Monday, June 13, 2011

Ring Repair

A good friend of mine had a little mishap with her favorite ring.  It went down the garbage disposal.  (Need I say more?)  So she sent it to me for repairs.

The ring is a sterling silver band shaped like a crown of thorns with black lowered areas accentuating the branches.  It was pretty beat up but made for an easy fix.  The first step was annealing the ring (heating it with a torch until glowing.)  This softened the ring enough to be able to hammer it back into shape on a ring mandrel.  After the ring was round again, it was a matter of filing away the majority of the nicks and scratches and sanding it to a smooth finish.  The last step was applying a patina to settle in the lower areas, and cleaning up the raised areas with a polishing cloth.

Repairing jewelry can be tricky.  The presence of set stones complicates the process and limits what can be done without completely re-setting the stone.  "Mystery metals" complicate things as well.  Solder can easily be applied to silver, copper, and brass.  Many other metals (like pewter) melt at a much lower temperature.  Repairing jewelry made from "mystery metal" risks melting the piece entirely.  This ring was the best case scenario when it comes to repairing jewelry.  A plain silver band that just needed some TLC.


Kal Martin said...

One ring to rule them all?

That's pretty fantastic - nice work! I'm super jealous. And miss you.

minimeg said...

Aww, I miss you too!

And I think volcano damage is a little beyond my repair ability ;)