Breakdown of Jewelry Repairs by Gemstone Type
Your favorite ring or necklace has broken and you’re wondering if it can be fixed and how much it will cost to have your jewelry repaired? We’ve all been there and as your trusted Gilbert jeweler we can help with most any jewelry issue no matter the metal or the gemstone type! To give you a better understanding of your jewelry and the repair process we’re breaking down jewelry repair with the quick guide below.
Do Certain Gems Require Different Jewelry Repair Techniques?
The quick answer to that is, yes! All gemstones, while beautiful, are not created equal when it comes to something called mineral hardness. The harder a mineral is, the more heat and wear it can take while softer minerals require more delicate handling. A German mineralogist named Friedrich Mohs came up with a scale from 1 to 10 to distinguish the hardness of minerals ranging from very soft (1) to very hard (10) and it is known as the Mohs Hardness Scale. While it is fairly common knowledge that diamonds are the hardest stone many people are not aware of what other gemstones can handle when it comes to jewelry repairs or even just properly cleaning jewelry. Repairs like ring sizing or retipping prongs are typically done with a soldering torch. This is why it’s good to know what type of gemstones are in your jewelry because while diamonds can usually stand the repair or cleaning process a more fragile gem like emerald or zircon may fracture. Never fear though, no matter what jewelry you need fixed there are ways to either remove the gemstones from the piece or use high-tech welders to only apply heat exactly where needed!
Jewelry Repair With Multiple Types of Gemstones
Some of the most beautiful jewelry is created with multiple types of gemstones set side by side. When those pieces are in need of repair it can be a bit tricky though so don’t be afraid to ask your Gilbert jeweler what the plan entails. It’s important to know how a jeweler plans to repair your piece because different amounts of time and labor are required. Obviously more time is involved to remove gems, repair the jewelry and then reset the stones versus leaving the stones in the setting and working around them if possible. In general, diamonds, sapphires and rubies are on the upper end of the hardness scale and can take more daily bumps and exposure to some heat or chemicals. On the other hand, opals, emeralds and peridot need some extra special care as they are more likely to get scratched. The softest of all birthstones are pearls which require very delicate handling and do not react well to even perfumes or makeup! So as you can see, if you have a pearl ring set in diamonds it will take some special steps to insure the jewelry is repaired properly while maintaining the integrity of all the gems!
Quick Guide of Birthstones & Mohs Hardness Scale
Garnet = 7 Mohs rating for January’s birthstone
Amethyst = 7 Mohs rating for February's birthstone
Aquamarine = 7.5-8 Mohs rating for March’s birthstone
Diamond = a perfect 10 Mohs rating for April’s birthstone
Emerald = 7.5-8 Mohs rating for May’s birthstone
Pearl = 3-4 Mohs hardness rating for June’s birthstone
Ruby = 9 Mohs hardness rating for July’s birthstone
Peridot = 6.5-7 Mohs hardness rating for August’s birthstone
Sapphire = 9 Mohs hardness rating for September’s birthstone
Opal = 4.5-6 Mohs hardness rating for October’s birthstone
Topaz = 8 Mohs hardness rating for November’s birthstone
Zircon = 6 Mohs hardness rating for December’s birthstone
Hopefully this helped provide a better understanding of the extra steps and special care that must be taken to properly repair jewelry and don’t worry if you’re not sure what type of gemstone you have, come on in to our new Gilbert showroom and we can take a look!