The Process of Class Ring Repairs
Written by Annabelle
March 28, 2019
Academic pride comes in a variety of forms; a graduation photo, a framed diploma, or a special class ring. These little jewels are the gleaming, shiny sign that you made it through a school- so what to do when they’re no longer gleaming and shiny? Here’s the rundown on how to get class rings fixed.
Why Class Rings are Difficult to Fix
Class rings can be some of the trickiest pieces of jewelry to repair. Almost all class rings have incredibly intricate designs that may include engravings, enameling, and stones. This complexity also extends to rings that were created to indicate membership in certain organizations, such as professional rings, military rings, and other kinds of scholastic class rings.
The physical makeup of the ring can also limit your options when it comes to finding someone to repair the item. Many class rings are made out of tough materials such as stainless steel, tungsten, and commercially-limited alloys that may be specific to a particular manufacturer, such as Jostens. Siladium, for instance, is a particular stainless steel alloy that is used to make high school and college rings. Most jewelers cannot size it, but companies with manufacturing capabilities such as Quick Jewelry Repairs have the equipment to manipulate this type of metal.
Aside from their designs, even the option of sending the ring back to the original manufacturer can be troubling- many people opt to search for someone cheaper. The ring resizing cost for sending it back to Balfour, for example, is comparatively higher than a local jeweler's price because they need to intake the ring and pass it along to the appropriate facility or department for the work.
The Process of Class Ring Repair
The first (and most important) thing a jeweler will do when receiving an item is to give it a thorough examination. Class rings require a lot of evaluation, since the complicated designs can also complicate the repair process. Below is a list of factors to take into account:
- Enameling: Enameling is the process that puts a hard, colored glaze on your ring. It’s a powdered glass mixture that’s “baked” onto the surface of the metal, and over time it can crack and fall off. When exposed to pressure or high heat, it can also melt off, making it difficult for the jeweler to retain the original design of the ring. Many class rings incorporate enamel into their designs to display school colors; Herff Jones rings will almost always contain enamel because they use it to highlight the carvings on the shoulders of the rings.
- Stones: The gems in your item can affect a number of things. Depending on how they’re set, that can severely limit the number of sizes a ring can go up or down in the sizing process. Missing or cracked stones have to be replaced, and in some situations the replacement stone may need custom cutting, as class rings can be quite creative with gem design.
- Metals: Most jewelers do not have the ability to work with stainless steel, which is a popular material for class rings. This is due to the notorious toughness of the metal; it requires special equipment and expertise in order to manipulate it.
Once the jeweler has taken all necessary notes on the ring’s design and materials, they will look at the work needed.
2. Resize, Repair and/or Restore
The repair work varies from ring to ring, but the most common repairs have to do with resizing or fixing the ring’s shank.
Class Ring Resizing
- Many class rings have a flat top, with corner-like “shoulders.” While this design is a classic and easily identifiable as an academic piece of jewelry, it also limits the sizing. If the ring is going up or down too many sizes, this table-like design may possibly become distorted or even collapse.
- Even the resizing process can cause issues. A ring is resized by cutting into the band, and either adding or removing material to size accordingly. The heat that needs to be applied to the metal during this process will melt off any enamel, and potentially burn any faux stones that are made out of plastic or glass.
- To prevent these situations from happening, the jeweler makes use of various techniques and equipment to minimize the heat used during the process, or reduce the area of exposure. He may opt to use a laser soldering machine, or unset any stones to reset them after the sizing process.
Class Ring Shank Repair
- Over time, the shank, or the back of the class ring, can thin out or break from wear and tear. This renders the ring completely unwearable.
- The repair work needed will depend on the extent of the damage. If there is a small crack or cut in the shank, the jeweler can simply solder it shut. If the shank is too thin or broken into pieces, it will require a shank replacement.
- A shank replacement is the process of replacing the shank with a new and thicker strip of matching material in order to create a solid, wearable band. The jeweler fuses the metal at the ends of the ring to make it uniform and even. While this gives the ring a brand new look and allows you to wear it again, it will remove any interior marks, like metal stamps or engravings.
Once the heavy-duty work is finished, the ring is moved to finishing, such as polishing, cleaning, plating, and enameling.
The repair process leaves behind rough and uneven patches of metal, as well as scratches from the jeweler's tools. The polishing process can buff out all of these imperfections, and even create different looks, such as a matte finish.
After polishing, the jewelry must be cleaned, as the polishing and repair work leaves soot and other residue all over the ring. The ring is cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, which is a tank of water that blasts bubbles at the item to remove grime from the tiniest cracks.
Some class rings have details that are gold-plated, and the plating can wear off over time or during repair work. In order to fix the discoloration, the jeweler makes sure that the surface is properly prepared by the polisher before moving it to the plating process. Depending on the work needed, the entire piece is either submerged into a gold-plating tank, or touched up with a plating pen.
