How Do I Fix A Broken Necklace Chain?
Written by Annabelle
October 9, 2018
Fixing A Broken Necklace Chain
It happens so quickly. One moment, your favorite necklace is around your neck, and the next thing you know, the chain’s in pieces because of a sharp tug. We’ve seen a lot of people moan that it’s the end for their jewelry, but that’s definitely not true! Read more to find out about how you can get your broken necklace chain fixed with soldering.
Chain soldering is the process of mending breaks in chains with solder, a metal alloy that is fusible and has a low melting point. The solder holds the two disconnected pieces together (like a glue), and its low heat point means that it can be melted without affecting the rest of the metal. This is important because the repair should not damage the original components in the process.
After the soldering is done, color will be reapplied to the location of the repair if the necklace was plated.
Repairing Specific Types of Chains
Necklace chains, much like their owners, come in a variety of styles. The infographic below provides more details on common types of necklaces.
1. Snake Chain Repair:
Snake chains are a fan favorite of our customers because of the way they look- they’re so seamless and lie wonderfully on the collarbones. They also scare people when they break because they look like they’re irreparable. Fortunately, that’s not the case; snake chains can be soldered with just the right amount of heat. The seamless appearance actually comes from the unique shape of the links that are used to construct snake chains.
2. Ball Chain Repair:
These cute chains have the advantage of not being easily tangled, but they're rather fragile in construction. This type of chain is commonly used for dog tag jewelry. They require some soldering work if broken.
3. Box Chain Repair:
Popular in men's jewelry, the links of this kind of chain are usually square in shape. This type of chain can be quite resilient due to the shape of the links and has a sturdy feeling to it. This type of chain doesn't always need soldering- depending on the damage, a quick pinch with a pair of pliers can fix the issue.
4. Curb Chain Repair:
The big and bold type of chain people associate with modern, street-style fashion. It's rather rare for this kind of chain to break (especially the very chunky necklaces.)
5. Rope Chain Repair:
Rope chains are beautiful because of their “woven” appearance. Much like the snake chain, the rope chain appears to be impossible to fix when broken. However, it can be soldered, but will require a little more work due to the complexity of the links. Depending on the severity of the break, the jeweler will need to “weave” the links back together before soldering to ensure that the repaired part looks indistinguishable from the rest of the necklace.
6. Cable/Link Chain Repair:
The most simple type of chain, made from round or oval links. This kind of necklace usually does not require soldering repair work. Most open links can be closed with a pair of needle nose pliers.
Other Types of Chains:
- Herringbone Chain: A variant of the snake chain (also known as a flat snake chain), this kind of chain is difficult to repair because it has a tendency to quickly unravel into a tangled mess. Jewelers often need to use a trick to lay the plated links out flat in order to remove kinks. Soldering is a potential solution, but the location of the repair will not be quite the same afterwards.
- Wheat Chain: Similar to the rope chain, the wheat chain is made from links that appear to be woven together. Since the links are so close, the wheat chain isn't quite as flexible as a cable chain. Repairing a wheat chain may require a bit of trimming or weaving before adding the solder.
- Singapore chain: A type of chain with links that create a twisted rope effect. Repairing this kind of chain takes very precise work, since this chain is usually very fine. A jeweler may need to use a laser for the soldering process.
Now that you’re a little more knowledgeable about broken necklace chain repair, it’s time to think about those pieces sitting at the bottom of your jewelry box… Check out our chain soldering service so you can wear them again!