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How to Fix Broken Earrings

Written by Annabelle
January 15, 2019

You know when you look at something broken, there’s that sinking feeling of “Oh no…this really can’t be fixed?” We completely understand that, especially when it comes to earrings. And hey, it happens- those things are itty bitty pieces of metal.

Fortunately for you, there’s no such thing as impossible. We’ve resurrected multiple pairs of broken earrings from the graveyard at the bottom of everyone’s jewelry box with a simple touch of laser soldering. Read on to find out how we fix broken earring posts in the blink of an eye.

The Broken Earring Repair Process:

  1. Assess the damage: Earrings and earring backs come in a variety of shapes and sizes; you’ve got regular post earrings, clip-ons, leverbacks, hoops, and the list goes on. The damage done to each type can vary. Long dangly earrings usually have trouble with jump rings (the small hoops that connect components together), especially if they’re heavy and long. Post earrings will occasionally snap off, leaving you with the front piece and a tiny stick of metal that is of absolutely no use to you in its sad state.

    broken-earrings gold-earrings

    A pair of gold earrings; the one on the left is falling apart.

  2. Take note of the metal: Whether it’s costume jewelry or fine jewelry, it makes no sense to repair an item with the incorrect metal. The issue with earrings is that a lot of them come in without stamps to indicate the composition. In that situation, we usually metal test the piece to see what it’s made out of it before proceeding to work. If it’s a plated item (a layer of colored or precious metal over another base metal) we work with caution, because the process of fixing the item can affect the color.

    broken-earrings white-gold

    White gold earrings

  3. Soldering and Repair: The real work starts here. Soldering is a technique that is used to mend broken metal objects. A metal alloy with a low melting point (simply referred to as “solder”) is melted and used to reconnect the broken pieces together, similar to an adhesive. Jewelers can either solder by hand or use a laser soldering machine for finer work; in the case of earrings, most prefer to use laser.

    broken-earrings soldering

    A jeweler in the process of soldering

  4. Polishing: Once the soldering’s finished, the item goes to polishing. The polisher uses a variety of different wheels in order to buff the earring to the correct finish, like high-polish, matte, satin, etc. After polishing is complete, it goes to plating and cleaning.

    broken-earrings polished

    A pair of earrings being polished

  5. Plating: For costume jewelry, the soldering work will be very apparent and any plating on the item may have worn off in the process. Re-plating it with the appropriate metal restores the original look of the item. For fine jewelry, such as white gold, plating is applied to protect the base metal. This plating is usually rhodium plating, which gives the metal a brighter silvery color and is meant to protect the item from daily wear.

    broken-earrings plating

    A single gold-tone stud with clear signs of discoloration

  6. Cleaning: Earrings are cleaned via the ultrasonic or steam cleaner, which knocks out any residue from wear or polishing. The ultrasonic cleaner is a tank of water or solvent that uses soundwaves to create bubbles. These bubbles get into the nooks and crannies that cannot be reached via normal means. The steam cleaner, on the other hand, blasts the item with high-pressure steam in order to remove oils and grime. A combination of both cleaners ensures that your earrings come out of the repair process all nice and sparkly.

    broken-earrings jewelry-cleaning

    A ring being cleaned with high-pressure steam

So don’t weep over broken earrings- they’re fixable, and we can do it for you! Our jewelers are experienced professionals when it comes to dealing with ear accessories, and they’ve restored a bewildering variety of pieces. Whether they’re falling apart, chewed up by the dog, or sat on by your toddler, you can trust us to fix the damage. Get started with any of our earring repair services below.

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