Stress Cracking and Prong Failure

Few things can be as upsetting to a jeweler as having a customer return a ring due to prong failure. In some cases, the stone has fallen out and has been lost. This causes additional problems such as replacement cost, possible damage to the jeweler’s reputation, and the likelihood of liability. Also, many pieces have sentimental value, which cannot be restored by even the most skilled craftsman. Continue reading

Pickle: Cleaning up after Soldering

When you heat up your work for soldering and reach the temperature at which solder flows, you are also creating oxides on the surface of your metal that mar its appearance. In November, we dealt with removing a particularly tricky oxide called fire scale. Other surface oxides are easier to remove, and for these the jeweler can use an acid solution commonly called pickle, which will also remove the residue of flux at the same time. You can also remove these oxides by abrasion using files or abrasive paper, but using a pickle is more efficient. Continue reading

Restoring a Hollow Bangle

Jewelry brought in for repair reflects the increasingly competitive marketplace for inexpensive fine jewelry. With care, however, you can repair it and keep your customer happy.

A word of caution: The procedures shown here represent standard practices commonly used by jewelers across the country. Nonetheless, working with acids, solvents, torches, sharp tools, spinning tools, etc. can be hazardous. Learn about potentially harmful procedures and take the appropriate steps to protect yourself. Continue reading