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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Ring Enlargements/Repairs

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Question
Hi

I purchased a gold wedding band a couple of years ago and took it to a jeweler here in Chicago (downtown area - "Jewelers Row") for a fitting.

I asked to take the size down since it was too loose on my finger and sliding off (sometimes without my knowing it). Especially in winter.

The place I took it to, they claimed they fitted it "slightly) and didn't charge, as a courtesy.

I kept loosing my ring in winter.

Finally took it to the same place yesterday and also two other rings I needed enlarged.

The repair person said that there would be a "line" where the repair (on the wedding ring) where the cut would be made because the ring has some engraving around the band.  That struck me odd later on after I thought about it, because there was no sign of repair from the first time I brought it in.

I also have a marcasite ring that I wanted enlarged; he said it has a "crack" (on the inside).  Could not find out if that would mean it could not be enlarged/repaired. (The stones go all around the ring in a continuous loop).   

My questions are could a ring with continuous engraving around it be sized down and the repair(s) not be seen and can a "crack" on the inside of a marcasite ring be fixed.

Thank you for your insights.

Connie Wtason

Answer
Dear Connie,

There are tools which will compress a ring(band, no stones) and if done carefully, this may be done with an ring engraved on the outside for perhaps 1/4 size or so.  Some slight change happens with the engraved design but uniformly and may not be noticeable. The ring is "shrunk" not cut, therefore, no cut line.   

A decent hand engraver can often duplicate the original design enough to fool the eye enough to completely hide a cut line  when  a piece must be removed or added. Good engravers are a rare find nowadays.

As for the marcasite ring, a few stones would have to be removed to avoid heat damage in soldering the crack.  Marcasite is a gemstone made of pyrite (fools gold) and is very heat sensitive. It would be very difficult to do this repair without damage to surrounding stones. A jeweler with a laser jewelry welding machine and the skill to use it could possibly weld the crack and provide a strong repair.  Marcasites stones are notorious for being "gently set", that is, with little pressure to avoid damage to the brittle stones.  Do not be surprised for stones to come out and need to be reset or replaced from jewelry work as basic as ultrasonic cleaning and certainly from manipulating a full set band to form a new circle.  Often, jewelers will turn down work on such rings to avoid the risks to the ring and making an unhappy customer.

Best wishes. God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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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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