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Don’t Try This at Home: 7 Jewelry Repairs You Should Leave to the Pros

Written by Anna Currell
April 24, 2023

When your jewelry breaks, it can be tempting to try and fix it yourself. While some jewelry repairs are easy to perform on your own, there are some that are better left to professionals. Lots of these repairs can only be performed safely and effectively using specialized tools, skills, and experience, so it’s best to find a great jeweler who can take care of them for you. Here are seven jewelry repairs you should leave to the professionals.

#1: Resizing a Ring

Ring resizing is a really common repair, since it’s all too easy to end up with the wrong ring size. Even if we start out with a perfect fit, our ring size can fluctuate over time due to seasonal changes or weight changes. Even though it’s popular, ring resizing is actually a complicated process that requires specific expertise and tools (like a jeweler’s saw and blade, a ring mandrel, and extra metals). Getting the right size can be tricky since it involves heating the band to break it open and either add or remove metal with a soldering iron. A jeweler will even be able to help you find your perfect ring size if you’re not sure how to measure it yourself


#2: Replacing Watch Batteries

Changing a watch battery may seem simple, but attempting this tricky repair yourself can potentially damage the watch (especially if it’s a waterproof model). The battery replacement process involves opening up the watch and exposing the mechanism, so it’s easy to get dirt or dust lodged inside. In addition, finding the right watch battery to replace your old one can be a challenge of its own. See a watch repair specialist or jeweler who can make the swap safely for you, and even service your watch or give it a good cleaning while they’re at it. 


#3: Engraving

Engravings can make your jewelry even more special than it already is. Whether you’re carving a quote, a date, or initials to add that personal touch, engraving is a tricky skill that requires precision and technique. Professional jewelers will either engrave your jewelry by hand, use a machine with a rotating cutter, or use a laser engraving machine. From the heavy machinery to the fine touch required, you definitely don’t want to try this one at home.


#4: Cleaning Antique Jewelry

Lots of heirloom or antique jewelry pieces come with long, meaningful histories, but they’re also usually delicate after years of wear. That’s why antique jewelry requires special care and attention. A jeweler can perform steam cleaning and polishing with specialized equipment and they’re trained to handle antique jewelry with extra care. 


The aquamarine in this rose gold ring needed a good cleaning to show off its original beauty.

#5: Removing Scratches from Gemstones

Unfortunately, scratching a gemstone can be easy, especially if it’s low on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Softer gems like pearls or opals are particularly prone to scratching, but it’s even possible to scratch the most durable stones, like diamonds. Removing a scratch can be tricky; a jeweler will use a polishing machine to buff out the scratch or may even recut the stone in extreme cases. Trying to polish or sand down a gemstone without the right equipment can ruin the gemstone if you’re not careful, so always be sure to see an expert for help. 


#6: Rebuilding Prongs

When a prong doesn’t hold its gemstone securely in place, you could risk snagging the prong on something or losing the gemstone entirely. But to fix a prong correctly, you’ll need soldering equipment, prong lifters, metal materials, etc., not to mention knowledge about how to keep a gemstone securely in place. While it may seem like a tiny fix, repairing a prong is actually a difficult task. A professional jeweler can also offer guidance about alternative solutions, like finding a better setting for your gemstone or even sourcing a gemstone that fits better in the existing prong setting.


#7: Cleaning Jewelry with Ultrasonic Machines

Ultrasonic cleaning machines can damage some types of jewelry, like soft or porous stones, so be sure to find a jeweler who can determine the appropriate method for each piece you want to have cleaned. To clean your pieces at home, keeping it simple is always best: use warm water with just a few drops of dish soap to gently clean your jewelry, and thoroughly dry it with a soft cloth when you’re done soaking. This solution works well in between visits to the pros, but an ultrasonic cleaner is a great way to make sure that your jewelry gets thoroughly cleaned. Be sure to take your pieces to a jeweler twice a year to get the proper deep clean your jewelry deserves.  

For these popular jewelry repairs, and any other repairs that make you feel uncertain, you should always consult a trusted jeweler. Our team of jewelry experts at Quick Jewelry Repairs would be happy to give you a hand — take a look at our comprehensive repair menu to see how our jewelers can help you get your pieces back to their beautiful, original state.

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