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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/water stains on white gold wedding band?

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Question
hi there!

a few weeks ago I took my wedding band to a jeweler to have it re-sized (bigger)and put diamonds into the other half (we only had diamonds half way around the band, and wanted diamonds all the way around).

Now the wedding band has what looks like water stains on it. I did not notice it until the other day - so perhaps 2 weeks after receiving it back from the jeweler. These stains were not there before the re-sizing/re-modelling.
Both the wedding band and the engagement ring were hand made to my design in Australia. The engagement ring is not showing any water stains.

Would you have any idea what could cause this?
many thanks

Debbie

Answer
Dear Debbie,

Was the engagement ring sized or just the engagement band? This could explain why the “spotting” is on one and not the other.

Regardless, I suspect the spotted appearance is due to heat from brazing (if a piece was added to change the size of the band or this is a result of poor rhodium plating.  White gold is routinely electroplated (typically with rhodium) to improve the whiteness of the metal, whether or not brazing was part of the job because typical polishing steps needed after sizing work will remove rhodium if present.  Faulty procedure or contaminated plating solution may lead to the problem, whether the electroplate is rhodium or palladium. (Palladium plate is sometimes substituted for rhodium but is uncommon in my experience.)

Another possibility is surface texture which was created during the work and not completely removed in refinishing steps to restore the original appearance.

The answer to restoration of the ring surface appearance is with the jeweler who did the job.  I suggest you visit the jeweler with the rings and ask for an explanation for the spotting and that the ring be refinished to remove the unwanted appearance.

Could the “water spots” be a result of something happening after the ring work was done?  It is possible depending on the metal mix in the alloy making up the wedding set for environmental chemicals to affect the metal.  The normal culprit is chlorine, as in swimming pools, hot tubs and cleaning/disinfecting products.  White gold is quite easily damaged by chlorine leading to metal cracking in gold with longer times of exposure.  Spotting is also possible.

Debbie, I hope the jeweler will have an easy means to bring the ring back to the appearance you desire.

God Bless and Peace.    Thomas.

P.S.  Was this answer late getting to you?  If so, I apologize for a situation beyond my control. During the last year or so receiving notifications of pending questions has been somewhat unreliable compared to previous years. All-experts is aware of this.

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Thomas

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to jewelry...wow, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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