K White Gold Diamond Crossover Band
  • professional cleaning and polishing
  • examination of all prongs
  • inspection for loose stones
  • examining each stone for chips or cracks

 

Professional Cleaning and Polishing Process

While cleaning your ring and other jewelry pieces at home is always recommended, there’s nothing like a thorough bi-annual clean from a professional jeweler. You may undoubtedly be able to remove the surface dirt and lotion on your own. Still, there are many particles and various elements that will always work their way into the nooks and crannies of your diamond jewelry. While you’ll notice improvement with your efforts at home, your diamonds will return to their brilliant sparkle after layers of accumulated dirt and oils are professionally removed.

 

Cleaning Your Diamonds

Man using professional jewelry polishing machine to clean ring

When you take your treasures in for a routine checkup or jewelry repair inspection, ultrasonic cleaners are used to restore their beauty. These professional-grade cleaners utilize high-frequency sound waves and specialty chemicals to clean your luxury jewelry items. The specialized cleaners create bubbles designed to latch onto dirt and grime, even between the most challenging areas of your diamond and setting. The debris is pulled away from the stones by the high-frequency sound waves, forcing them to the surface. Shine is also restored by the use of intense steam that will help remove stubborn dirt and particles.

 

Cleaning Your Metals

Your metals will be polished and buffed to help restore luster and minimize or remove surface scratches. If you own jewelry made of white gold, you can inquire about recoating it with rhodium if it has begun to lose its bright white shine.

 

Reasons to Seek Wedding Ring Repair Services

While there are numerous reasons you may need to seek wedding ring repairs, we’ve compiled a list of the most common repairs we encounter.

Familiarizing yourself with these issues may help you prevent or recognize them and seek professional wedding ring repair services promptly:

Ring repair holder white jeweler repairs ring
  • damaged or missing prongs
  • head replacement
  • replacing and repairing damaged stones
  • resizing of your ring
  • broken shank

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for Prongs

It is a devastating experience to lose a diamond, especially your center stone. Routine visits help ensure your diamond ring’s prongs are in excellent condition and your diamond is secure. However, should an issue with your prongs be found during a routine cleaning and inspection, immediate wedding ring repairs are necessary. Repairing your prongs usually entails a re-tipping or prong replacement.

 

Wedding Ring Repair for Prong Re-tipping

If you have noticed your ring is getting caught on sweaters, blankets, or looking a bit uneven upon self-inspection, those are good signs a prong re-tipping is needed. If the tips have recently begun to wear down, they may be less visible to you but will still be seen at a six-month inspection.

Your jeweler will carefully remove any stones necessary

to re-tip your worn or damaged prongs during your wedding ring repair.

 

Re-tipping a Wedding Ring Involves:

  • determining where the weakest portions of the damaged prong end
  • cutting off the weakened portion
  • creating a new prong tip by soldering it onto your ring’s setting

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for Prong Replacement

Bent or flattened prongs will benefit from being replaced rather than re-tipped, especially on an older ring. Your new prong will be more durable and ensure longevity while securing your stone in place.

Wedding ring repair for prong replacement requires that the jeweler rebuild the damaged or missing prong by attaching new metal to the base of the setting. The prong is carefully recreated to ensure it will adequately secure your diamond.

 

The Importance of a Skilled Jeweler

Jeweler examining a necklace in a dark room under a light at his desk

A professional wedding ring repair jeweler is vital, as the heat necessary to re-tip and replace a prong can result in damage to your stone, including cracking or discoloration. Some rings are designed in such a way that removing all nearby stones is not possible. This requires your expert wedding ring repair team to perform soldering techniques with a high-tech laser. Expertise and precision are vital to protect your stones during the wedding ring repair process.

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for Head Replacements

The head of your wedding ring is responsible for holding and securing your center stone. If weakened or damaged prongs continue to go unrepaired, the head becomes weakened and unable to secure your stone correctly. The head, especially when designed to perch high upon your finger, can experience lots of wear, depending on your daily activities. The overall structure of the head can become compromised, requiring repair or complete replacement. A wedding ring repair expert should inspect the head to evaluate the repair needs and complete them without compromising your wedding ring.

