Industry Trends in Jewelry Repair 

The jewelry repair industry in the US has remained steady from 2017 – 2022 with the main goal of bringing jewelry back to its original brilliance. Revenue on jewelry repair focuses more on ring sizing, shank repair, prong repair, loose gemstone repair, and repair of chain and clasp.  

On average, jewelry repair services contribute 15%, or sometimes even more, of a jewelry store’s revenues. It also accounts for about 60% of foot traffic. Given this data, jewelry repair should always be part of the services offered by jewelry stores. 

While customers often resort to do-it-yourself tips on how to store, clean, and fix jewelry, jewelers should emphasize to customers that jewelry should be checked  by a reputable jeweler at least once a year and repairs only done by the experts to prevent further damage. 

When jewelry is taken for repair, the jeweler will examine the damage and provide a quote for the work that needs to be done. Jewelry insurance can take care of the expenses  if the jewelry is insured and requires extensive repair. 

Not all repairs are done in the jewelry store. Most jewelry stores only do standard repairs in-house such as fixing a broken chain and ring resizing. Complicated repairs are done at a jewelry workshop.

It is easy to spot a good-quality jewelry repair: The spot where work was done will not be noticeable. The repaired area will have the same luster and color as the other parts of the jewelry. 

A good jewelry repair job was done if there are no visible tools and hammering marks. If some cutting was done, the marks and seams have been smoothened. As for a repaired chain, the new link will not change the flow of the chain. Neither will the new link stick out. 

Types of Jewelry Repair

Here are some of the most common types of jewelry repair offered by many jewelry stores. 

1. Ring Sizing

This is the most common type of jewelry repair. Jewelers suggest that rings should be taken off once in a while, preferably every night. But not too many people heed this suggestion. The ring should typically be able to slide on when taken  off. A little wiggling to make it come off is still fine. Sometimes customers will have a swollen finger or perhaps gained some weight making it difficult to take off the ring. 

Soaping the finger or spraying down some Windex to lessen the surface tension between the skin and ring can sometimes do the trick of easily taking off the ring,

If this trick does not work, a goldsmith will have to cut a small opening at the bottom of the shank. If the ring is going to be made bigger, the shank is opened to the right size by adding some metal. If the ring is going to be made smaller, the right amount of metal is removed. The ring is then shaped and polished. 

Ring Sizing

2. Prong Repair

The prong mount or prong setting is what secures a gemstone to a piece of jewelry.

 Prongs are round with a spherical tip. The prongs look like small beads embracing the edge of the stone. Large round prongs can look awkward but they are used for setting large stones. 

Over time, the prongs will tend to flatten. The top of the prong which is typically round becomes flat. This is a normal occurrence where less of the metal is keeping the gem in place. The gem could fall off if the prong completely wears away. 

Repairing the prong depends on how flat it has become. Sometimes only one prong needs to be repaired. More often, more than one needs to be repaired. A small piece of new metal is soldered. In some cases, most of the prong is replaced.

3. Stone Replacement

Damaged prongs can cause damage to the stone. A strong blow can also damage the stone. Upon routine inspection, a jeweler can determine a chipped or loose stone. 

Stone replacement is not always due to a lost or damaged stone. Sometimes, customers want to upgrade the stone of their ring.

4. Chain Repair

A repaired chain is typically never as strong as it was before the repair. Chains are more difficult to repair because of their complexities-, especially herringbone chains, link chains, cable chains, and rope chains.

Repaired flat chains are almost undetectable. However, very small, lightweight, or severely damaged chains may have some stiffness in the surrounding links after the repair.

If the chain breaks, it is repaired using the same type of metal to solder the chain together. A broken clasp can be replaced with a new one.

5. Shank Repair

A ring’s shank is typically called the band. It  is the portion of the ring that encircles the finger. The shank affects the design of the ring and how it feels when worn. 

Many think platinum, gold, and other metals are used in jewelry because they are hard and will not easily break. But it is normal for  jewelry to wear over time. The pressure and stress can cause a fracture in the  jewelry. More often, the fracture will be at the bottom of the shank. 

It can be difficult to see a broken shank coming because there is often no sign of impending damage until it happens. Shank damage is caused by stress and wear such as when the weight of a dumbbell is pressed on the ring, the shank will break because it is much thinner. 

Shank repair is similar to resizing, instead that the cut has already been caused by the damage. Thus, the cut is soldered to bring the round shape of the ring back. 

6.  Loose Gemstone Repair

Over time, the gemstone will get loose within its setting. It will start to spin or bounce back and forth. The gemstone can also get loose when it hits something hard. 

A loose gemstone needs immediate repair so it does not fall off and get lost. Sometimes, a loose gem can only be noticed when placed under the scope during regular cleaning and maintenance. 

A loose gemstone is often repaired by tightening the prongs. When the prong is worn, the repair is done by re-tipping one or more prongs to make sure the gem sits snug. 

7. Jewelry Cleaning

Residue from soap and lotion can stick to your jewelry. Jewelry cleaning is probably the bulk of a jewelry store’s repair services. Jewelry cleaning entails a quick dip in polish and steam to bring back its luster. 

Final Words

It can be easy to fix jewelry. Jewelers do repairs every day to restore precious jewelry to its original condition and beauty. 

Not all jewelry repairs, though, will have the same quality. It is important that jewelry stores get the trust of customers, especially for difficult or complex repairs. 

Jewelry that are still covered with a guarantee are typically brought for repair to the store they were purchased. PIeces of jewelry customers may have for quite some time are brought for repairs to jewelers they trust. 

It is important for  jewelry stores to offer jewelry repair services. Master jewelers who can do high-quality repairs are often high in demand but lacking in supply. These industry experts often have hundreds of complex jewelry repairs to complete every month. 

As long as there is jewelry, there will always be a need for jewelry repair services. Having skilled jewelers and the right resources can make good income for your jewelry store. 

Jewelry Repair Articles