Ring Shank Repair: What Should I Do After I Get My Ring Cut Off?
Written by Annabelle
May 28, 2019
This is the worst case scenario; your ring has gotten tighter and tighter to the point where you need to visit the emergency room. Once they've finished removing your ring and saving your fingers from an involuntary amputation, you're left with all your digits intact and a mangled piece of jewelry. So what now? Read on to learn about how ring shank repair can help after your ring is cut off.
Assessing the Damage
If you're lucky, the ring should only be broken in one spot. Some places do a quick and clean snip, and then they bend the ring slightly open to get it off your finger. Other situations are a little more drastic; an entire part of the shank (otherwise known as the band) may be removed. The extent of the damage will affect how a jeweler restores the piece back to its original condition.
Once the jeweler's taken a look at your ring, they'll make the following notes before proceeding:
- Does the ring have most of its shank? If the ring has a small cut, it's only a matter of soldering the shank back together. If it's missing a large portion, that complicates the repair.
- Does the ring need to be resized? If the ring was cut off because it was too tight, it'll need to be sized up in order to avoid sending you back to the emergency room.
- Is the existing shank thin? The ring may have a thin band; if this is the case, that will cause issues when the ring is sized up. The jeweler relies on the existing shank and adds metal in order to size up the ring. However, if the ring is already thin before sizing, the end result may not be durable enough for daily wear, and can even crumple inwards if force is applied to the band.
The Repair Process
- Ring Shank Repair: Small cuts and breaks can simply be soldered shut. If the ring needs to be resized, the jeweler will simply use the cut and add metal in that area until the ring is the correct size. After the ring sizing is finished, the jeweler solders the cut shut and ensures that the ring is in the correct, round shape suitable for wear.
- Ring Shank Replacement: A more extensive and laborious process, ring shank replacement is necessary for rings that have thin shanks or rings that have missing portions. In order to do a shank replacement, the jeweler takes a large, thick portion of metal and attaches it to the area that needs replacement. Thin shanks may be snipped off the design and replaced entirely with a brand-new half shank that is comparatively thicker and more durable. Depending on the damage, ring shank replacements come in quarter-shank, half-shank, or full-shank replacements.
Rings That Cannot Be Fixed
It's important to note that not all rings can survive the cutting process. Tungsten and ceramic rings cannot be fixed once they've been “cracked” off your finger; the composition of these pieces renders them incompatible with soldering and they are essentially irreparable. If you've purchased one with a lifetime warranty, you should be able to return the pieces or provide photographic evidence in order to get a replacement.
The Cost of A Ring Shank Repair
The price is dependent on the materials and labor required to get the ring back to its original condition.
- Extent of damage: If the ring requires a brief solder, the price is comparatively lower than a shank replacement. Since the jeweler is supplying the shank replacement component, which is a solid piece of precious metal, replacements are much more expensive.
- Number of sizes going up/down: In addition to the shank repair, the jeweler will also add the cost of any resizing necessary to the total price. The greater the size difference, the more labor and material required.
- Type of metal: The price adjusts accordingly from lowest to highest; sterling silver, gold, and platinum. The more valuable the metal, the more expensive the repair because the jeweler has to take in consideration material costs, such as the matching type of solder.
Determining Quarter, Full, and Half Shank Ring Repair Cost
Replacing a shank isn't easy. The jeweler needs to find a replacement shank that is the same metal and color. In addition, the price increases with the thickness of the shank- the more metal, the more costly the replacement. Here's a breakdown of the possible factors for pricing:
- Metal type: At the lowest end of the price range is a sterling silver shank half-shank replacement at $60. Gold increases by karat and starts at a minimum of $100. For metals such as stainless steel and platinum, expect a higher price due to the complexity of the work and the cost of the metal.
- Width: A standard ring shank is 3mm wide, and you can expect most ring shank replacements to be that width. However, the price will fluctuate up and down for thicker and thinner designs needing shank repair.
- Assembly work: The jeweler has to spend time cutting off metal, attaching the new shank, and finishing the piece in order to fix the ring. Prices will vary depending on the metal of the ring, as the jeweler needs to use solder that matches the metal (ex. gold solder for gold.) A special mention goes to stainless steel, which is very difficult to work with and will be more costly as a result.
- Type of shank replacement: A half shank ring repair cost will not be as high as the price for a full-shank replacement. This is because the price is proportional to the amount of extra metal required for the replacement. You can estimate a 25% to 50% increase in price for each type of replacement.
Now you're all set to get your ring fixed after it's been cut off! Get started with our ring shank repair service below.