On Repairs, Restorations and Alterations

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Spring is here and folks are getting out there Summer jewellery and I am being inundated with requests to do repairs, restorations and alterations.

This chain / necklace below will probably not need a repair from normal wearing for hundreds of years. It was made by a knowledgeable goldsmith who used quality materials and put in the time needed to make it right. It can easily be made longer or shorter or altered as needed. Unlike this piece, most jewellery is not made to be anything but sold.

Handmade sterling chain with toggle closure
Handmade sterling chain with toggle closure

Let me explain the issues.

  • I am busy making new jewellery and have little time for repairs.
  • I will repair jewellery that I made, that is a given.
  • I will preferentially repair or alter jewellery that belongs to my past clients.
  • Generally speaking, I regard a “minor alteration” to be a repair and a “major alteration” to be a new piece.
  • Repairs take time to do properly and time does cost money. Another reason to purchase quality in the first place. Quality seldom breaks, is usually repairable and IS usually worth repairing when it is damaged.
  • I do not repair for stores.
  • There is a waiting list for repairs or alterations.
  • Ring re-sizing and re-tipping are common tasks and usually done with a short turnaround. I only use premium cadmium free Plumb solders. That means that your 18K jewellery is still 18K after the repair.
  • There is a minimum $100 cost.
  • Not all jewellery is financially worth repairing. It is surprising to me how many people believe that their jewellery is made of quality materials. Much of the modern jewellery marked Pd, 18K, 14K and 925 / Sterling is bogus. They are often plated base metal or plated plastic. Other pieces may be made of precious metals but the components are often poorly assembled.
  • Most commercially made chain is made with a solder core for automated soldering. It looks beautiful when new BUT can be very difficult, and often impossible, to repair properly. Many people purchase commercial chain because it is cheap – well that is because it is usually cheaply made.

So, armed with that information, please evaluate your jewellery repair and alteration needs. If you do decide that a piece is worth repairing or altering, then I invite you to contact me for an estimate.

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