The final touch; if enamel was part of the design, it may have been affected during the repair. The jeweler takes note of the original design by referring to a picture taken before work, and re-enamels the ring. The ring is then “baked” or “cured” in order to harden the enamel and fuse it to the surface of the class ring.
You're all set to begin fixing up your own class ring!
Services Mentioned In This Article
Ring Engraving$35.00 Select options
Ring Reshaping$53.00 Select options
Ring Shank Repair$45.00 Select options
My 1979 and my fathers 1944 classrings were burned in a fire. I found them and have wanted to restore them for a really long time.
We can definitely do that! I’ve sent you an email.
My Citadel ring that I never wore cause I was a dentist has become to tight to get on and off without lubricant. Can y’all fix this?
Hi Tommy, we’ve emailed you!
My 1992 classring was lost. Now someone has returned it to me. Now i want to reshape it
We’ve responded to you via email 🙂
I have a Class of 1969 graduation ring BSME Manhattan College not worn very often and with minor exception, in as new condition.
The minor exception is that it has a chip off the thin metal ring holding the stone and it is now several sizes too small.
If I provide you the current size and a photo by email of the metal chip issue, can you quote me a repair estimate?
Absolutely! We’ve just sent you an email.
Your article didn’t mention how to deal with a class ring where the carving designs have worn down over time. Must there be a recasting?
Good question! Our jewelers usually check to see if the carvings are actually worn down first, as many people bring in their ring assuming the designs are gone. Most of the rings are actually encrusted with years of dirt, or they’re missing the black enamel that makes the detailing “pop” out, so a good cleaning and enameling often restores the look.
If it is actually worn down beyond repair, we can do a custom creation and recreate the entire ring.
Hi I have a men 1979 class ring that lost it green stone I need a cost what it would cost to replace the ring is made out of stainless steel.
We’ve emailed you! 🙂
Hello I am writting to see how I can go about getting a a tiny stone replaced. I received my class ring from my grandmother in 2007. She has since passed and its means alot to me. So if someone can let me know price range and where to start.
We’ve responded to you via email 🙂
I have my dads 1977 lamesa high school class ring and it is too small was wondering where I could get it resized if possible thanks
Hi Aaron, we can definitely size that for you! I’ve sent you an email with more details 🙂
Lost a class ring and found one just like it except for the year on the front, can I change it?
Hi Maria, we’ve emailed you!
I have a 1951 Georgetown university ring that I need enlarged. Can you do it?
Hi Karen, we’ve emailed you 🙂
What does it take to resize a college ring from 1981? Also, my signature inside the band starts approximately at the center of the stone and ends in the middle of the back of the ring. Will this affect the resize up process? Will I lose the signature?
Hi Tom, we’ve emailed you!
I have my Grandfather’s Mason ring. I’ve recently been raised a Master Mason myself. Can you recolor or enhance the details of the ring, and reduce it a half size?
Hi David, we can definitely size and re-enamel the ring! We’ve sent you an email for more details.
Major damage to my 2013 ring. I’ve been wanting to get it fixed for so long now
Hi Matt! We can definitely fix that up for you. Can you tell us a little bit more about how it’s damaged?
I have a class ring from 2001 that the gold emblem fell off of can you repair it ?
Hi James, we’ll need to see the piece but if you have the emblem we can definitely reattach it! We’ve emailed you 🙂
Hello, my grandfather has given me his gold class ring from when he was in college. If I am wanting to get it resized, where could I take it to get it resized?
Hi Jim, we can take care of that for you! We’ve emailed you for more details.
I’ve got a US Army ring and the stone in it has broken. Parts of the stone are still attached to the ring. Can the stone be fixed?
Hi there, you’d need an entirely new stone. We’ve emailed you for more details.
Can you change the degree (e.g. DDS to MD) and year on a class ring (‘61 to ‘21)? Thanks!
My friend broke the stone in his class ring,can it be fixed
I would like to get the stone replaced in my class ring. Can you do that?
Hi there, we can help you with that. We’ve reached out to you via email.
How much to replace a stone?
We emailed you!
My 2010 class ring has lost its gems. I want to replace the gems and get the ring gold
Hi there, could you please provide a picture of the ring and tell us what kind of gem you would like to replace? Thank you!
Hi! Is it possible to resize a class ring from size 6 to 7 and also modify the engraving (the year and the high school)? It is a very special ring that has been in my family for 40 years, and it was my mom’s class ring. I attached a picture that is basically identical. It is made out of 10k gold. And if it is possible, how much would it be?
Hi Jane, we can definitely take care of these repairs for you. It will cost around $54 to resize up and will cost around $56 to remove the engravings and re engrave the numbers. Please let me know if you would like to move forward with these services by sending us an email to [email protected]
Thank you! 🙂
My class ring is 2 sizes to small. Can it be enlarged.
