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Jewelry Care Part 3: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

Jewelry Care Part 3: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

Long-term care & Restoring, refurbishing and repairing vintage jewelry

Back in part 1 of our Jewelry Care series, we covered light daily/weekly maintenance for your jewelry, and how to care for different materials. In part 2, we broke down the various ways to keep your jewelry in good shape via annual inspections, and more long-term wear repairs.

The most intense method of jewelry care involves the repair and restoration of your pieces. So you’ve got an old heirloom from your grandmother, or you found a one-of-a-kind treasure at a pawn shop, jewelry resale shop or estate sale? Beautiful: you’ve got many options to reinvigorate, restore or recraft your piece of jewelry.

stone replacement

Stone replacement: If you’re looking to replace the stones of a familiar heirloom, a jeweler can measure the opening for the stone to give you a best recommendation of material, carat weight and depth. It’s helpful to have any certifications, photographs or other valuable insight to help recreate the shape and color of the stone(s). Depending on your budget for restoration, the jeweler can provide valuable guidance on stone quality and optional alternatives to fit your price point.prong rebuilding

Rebuilding prongs: The delicate prongs that hold diamonds and precious gemstones can grow worn after years of wearing. Rings are especially prone to damage since they endure a lot more action on your hands. Your annual inspection should involve checking the prongs for any bending or warping. Over time, it may be time to re-forge the strength of your prongs so they can do a proper job of holding on to your stones.

Run your fingers over the top of your pronged jewelry and you should feel small tips sticking out. If the prongs feel smooth, flat or even with the stone, it’s time for a touch up. Known as “retipping,” rebuilding the prongs on a piece of jewelry involves building up the prongs with new gold so that they are durable again. After filing and polishing, your new, durable prongs will look as good as new.

jewelry recreationRecreating an old/broken vintage piece: sometimes, the changes needed to restore a piece involves recreating the metal setting entirely. The jeweler will need the old piece in order to replicate all the details, pop out the stones for repurposing, and produce a computer-aided-design (CAD) for your review. The design will help you see the different angles and provide any additional guidance before the final casting.

ring recreation heirloom

The biggest question of all when it comes to working on priceless family heirlooms: how can I find a jeweler I can trust? Once you hand that piece over, it’s important to do your homework and find a knowledgeable, quality jeweler with extensive experience in a wide breadth of materials and styles. And, preferably a jeweler who won’t take three months while charging an arm and a leg.

Lucky for you, our custom experts can turn around repairs and new custom pieces in as little as two weeks. Our design staff has over four decades of fine jewelry wisdom when it comes to sturdy-yet-fashionable styles, material integrity and craftsmanship. And since our expertise lies in diamonds and gemstones, our staff is familiar with stone hardness, color and quality matching, and the cuts that suit certain stone types the best. We want to help restore your beautiful jewelry to its glory days. We’re only a phone call or appointment away.

Megan Davis, Contributor
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