What No One Tells You About Repairs
Three lesser-known truths of the trade
There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to repairs. While jewelry looks pretty sitting in cases and on display, the truth is a lot of it isn’t built to last. When it comes to repairs, few people working in jewelry shops are Master Goldsmiths, laser welders or experts in fabrication. This means they might do unnecessary work (which ends up costing more), use materials that leaves holes in the jewelry, or not understand the different stages of the jewelry making process.
Considering knowledge is power, here are the three major things no one will tell you about repairs. Hopefully this information will equip you with the right questions to help you make an informed decision next time you have a jewelry repair need.
There’s a million ways to get a finished product. We see a lot of sloppy work out there and clean up a lot of peoples repairs—from crooked heads and stones to re-building prongs. When you re-build stuff, you’re using gold wire, not solder. You’re micro-melting gold back on gold. So you’re not filling a hole with gold solder, you’re filling it with gold. This gives you a like-new repair. Solder is meant to join pieces together, not build something up.
The Problem: A lot of times we can’t fix sloppy work until we take it down to care bones. We can’t lay on top of bad work. Other times, large retailers will charge for a replacement of an entire piece of the jewelry, because they can’t isolate the problem and fix only what’s necessary, so you’ll end up paying way more than necessary.
Often the person taking in a repair has no idea what they’re talking about. So they’re trained to just fix the whole thing, because it covers the sales person if anything goes wrong. We’re not going to replace entire pieces if they don’t need it—we only the work that’s necessary. We guarantee all of our work for a year—we know what to do and how to do it. If we can’t guarantee the repair will last, we won’t do it.
The Problem: They charge more to do a worse job.
Most stores send repairs to people like us to do the work because they don’t have the ability to do it in-house. They’re going to send it out which will at least double the cost. This is because you have to pay the store, along with the person doing the actual repair. It’s helpful to know if the store has a Master Goldsmith on staff, or if they’re using a laser welder to get a more precise, strong repair. If unsure, shop around until you find someone you trust.
Problem: You end up paying more to get the same job done.
Much of our work is fixing other peoples repairs. These are the most common issues we come across. We hope this informs you and helps you save money and time next time you have a jewelry item to repair.
Do you have any repair stories or questions? Share in the comments below!