Hi There, sure it can! Please use this link if you’d like to place an order with us. 🙂
Hello.. I’ve had and worn my class ring since given to me in 96. Its the only thing I have left that my Daddy gave me before he was killed. Last night the stone fell out and im trying not to have a panic attack. Is there a way to get it replaced?
Hi LaRonda, please email us a picture of your ring and the stone to [email protected] for further assistance!
Hello my name is Carmelo Reyes and I have a Gold 1987 class ring that is in perfect condition. I purchased it from a jewler in Chicago but can’t remember where. I need it resized and was woindering if thats something you can do. Also, I had the jem stone replaced with a Diamond from my wifes wedding ring. This Diamond is very important to me as we replaced my wifes original Diamond with a larger stone and this is her original diamond when we get married. Please let me know.
Hi there, keep an eye out for an email from us!
I moved and how do i get the mascot off of it and changed?
Hi Kayla, Please send us a few pictures of your ring to [email protected] for further assistance! 🙂
I have a 1961 HS class ring that has lost the “TJ” off the top of the stone.
It has the two little holes to anchor the initials. Is this possible to replace the letters?
Hi there, unfortunately, we aren’t able to replace letters on top of stones. We can definitely help replace the stone itself but we don’t have the capability of replacing the letter overlays. Please let us know if you’d like assistance with replacing your stone instead!
My class ring school colors have fallen out of the side. Any way to replace them?
Hi Tara, can you provide a picture of the ring and tell us what color needs to be replaced?
My 1963 college ring’s stone was broken and I need it replaced. (Blue Zircon)The ring is all gold with no enamel. Do you think you or someone can replace the stone?
Hi Herman, we can actually help replace the stone for you! Someone will reach out to you via email shortly. 🙂
I have an old 1965 class ring and was wondering if I could have the stones replaced. The ring is worn but I like the look.
Hi Ed, someone we’ll reach out with further details shortly!
if I want to pass my ring down to my son, could alterations be made?
Hi Mark, definitely! What type of alterations are you inquiring about?
My class ring is a ring from Balfour and I don’t want to take it anywhere else but it needs some more My classring is from 1979 it was Key West High School and the stone on top of it it’s got like mildew underneath the stone, the school emblem “conch” is underneath the stone and I was wondering if the engravings could be replaced on either side of the Ring.. and have Key West high put around the stone where it could be readable and the year I graduated… It’s almost like a new ring LOL… Can you give… Read more »
Hi there, we’ll reach out to you shortly with further details! 🙂
How much would it cost to replace a shattered stone in a 1970 Duke University men’s smaller class ring?
Hi Richard, we’ll reach out via email with further details! 🙂
Hi I have a college ring that needs a new shank and the replacement of two fraternal letters on the face of the ring
Hi Dana, we’ll reach out to you via email with further details!
I have a ring and one of the letters supposed to be a F instead a E how do I go about getting this fixed. The ring was made by some1 else. Its a Championship ring I dont want to wait for them ill rather get it fixed myself
I was given an exact replica World Series Championship ring made in sterling silver. It’s not one of the cheaper ones you see online and is well made. It does however need to go up a size to size in a half. I took it to a local jeweler and he said it’s too intricate to do. I love the ring and the sentimental value it has. Can you help?
Hi Aaron, we have reached out via email with further details!
My 1970 HS Class Ring is probably 3-4 sizes too small Now Can You resize it to say a 10-10.5 and Ball Park Cost Please
Hi John, We’ll reach out via email to request a few photos of the ring!
The shank on my 1965 graduation ring is broken and would like it fix if possible. The broken piece is missing.
Hi Tony, we’ll reach out via email with further details!
I have a white gold 10K 1973 class ring w a black onyx stone and 2 fraternity letters in the stone. It is size 10 and I now need size 11.5. Can you help?
Hi Todd, we’ll reach out via email with further details on our ring resizing service!
The surface of the stone in my class ring has gotten rough. Can it be smoothed still in the ring?
Hi Martha, we’ll reach out via email to request photos!
I switched schools from the Unversity of Texas PB to University of Texas Tyler and graduated
The front circle text has “University of Texas at Permian Basin” and I would like it to be ” at Tyler”, is that possible?
Hi Charles, we’ll reach out via email to request photos!
I have a class ring of a grandparent that needs the stone replaced and shank repair.
Hi Victoria 😊
We have responded via email with next steps!
I have my late husband’s class ring and my grandson is graduating from the same high school and I would like to have tis ring resized and initials and date engraved inside. Please advise..
I have a 1989 class ring and the stone is chipped bad can you replace stone
I have 1973 white gold class ring that needs to resized and replace the stone. Wanting to know if yall can do it and a estimate what it might cost.
Hi Garry, thank you for your inquiry! I’ve followed up directly regarding your class ring resizing and stone replacement 🙂
I have a 10k ring class ring c1960 with a broken stone (see photos). Can you remove/replace the stone and retain the castle emblem? Photos attached.
We should have no problem at all with this! I’ve followed up directly via email 🙂