Jewelry Repair

There are few jewelers more qualified to execute your jewelry repair. With decades of combined experience, our jewelers have encountered nearly every jewelry repair scenario imaginable.

If our talented team of stone setters, model makers, and bench jewelers is not enough to convince you with all of their experience, our shop, procedures, and facility should. A unique combination of old-world craftsmanship combined with state-of-the-art technology makes it possible for our team to execute traditional jewelry repair, laser jewelry repair, and jewelry restoration.

Our consultants can help to diagnose your jewelry repair needs and explain what preventative measures to take for you to avoid future damage or loss of such precious heirlooms. Our trusted team of jewelers has been a leader in jewelry repair and stone setting since A.T. Thomas Jewelers was first founded in 1977.

All jewelry repairs are done in-house by skilled artisans under the direction of the owners of A.T. Thomas Jewelers. With most of our staff having between 10 to 40 years of individual experience, you can be confident that your jewelry is in good hands.

Repairing Jewelry

With decades of experience repairing jewelry, the one thing that can be concluded is that precious metal will fatigue or erode over time. “Erosion” takes place when precious metals rub against equal or harder surfaces. Constant contact with countertops, stone, or even other jewelry will slowly wear away gold or platinum settings, weakening hinges, joints, prongs, and clasps.

“Metal fatigue” takes place when gold or platinum is stressed by constant knocking or bending. The easiest way to envision this is to imagine a coat hanger being bent back and forth several times until it breaks. The impact of hitting a ring on a doorknob, or the constant depression of your bracelet's spring clasp or latch, slowly contributes to fatigue.

Once metal fatigue or erosion occurs, latches, clasps, prongs, and links are prone to breaking, and our jewelry experts will prescribe the recommended procedures necessary to repair such damaged items.

The most common jewelry repairs are related to worn parts or prongs. In many cases, a simple prong repair can avoid having to completely replace an engagement center stone or the loss of additional sentimental materials. Another common service need is chain repair. The links that make up a gold chain are in constant motion, wearing against one another, and making it susceptible to breakage which could lead to the loss of your pendant. Chains, along with bracelets and pins, also have jewelry clasps, which are often lost or damaged over time and need repair or replacement.

Repairing necklaces is not limited to the soldering of precious metals. Long before the use of chains and clasps existed, beads and baubles were strung around the neck from string or cord. Still in use today, most of our work on beaded necklaces relates to pearl restringing or the stringing of semi-precious stone beads.

From routine ring repair and bracelet repair, to elaborate vintage jewelry restoration, our jewelers have the technical skills, experience, and equipment necessary to provide competent solutions.

Ring Repair

As active as most people are with their hands, the need for ring repair is fairly common. Rings that are worn regularly are subject to coarse, abrasive surfaces and are prone to metal fatigue and erosion. The constant bumping of the hands against doorknobs, handles, and table tops slowly wear at the integrity of ring shanks.

A ring shank is the body of a ring, and the lower portion of it is often the area that is scuffed and battered each time we reach or grab for something. Over time, perpetual contact with hard materials can make shanks thin and cause them to split. In the case of unsoldered wedding sets, the constant grating of the wedding band against an engagement ring will ultimately thin shanks until they weaken.

If a ring has a simple break and is not worn too thin, our jewelers will simply solder or weld the broken area. This is typically a simple inexpensive ring repair. In cases where the ring has excessive deterioration, we will recommend replacing a portion of the lower ring, a procedure which is commonly referred to as shanking.

Depending on the extent of the wear we will either add a quarter, half shank, or full shank. The process requires a jeweler to cut the ring to remove the most worn section and replace it with fresh metal in platinum, or matching the karat and color of the existing gold. Each case is slightly different as we have to form the new metal to match the contours and design of an existing ring.

During the ring repair, consideration must be paid to delicate or sensitive stones that are set near the locations where work that is needed. When necessary our master jewelers will provide laser jewelry repairs to avoid risking damage to your stones.

Some ring repairs include resurrecting delicate elements of design or restoring intricate filigree in vintage rings. The ring repair that may have the most consequence, involves the potential loss of a gemstone or diamond. If the metal around precious gems is fatigued or worn our jewelers will prescribe the buildup of metal or recommend the prong repair necessary to secure the gems.

Having a full manufacturing facility, our technical staff will find solutions and provide you with all of the possible ring repair options. Your rings will be skillfully restored on-site, where we have performed ring repairs for thousands of satisfied customers since 1977. While you visit we will provide a free inspection and expert jewelry cleaning while you wait on any jewelry you have with you.

Prong Repair

Hopefully, you are reading about prong repair out of curiosity or as a preventative measure and not because you experienced that sinking feeling when you looked down at your ring and noticed a stone was missing.

Every day, countless people discover missing stones in jewelry. A feeling of panic, followed by frantic searching and grazing ensues. Many hours are spent retracing steps in an attempt to search the places where a stone may have fallen out. In some cases, lost stones are small and inexpensive. In others, the loss can be as significant as a center stone in a diamond engagement ring or an heirloom passed on by a loved one. Whatever the stone’s value, in most cases the loss is avoidable.

Over time, precious metals erode. The constant scuffing against harder surfaces ultimately leads to the thinning of the prongs and channels that secure gemstones. Then one day, while the car is squawking for you to clip the seat belt, you reach behind you to grab it, oblivious to the prong that has hooked on the upholstery as you rip it forward. While you’re driving merrily down the highway, a diamond slowly jiggles free from the ring.

There is a solution. Visit our store and let a jewelry expert inspect your treasures to detect any detrimental wear that may be occurring. This service includes free jewelry cleaning and diagnosis of any prong repair and maintenance necessary to keep jewelry healthy. If prong repair or rebuilding channels are needed, our expert jewelers will provide the solution.

Types of Prong Repair

How prongs will be repaired depends on the extent of damage to the setting. If the lower portion of the prong is heavy, it may be possible to “retip” or simply add metal to them. Because the process requires heat, the jeweler will usually remove the stone from the setting and weld or solder fresh gold or platinum to the area of concern. Depending on the sensitivity of surrounding stones and materials, this process will be done either by torch or as laser jewelry repairs. Once enough new metal is added, the new prong will be shaped, polished, and the stone setting will be completed by our jewelers.

In most situations, when prongs have worn out, it is recommended to replace the component in your jewelry known as the head or prong system. This carriage is often a separate component that was added to support a stone. The advantage of replacing the entire setting is that you have new fresh metal to support the precious gem. When a head is replaced we will first remove the stone and then release the existing setting from the item with a torch or by cutting it free. After a new setting in the desired metal, our jewelers will solder or weld it in position prior to resetting the stone.

Although the replacement of a head is more expensive than rebuilding the prongs, it is the safest way to ensure that stones are not lost. Usually, the gemstone in a ring is well worth the investment to protect them. At A.T. Thomas Jewelers, all prong repair work is done on-site by our experienced jewelers.