If repairs or replacement is possible, your wedding ring repairs to the head will include:

Rose Gold Round Halo Ring Set
  • consulting with you and selecting a replacement head
  • matching the original head
  • opting for a new style
  • choosing a shorter head to avoid repetitive damages
  • removing of stone
  • removing the damaged head by cutting and heating with a jewelry saw and torch
  • soldering or lasering a new head onto your ring
  • resetting and thoroughly inspecting your stone

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for Damaged Stone

Your jeweler will inspect each stone during a routine cleaning and a wedding ring repair for a separate issue. They may spot chips or fractures that have gone undetected if you’ve missed inspections. There are several factors to consider when deciding if repairing a scratched or chipped diamond is worth the cost of repairs. Let’s take a look at some things to consider:

 

Diamond Size

Hand holding a paper with drawing of diamond

When chips and cracks in a stone are repaired, a small fraction of the diamond’s carat weight will be lost in the repair process. It is generally a minuscule loss - around .02 to .10 ct. - but worth noting if your diamond's carat weight is already relatively small. Consider if the value of your diamond, especially after carat weight loss, is worth the amount you are being quoted to repair it.

Larger diamonds with cracks and chips will suffer a loss of clarity and value. Recutting your stone to implement repairs is wise and may also help with your stone's visual appeal, depending on the chip's location. You should also consider the possibility of a larger stone shattering if a crack is left unrepaired.

 

Setting Replacement

Depending on the location of your chip and the size of your diamond after repairs, the setting may need replacing. If your diamond cannot be reset properly within its original setting, you will incur the new setting and labor costs.

 

Surface Scratches

If your stone has suffered a surface scratch, your wedding ring repair should only require repolishing. Repolishing will still require carat weight loss in the process, but it is typically a small amount.

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for Resizing Your Ring

Close up of yellow flexible measuring tape

While resizing may not seem like a wedding ring repair, it requires special attention and skill to protect the integrity of your ring. Some metals, in particular, should only be done by a wedding ring repair professional, as metals like platinum are more challenging to work with.

There are many valid reasons for considering a ring resizing. Some people consider resizing as they tend to experience weight fluctuations or swelling of the fingers during seasonal changes. Frequent traveling and pregnancy can also affect the comfort of your wedding ring.

Resizing a ring that has become too large can help protect it from accidental damage, particularly to the head and center stone, as it swivels freely on your finger. Loose rings are also at risk for accidental loss, snagging and bending of prongs, and scratching or chipping stones. However, most jewelers will recommend resizing only if you expect changes in your ring’s fit to be relatively long-term.

Frequent resizing, if not done by a trusted wedding ring repair professional, can result in:

  • weakened band structure
  • removal or partial removal of the ring’s signature
  • improper soldering techniques
  • visible depression in the joined area

 

Wedding Ring Repairs for a Broken Shank

Broken gold wedding band with engraved cursive

Your wedding ring is not indestructible, so it should come as no surprise that jewelers often see broken shanks in need of wedding ring repair service. Your ring undergoes quite a bit of wear and tear from your daily activities. Compounded over the years, you have to admit, that's quite a bit of stress and pressure your band endures. Sometimes, your metal suffers a fracture at the base of the shank, requiring professional wedding ring repair.

Much like a resizing, a wedding ring repair for a broken shank may require an additional piece of metal to close the gap. Soldering tools are used to mend the broken shank, followed by any necessary reshaping and quick polishing.

 

Quality Jewelry Repair at Fink’s Jewelers

At Fink’s, we pride ourselves on providing you with superior jewelry repair services. Our highly qualified jewelry repair specialists possess the knowledge, training, skill, and experience necessary to provide exceptional jewelry and wedding ring repair services. We stand behind the quality of our jewelry repairs, inspections, and cleanings and offer you a one-year satisfaction guarantee.

You’ll find on-site jewelry repair services for all your Fink’s purchases, as well as jewelry purchased from other jewelers.

We provide you with a full inspection and estimates for all your jewelry repair and service needs, including:

Dot Sterling Silver 6.5mm Bracelet
  • cleaning and polishing
  • ring sizing
  • diamond and gemstone repairs and repolishing
  • setting and prong repairs
  • necklace and bracelet clasp repairs and replacements
  • necklace length extension
  • replacement of watch battery
  • removing or adding watch links
  • cleaning and repairs for timepieces

 

Exceptional Watch Repairs and Services

Our jewelry repair team includes expertly trained luxury watch repair specialists located in many of our stores. Our certified watch repair staff is available to provide routine cleaning and thorough preventative services for all your watch repair needs. We are happy to offer services to your timepiece purchased from another jeweler.

You’ll find exceptional repairs and services, including:

  • battery change
  • polishing, cleaning, and lubricating
  • adding, removing, and inspecting watch links
  • repairing and replacing clasps
  • movement repair

 

What You Can Expect from Fink’s Watch Repairs and Services

Our watch services include a meticulous inspection to ensure we uncover and address all issues. Our experts will contact you and provide a complete report of all findings, repairs, and recommendations, along with time and pricing estimates. At Fink’s, each estimate will include materials, labor, and shipping options if necessary. We can also work with you to try to accommodate any expedited timeframes you may need, if possible.

