Jewelry Maintenance: Repair Versus Restoration

jeweler hands using tools to repair turquoise earrings

Is There a Difference Between Jewelry Repair and Restoration?

Jewelry repair and restoration are terms you may hear when visiting your local Gilbert jeweler that lead you to wonder, aren’t those the same thing? Although similar in meaning, jewelry that needs repaired usually implies a part of the piece is broken or has been damaged while jewelry restoration can simply mean redipping the setting to bring back the crisp, clean white gold color. So let’s look at some of the differences between repairs and restoration but note the close relationship they play to each other.

Does Your Jewelry Need a Repair?

Some jewelry repairs are obvious, like bent clasps or broken ring bands. The process to repair those types of issues is straightforward and easily diagnosed by anyone looking at the jewelry. Other repairs aren’t immediately visible and can be caught by the keen eye of a jeweler or under magnification. Issues such as bent or lifted prongs or a scratch on the gemstone or the setting may seem like they don’t need addressed right away since the functionality of the piece is still intact. However, an honest jeweler, just like a good mechanic, will advise you on what should be done to prevent further damage or loss. Especially when it comes to those precious diamonds or gemstones that could be lost forever if the setting or the prongs aren’t in the best shape.

Defining Jewelry Repair vs. Jewelry Restoration

As mentioned above, jewelry repairs are typically needed when a part of the jewelry is broken and needs fixed to be able to wear it again. Whereas jewelry restoration is often more for the cosmetic look of the piece. In many cases, jewelry will need both repaired and restored! In particular, our vintage restoration services usually include different types of repairs in order to restore the original jewelry to its full beauty. Some basic restoring methods include cleaning, polishing, plating or redipping the gold setting. Repairs that go hand in hand to restore jewelry to it’s full wearability include rebuilding settings, re-cutting chipped diamonds or gemstones and fixing bent, worn or broken prongs and ring shanks.

Can Jewelry Repairs be Avoided?

This is a common question and really depends on how well you care for your jewelry. Obviously, accidents happen and when your ring is dropped sometimes the force alone can pop gemstones out of place or under heavy pressure the ring shank breaks completely. But there are steps that can prevent wear and tear on your favorite jewelry that will help keep it strong. For example, removing jewelry before swimming and working out will help avoid bumps and jolts to the settings and the prongs snagging on things. We also have some great tips on how to properly store and clean your jewelry to keep the metals from tarnishing or the gemstones from dulling.

Overall, whether you are in need of a major jewelry repair or just a quick clean and polish, our jewelers handle everything with the greatest of care! We are always happy to help with any jewelry needs you may have so don’t hesitate to come by our Gilbert showroom