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Jewelry Making/Brittle gold


QUESTION: Recently I had two rings crack into pieces. I was swimming in a salt water pool on a cruise ship at the time, but Not sure if that is a factor. One of the rings is about 40 years old but was purchased new. I think it was 14 kt. It was worn very thin and I noticed while swimming that a portion of it was gone. Then later the same day, I noticed a stone was missing from another ring. This ring was a new custom made casted ring. I also believe it was 14 kt but not sure. When I noticed the stone missing I pulled the ring off and it broke into three pieces in my hand. What caused this?

ANSWER: Cindi,
Chlorine stress cracking is a chemical reaction between gold jewelry and chlorine. Chlorine dissolves the alloys found in white and yellow gold and can cause vintage as well as new pieces of jewelry to break. The pool on the cruise ship probably had a high level of chlorine as most public  pools do. I don't recommend wearing any jewelry in them.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your reply.  I had no idea, but will definitely keep that info in mind when swimming in the future.  I was told that the pool is a salt water pool, so does it still contain chlorine?

Yes NaCl (salt) is sodium & chlorine it ts broken down in a salt water pool & still can affect jewelery, it's just not as hard on the body as chemical chlorine, and not as much is needed in a salt water pool. I wouldn't encourage you to wear jewelry there or in the ocean either.
all the best.

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Chris Eilertsen


I have been in the Jewelry Industry 20 years and Apprenticed as a silver smith took classes in Casting sculpting repair and trained under master gold and silver smiths as well as some experience in Faceting and diamond cutting and polishing for repair. Plating, Wax work, Diamond Setting, Engraving, Carving, Mold Making, design, some watch repair, tool making, enamel work, refining, mining, sales, sand blasting, casting. Have worked in Platinum, Gold, Silver, Pewter, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum,Steel,Titanium,Wood, Plastic, and Stone. 10 years Appraisal work in Jewelry.


20 years commercial experience in Repair Manufacturing and sales of Jewelry 3 years school 4 year apprentice. Worked on the duplication of the treasure found on the Spanish Galleon Maravalla by Dr. Cecil Humphreys. Traveled with and manufactured the souvenirs and miscellaneous replicas from the King Tut Exhibit when it visited the US.

Former member AGTA and GIA and a ten year member of Memphis Jewelers association. 17 years experience in Tuscon Jewelry shows buying and selling.

JCK Tuscon Show Gude

Classes at MSU and The Memphis art academy in Jewelry sculpting, Specialized Repair school, and 2 apprenticeships in Silversmithing from Juelius Astor, and Goldsmithing from Katchic Yacubian both masters for over 35 years each.Studied with Dr. Richard Prilliman, and several others.

Awards and Honors
JCK Tuscon Show honorable mention in design.

Past/Present Clients
Dr. Cecil Humphreys Finder of the Spanish Galleon Maravalla, The Vanderbilts, Miscellaneous repair antique estate pieces. Elvis Presley Repair and Appraise 2 pieces of jewelry. Rifat Hassan and Nihall Mumtaz With the King Tut Exhibit. Trade work for over 36 Major Chains from Zales to Sams.

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