 

A Leader in Luxury Timepiece Repair

Our extensive Swiss timepiece knowledge allows us to address all your designer timepiece questions and concerns. Fink's Jewelers is proud to be a Preferred Rolex Watch Service Provider. We know your Rolex is a treasured piece that is known for its impeccable design and quality.

Built to be passed on through generations, the care, maintenance, and continued value of your Rolex is vital to us. Our jewelry repair specialists have worked closely with Rolex specialists, been trained by the best, and are honored to be an Authorized Rolex Watch Service Center.

As a trusted authorized Rolex repair provider, we are held to their standards of excellence, which include:

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in Gold
  • striving for the restoration of each Rolex to its original functional specifications and appearance
  • attending rigorous Rolex watch service and repair training
  • adoption of the Rolex Watch Service Procedure
  • rigorous testing of timekeeping and movement accuracy before returning to the owner
  • testing to ensure water resistance upon completion of repairs
  • providing a standard two-year Rolex Service Guarantee

 

Fink's Jewelry Repair Guarantee

We are confident in our skills and guarantee the quality and integrity of our jewelry repair work. If for any reason, you are not satisfied with your cleaning, inspection, or repair, we want to address your concerns. We offer a one-year guarantee from your service date at the original location of the repairs.

 

What to Expect from a Fink’s Inspection

Woman inspecting jewelry on a table with microscope

To provide you with a thorough inspection and accurate estimates for your piece, we must physically inspect your jewelry on site. Please plan to leave your jewelry with our jewelry repair specialist if necessary. Our repair team will inspect each concern, while thoroughly examining the watch in its entirety. We will contact you with detailed findings as well as any quotes for services recommended.

 

The Cost of Jewelry Repairs

Upon inspection, we will base your jewelry repair costs on the item and the type of repairs needed. Our specialists will provide you with an estimate, including work needed, labor, materials, and any applicable shipping costs.

 

Jewelry Repair Timeframe

Top half of a old fashioned copper clock against floral background

From watches to wedding ring repair, each timeframe will vary. Upon full inspection, our jeweler will call with any updates, additional costs, and an approximate timeframe for your jewelry repair.

 

Helpful Tips for Caring for Your Fine Jewelry

The scheduled maintenance of your jewelry can vary among style, stone, and metal. It's essential to familiarize yourself with your warranty to ensure you maintain the required inspection schedule. In between your routine checkups, it's essential to properly care for your diamonds to help avoid the need for jewelry repairs in the future. Our knowledgeable team has put together some of their top tips for properly caring for your luxury items at home:

 

Cleaning Your Diamond Jewelry at Home

Proper care of your diamond jewelry requires patience and a gentle touch. Try to get in the habit of bi-weekly cleanings for the jewelry you wear daily. This usually includes your wedding rings and earrings.

You may be surprised at the buildup your jewelry can accumulate in two weeks from the use of ordinary products you don’t think twice about, including:

Pink bottles of lotion, cream, and spray

  • lotion
  • soap
  • detergent
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • cooking spray
  • baking ingredients

 

When cleaning your ring at home, there are two available options to consider:

 

  1. Warm, Soapy Water

While it may seem too simple, a bowl of warm, soapy water is ideal for cleaning your wedding ring and other jewelry items. This trusty method is suitable for all stone and metal types, as it is gentle enough on your jewelry but tough enough to remove a week's worth of grime easily. A thirty-minute soak is typically ideal; use a soft toothbrush to remove extra debris. Rinse your ring thoroughly under warm running water to ensure you remove all soap residues.

 

  1. Chemical-Free Jewelry Cleaners

If you choose to use a store-bought jewelry cleaner or polish, do your research first. Get to know your stones and metals and the specific care each requires. Talk to your jeweler for their safe cleansing and polishing recommendations. Under no circumstances should you use acetone, bleach, or chlorine to clean your jewelry.

Your jewelry cleaners should always be:

  • chemical-free
  • non-abrasive
  • safe for your specific stones and metals

 

Storing Your Jewelry and Watches      

When you aren’t wearing your timepiece or fine jewelry pieces, we highly recommend storing them in their original box or pouch for optimal safety. Additionally, you can use a soft flannel pouch or a high-quality watch or jewelry box lined for protection.

Proper storage of your jewelry collection will help protect it from:

  • dust
  • water
  • exposure to harsh chemicals
  • accidental damage

 

Remove Your Jewelry for Household Chores

Try to develop a habit of removing your fine jewelry pieces for household activities that may increase exposure to harmful elements. This may include cleaning with harsh chemicals or spending an afternoon working in the garden.

Trust your fine jewelry in the hands of specialists who care. Fink’s is here for all your jewelry repair and cleaning needs.