Despite cleaning and storage efforts, fine jewelry is susceptible to wear and tear. Know what to expect when you bring your pieces in to the jewelry store and better understand the process when jewelry repair needs arise.

It Starts With Trust & Expertise

When considering having a piece of jewelry repaired, you must have confidence in the skill of your jeweler. If you don’t already have a trusted jeweler, there are some things to look for in a jewelry retailer. Start by checking that the jewelry store is a member of Jewelers of America so you know your jewelry is in skilled hands and the repair will be performed professionally and ethically. If a jewelry store offers custom design work, they most likely have trained jewelry craftsmen on-site to perform repairs. However, items like timepieces may need to have repairs done off-site.

Look for jewelry stores with certified jewelers on staff. This includes certifications and education from respected institutions and associations like Jewelers of America – look for the JA Certified icon in our Find a Jeweler directory – the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), American Watchmakers Association (AWA) for specialty watch repairs.

Before You Go

It’s always good to have a sense of the value of the piece for the jewelry store’s insurance purposes. The jeweler will evaluate and give you a quote for the cost and time of the repair work. No work should be done without your permission.

Common Jewelry Repair Issues

In a good jewelry repair, the repaired area has the same color, luster and appearance as the rest of the piece:
  • No hammering or other tool marks are visible
  • No visible seams from cutting and soldering, like in rings or chain repair
  • Stones are tight and secure in their settings (channel, prongs, etc)

Resizing a Ring
If a ring is too loose or too tight, there are a few ways a jeweler can resize your ring:
  • Cutting & soldering: A cut is made and metal is either added or removed to adjust the size to fit. Sizing should be done at the center of the shank bottom, unless there are quality marks or an inscription that precludes it. No seams should be visible when finished.
  • Sizing beads are placed on the inside of the bottom of the shank; these accommodate slight discrepancies in size like half size or less.
  • Spring inserts are placed inside the shank to adjust for 1-2 full finger sizes.

Chain Repair
A chain after being repaired is never as strong as it was before it was broken. While most flat chain repairs are nearly undetectable, if the chain is very small, lightweight or badly damaged, there may be some stiffness in surrounding links after the repair is completed. Chains that are more difficult to repair due to their complexities include link chains, like rope and cable chains, and herringbone chains. Some jewelers may charge extra for these jewelry repairs.

Prong Repair
Constant wear of rings can cause prongs to wear and the potential for losing a precious gemstone to increase. Depending on the severity of the prong wear, they will be replaced, re-tipped by adding a metal to the top of the prong or replacing the entire prong head. When repaired, prongs match in size, shape and dimension. They should go over the crown of the stone completely, ensuring the prongs won’t snag clothing.

Repair FAQs

Can I take my jewelry for repair to a different store than where it was purchased?
Yes. Take it to any jewelry store you have confidence in that has the qualifications you trust. Use our Find a Jeweler directory to find Jewelers of America Member jewelry stores near you.

How do I know I am getting my own diamond back after a repair?
When you work with a jeweler you trust, this shouldn’t be an issue. Still, don’t be afraid to mention your concern; most jewelers are happy to ease your mind. Some jewelers show the diamond to their client under a microscope to indicate the diamond’s unique characteristics, which you can view again when you retrieve the piece. Other jewelers may take a picture of it. Like fingerprints, no two diamonds are exactly alike.

How can I tell if my gemstone or diamond is loose?
In between your regular check-ups at your preferred jewelry store, you can check for loose gemstones by touching them with a toothpick. If the stone moves, bring it to your jeweler for tightening.

My diamond is chipped, can it be repaired?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to repair a chipped diamond. Chips are often a shock considering diamonds are one of the hardest materials on earth; however, if hit or dropped on the right angle, diamonds can splinter. If this happens, the diamond will have to be replaced unless it is large enough to be recut. Make sure your jewelry insurance policy covers chipped diamonds in addition to loss.

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Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.