How to Protect Your Ring Shank After Repair

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If you got your ring cut off after an unfortunate trip to the hospital, or you clenched a subway pole a little too hard, you’re probably going to have to get the back of your ring fixed. This part of your ring is called a shank, and the jeweler can fix it up almost like new! However, this doesn’t mean that you should go about wearing your ring carelessly. Here’s how to protect your ring shank after it’s been repaired.

How a Ring Shank Can Get Damaged

First, it should be noted that jewelry is fragile. No matter what you think about metals and their durability, precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are very soft. Whether it’s due to rough treatment, faulty manufacturing, or just age, rings can collapse inwards if enough force is exerted on the band, or the shank. 

Sometimes emergencies will force you to cut the ring open at the hospital in order to release your finger from swelling. Regardless of how cleanly they cut it off, there will be damage to the overall integrity of the ring.

Repairing a Ring Shank

When the jeweler receives the broken ring, they evaluate a few things before the ring shank repair. How bad is the damage? Does the ring need to be resized? Is the ring shank thin? These questions help the jeweler determine the best course of action.

If the ring is merely crumpled, but the band isn’t cut, then the jeweler simply slips the ring onto a mandrel. Using a wooden hammer, the jeweler lightly reshapes the ring back to its original roundness, and then polishes it to remove any signs of work. 

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A sterling silver ring before and after reshaping.

If the ring is cut, crumpled, and broken at one area, the jeweler hammers it into shape, and then closes the ring with soldering. This process involves using a soft metal alloy that matches the ring’s metal in order to “glue” the broken components back together. 

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This ring was yellow gold, and repaired with a sterling silver shank per the client’s request.

For rings that have very thin shanks and/or require sizing, the jeweler will consider doing a shank replacement. The jeweler cuts off part of the original band, and replaces it with a new piece of metal that is thicker and more durable. This process is also used when there is not enough metal at the back of a ring to size it up or down.

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This antique white gold ring had a shank that was thinning out. It was replaced with a thicker band.

After The Repair

Before you merrily go about with your newly fixed ring, here’s something you need to consider. Do not assume your ring’s structure is brand new, even though it might look that way after repair and restoration. After all, it was a damaged piece that was mended with solder, and it will always be weaker at certain areas of repair. You’ll need to re-examine your habits when wearing this piece, so we have a few tips for maintaining the integrity of the ring.

  1. Take it off when you’re doing something strenuous: Lifting heavy packages, exercising and gripping onto handles, cooking- these are all activities that can damage your ring. Just think about the pressure that you’re exerting on the newly repaired area! If you want to avoid seeing your ring crumple inwards again, just take it off before you go weightlifting. 
  2. Store it in a proper location: We get a lot of customers who tell us that they accidentally stepped on their ring! Avoid this by keeping it safe in a jewelry box, instead of on the top of a dresser where it can fall down onto the floor.

Now you’re all set on how to protect your ring shank after repair! If you need something fixed, hit us up in the comments.

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