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The Process of Class Ring Repairs

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-ring-repair

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

1. Evaluate

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.
sizing-ring-up-mens

Mens championship class ring sized up from a 10 to a 13

class-ring-sizing

Ladies class ring before and after sizing.

 

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.
class-ring-repairs

This MIT class ring had a shattered shank.

3. Finishing

Once the heavy-duty work is finished, the ring is moved to finishing, such as polishing, cleaning, plating, and enameling.

Polishing

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.

Cleaning

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.

Plating

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.

Enameling

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-sizing-down

    Ring Sizing Down Service

    $40.00 Select options
  • ring-sizing-up

    Ring Sizing Up Service

    $40.00 Select options
  • ring-engraving-service

    Ring Engraving

    $35.00 Select options
  • Ring Reshaping

    $33.00 Select options
  • ring-shank-repair

    Ring Shank Repair

    $45.00 Select options
  • enamel-repair-service

    Jewelry Enamel Repair

    $33.50 Select options
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Diana

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.

Tommy Hamrick

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?

Michael Weeks

My 1992 classring was lost. Now someone has returned it to me. Now i want to reshape it

ROY GERARDI

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?

Thank you

Michelle

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?

Raymond

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.

Satanya

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.

Aaron scott

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

Maria

Lost a class ring and found one just like it except for the year on the front, can I change it?

Karen

I have a 1951 Georgetown university ring that I need enlarged. Can you do it?

Tom

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?

David DeMoss

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?

Matt

Major damage to my 2013 ring. I’ve been wanting to get it fixed for so long now

James White

I have a class ring from 2001 that the gold emblem fell off of can you repair it ?

Jim Edwards

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?

Thanks

Jason Hollinger

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?

Alec

Can you change the degree (e.g. DDS to MD) and year on a class ring (‘61 to ‘21)? Thanks!

Sally Harris

My friend broke the stone in his class ring,can it be fixed

Jim

I would like to get the stone replaced in my class ring. Can you do that?

Andrew Blair

How much to replace a stone?

Jason

We emailed you!

Drew

My 2010 class ring has lost its gems. I want to replace the gems and get the ring gold

Catherine

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!

Jane

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?

C907C19A-6BFA-45EF-A63C-9F4018A82330.jpeg
Catherine

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! 🙂

Martin Chase

My class ring is 2 sizes to small. Can it be enlarged.

Catherine

Hi There, sure it can! Please use this link if you’d like to place an order with us. 🙂

https://quickjewelryrepairs.com/repair/ring-sizing-up/

LaRonda Reider

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?

Catherine

Hi LaRonda, please email us a picture of your ring and the stone to [email protected] for further assistance!

Carmelo Reyes

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.

Thank you,
Carmelo

Catherine

Hi there, keep an eye out for an email from us!

Kayla

I moved and how do i get the mascot off of it and changed?

Catherine

Hi Kayla, Please send us a few pictures of your ring to [email protected] for further assistance! 🙂

Lisa

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?

Catherine

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!

Tara Carter

My class ring school colors have fallen out of the side. Any way to replace them?

Catherine

Hi Tara, can you provide a picture of the ring and tell us what color needs to be replaced?

Herman Stark

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?

Catherine

Hi Herman, we can actually help replace the stone for you! Someone will reach out to you via email shortly. 🙂

Ed dickenson

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.

Catherine

Hi Ed, someone we’ll reach out with further details shortly!

Mark P

if I want to pass my ring down to my son, could alterations be made?

Catherine

Hi Mark, definitely! What type of alterations are you inquiring about?

CHERYL Allen

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 »

Catherine

Hi there, we’ll reach out to you shortly with further details! 🙂

Richard Stuecker

How much would it cost to replace a shattered stone in a 1970 Duke University men’s smaller class ring?

Catherine

Hi Richard, we’ll reach out via email with further details! 🙂

Dana T Gaines

Hi I have a college ring that needs a new shank and the replacement of two fraternal letters on the face of the ring

Catherine

Hi Dana, we’ll reach out to you via email with further details!

Lamar C Perry

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

Aaron

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?

Catherine

Hi Aaron, we have reached out via email with further details!

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