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Fine jewelry is susceptible to wear and tear, so always have your fine jewelry checked annually by your jeweler. When jewelry repair needs arise, use our guide to better understand the jewelry repair process so you know what to expect at the jewelry store and get the best service.

It Starts With Trust & Expertise

When considering having a ring or bracelet repaired, you must have confidence in the skill of your jeweler. If you don’t already have a jeweler you trust near you, use our tips for choosing a trustworthy jeweler.

If a jewelry store offers custom design work, most likely they have trained jewelry craftsman on site to perform repairs in house. Of course, there are items – like timepieces – that may need to have repairs done off site. 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.

Certified Experts

Look for jewelry stores with certified jewelers on staff. This includes certifications and education from respected institutions and associations like Jewelers of America, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), American Watchmakers Assocation (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 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: placed on the inside of the bottom of the shank, these accommodate slight discrepancies in size for a half size or less
  • Spring inserts placed inside the shank adjusts to 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. Something as simple as exposure to bedsheets or gardening can affect prong strength. 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 completely go over the crown of the stone, ensuring prongs won’t snag clothing.

Jewelry Repair FAQs


Yes. Take it to any jewelry store you have confidence in that has the qualifications you trust. Use our JA Jewelry Store Directory to find Jewelers of America member jewelry stores near you.

When you work with a jeweler you trust, like Jewelers of America members, 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 that diamond’s unique characteristics, which you can view again when you retrieve the piece. Some even take a picture of it. Like fingerprints, no two diamonds are exactly alike.

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.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to repair a chipped diamond. This is often a shock considering diamonds are one of the hardest materials on earth. However, if hit or dropped on the right angle it 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.

Find a JA Jeweler

There are over 8,000 JA Member jewelers across America. Find a store near you:
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