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Jewelry Work and Ring Repairs

Aug 17, 2007
I never like to hear of problems with jewelry work or even of problems the jeweler might have from customers who have no clue as to what is going on. Good communications is the general solution for either. In your case, first appearances tell me the jeweler may have done less than the best. Then again, I am not there and only working in my thoughts with the words you have sent. Refreshing it is to have questions with enough information to actually work on a viable answer.

I am curious about the prong setting being bent. Unless the ring has a prong setting made originally as part of the ring, not soldered into the ring band but cast with the entire ring, and the ring had to be resized several sizes smaller, there should be no problem with the setting at all. Once in a while with a "made in place setting" when a ring goes down more than 2 sizes the setting can spread apart and the jeweler will have to retighten the stone.

That is fact. To be bent in another matter and I cannot explain that. It simply should not be bent unless bent when brought in to the store in the first place. Then, the person taking in the job should have informed you of that and advised correction work to straighten the setting.

Solder lines and greyish marks. Generally, I see two reasons for these marks. The first is a solder joint and possibly too soft a solder or a mismatched color of solder was used. The line shows the solder color. Sometimes when too soft a gold solder is used, polishing will erode of buff away some of the solder leaving a demarcation line, a slight recess at the solder joint. The fact that the sizing joint showed to your eyes is evidence that the work was not done with due care.

The joint could show for the above reason of buffing away at the joint or even a solder joint which was not properly fluxed and flowed smoothly with well fitted ends where the ring was cut to be sized. This should not happen when the jeweler takes the time and has the expertise to do it correctly. A correct job should show no evidence of a resizing at the solder lines.

A grayish mark may also be where white gold has discolored due to the heat of the torch in soldering the ring. This is generally preventable by application of boric acid to the metal before heat is applied. If not protected, white gold will certainly form a grayish coloration. This may be more what has happened to your ring. The solution is simple: The jeweler simply has to sand off the discoloration and repolish that area.

It should not happen in the first place but when it does a good jeweler will polish off the discoloration. I doubt the mark is a scratch. A scratch is not a different color..but a scratch is a scratch and in only rarely straight across the metal. A scratch does not look like a discolored mark, it looks like, well, like a scratch.

Rhodium is a very hard and durable precious metal. On the spot metals market, rhodium is at $5800/troy ounce. The use of rhodium is to make white gold look whiter. Some folks are hooked on rhodium today, with the newly arisen popularity of white gold. The want absolutely no hint of yellow and rhodium solves that for them.

White gold alloys(the recipes of metal mixes for white gold)are more or less white in color. Some will look white from now on and others will show a slight yellowish tinge over time and exposure to various chemicals in the environment. Rhodium is plated to restore a very white color.

The plate of rhodium may last about a year, depending on the wearer of the jewelry. Rhodium will cover some discoloration in white gold but the gray heat discoloration is not well covered or disguised. Look closely at the ring when done and check for this discoloration at the same places. See if there is a shadow still there, even if not quite as visible. A discoloration from jewelry work torch heat should be buffed away before rhodium is applied for the best results.

Rhodium does not fill scratches. Any electroplate follows the contours of the jewelry to start with. A rhodium plated scratched ring will actually look worse with scratches appearing often more dominant than before. The requisite for good rhodium plating is that the jewelry have as perfect a finish as possible "before" the plate is applied.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.DiamondGems.info/. DiamondGems.info carries the best selection of loose diamonds, diamond rings, and diamond jewelry on the market. Browse through our selection of loose diamonds by size, cut, shape, type, and other features here: http://www.DiamondGems.info/subcategory/loose-diamond.html.
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