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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/enamel fix on 18K gold jewelry


I have a Fred Paris cat/leopard brooch in solid 18K gold with enamel (leopard black spots) that had a small missing piece of enamel (one black spot on the tail). Can I buy an enamel glass paint from a craft store to fix that missing enamel? Is it possible to fix that missing enamel?
Thank you.


Dear Kim,

It will be quite difficult to find a jeweler willing to accept your brooch for repair of the missing enamel if the intention is to replace the missing section with true fired glass enamel. Enamel is confused with paints and with true glass enamel as used in your brooch and fine jewelry. True fired enamel is a powdered glass, placed properly on the metal then fired in an oven hot enough to melt the glass. The glass forms a glossy solid section of glass on the gold. To replace the fired glass enamel will but the rest of the brooch as risk and is a rather involved process.

A jeweler may accept the job if the missing enamel is replaced with a simulated enamel, a form of epoxy resin which is heated at a relatively low temperature(perhaps 300║f) for about an hour to cure. This low heat will not damage the rest of the brooch unless heat sensitive gemstones are present. Then, if gems are in the brooch, another method must be used with much lower warmth and a greatly extended time to cure the resin. The result is glossy and looks more like fired glass enamel than most replacements would. One brand of this resin material is at the link below. The item is Colores«. Another brand name and one which I have used is Ceramit«.

There are several types of paints for glass, not paint made of glass. Some are designed to cure to a relatively durable surface with different levels of shine. The link below is just one example:

Kim, at this point, a visit to a better crafts or art supply store is in order to see what is available which will cure with a durable hardness and suitable gloss to match the original enamel as best can be done with a painted material. Tell the sale person what is your need and perhaps purchase a small container to try on another surface first.  You need to see if you are able to apply the glass paint with good control and if the cured paint is a good simulation for the missing enamel on the brooch.  A Fred Paris brooch is certainly worth taking the time to see what works best.  With a bit of practice, you may very well be able to do the repair yourself.  Gloss glass paints should do well for this repair but other materials may do just as well.  Ask the opinion of the seller and get recommendations for which products will do best for your gold brooch.

A basic word to keep in mind: The area where the resin or paint is applied must be clean and free of old enamel and cleaned with alcohol or similar solvent to remove any traces of skioil from handling and wear. A very clean surface on the gold helps assure a good bond of the enamel-like material to the gold.

Best wishes with your fine brooch.  God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.  

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

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