When a pearl necklace or bracelet breaks, it can be a devastating loss. Your beloved jewelry is quite literally in pieces, and you’re not even too sure where to begin in regards to fixing it. Fortunately, a jeweler can restring it for you and even strengthen its original design to prevent this from happening again. Read on to learn more about how you can fix your pearls and get an idea of the pearl restringing cost.
The Pearl Restringing Process
Once you’ve scooped up all of the pearls you can find, the jeweler will assess the damage before restringing. If most of the pearls are intact, the jeweler can simply take the materials and restring it with a new base string. However, this process isn’t as simple as it sounds; there are a lot of options available that can improve the integrity of your piece and prevent any future loss of your pearls in the event that it breaks again. Here are five factors that affect the process and pearl restringing cost.
The length of the piece determines the base cost for the restringing. As it is priced per inch, the repair will be more expensive for a longer piece as it will require more work. For instance, an 18″ pearl necklace starts at $82, while a 14″ choker will be $66 to restring.
2. Type of string
Silk string is most commonly used for pearl restringing due to its strength and texture, which does not wear down the pearls from the inside. As a preventative measure, the jeweler can restring the piece with more than one string. This proves additional security; if one string breaks, the other will still hold the necklace or bracelet together.
Other types of string are available as well, if your piece does not utilize silk. Wire, elastic, and other cords will cause the price to fluctuate depending on the availability of the string. Another expensive alternative is restringing on a gold chain, which has to be fine enough for the pearls to fit.
The most secure stringing method is knotting. Knotting means that the jeweler places knots in between each pearl, so if the string breaks at any location the pearls will not slide off and scatter everywhere. There are different options available for knotting, including single knot and double knot. For an even more seamless appearance, a skilled jeweler can string it so that the knots are barely visible between the pearls. Opting for knotting will increase the price by a few dollars per inch, as the labor involved is more costly than a simple restringing.
4. Stringing Design
The design of your item will also affect the restringing cost. For instance, if you have a graduated pearl necklace, the jeweler will have to sort out the loose pearls and string them in order from smallest to largest. More elaborate pieces including tassels, multiple strands, and complicated beadwork will be more expensive to restring due to the complexity of the work required.
5. Clasp Replacement
Aside from your pearls, a clasp replacement might be necessary if you lost or damaged your clasp. This little bit of metal that holds your necklace or bracelet together can vary in cost depending on its design, material, and size. Standard pearl clasps, specially designed for pearl necklaces, range from $50 to $80 if they are 14k to 18k gold. A mystery clasp, which is a special type of clasp that is drilled into the two end pearls of a necklace to “hide” the clasp design, can start at $150 for installation and/or repair.
The Turnaround Time
Most pearl restringing projects can be done in 2-3 days. For items that are more complex, expect an additional 1-3 day increase in turnaround time.
If you’re getting a clasp replacement, you’ll also have to add another 2-3 days for the jeweler to source and assemble the new component. Mystery clasps will take more time because they have to be drilled into the end pearl.
Now you have a better idea about what determines the pearl restringing cost! If you’d like to get started with fixing up one of your pieces, check out our pearl restringing service here.