Fine jewelry is valuable in more ways than one. Not only does it carry a financial value, but it often carries a sentimental value as well. Your jewelry may represent important events in your life, or maybe it’s an heirloom piece that has been passed down through the generations and is part of your family history. But the physical stress caused by regular wear or improper care can cause jewelry to become damaged or lose its luster.
If you have fine jewelry that is damaged or just doesn’t look as beautiful as it once did, jewelry restoration can revitalize it and return it to its original glory. Proper restoration of your jewelry can rebuild and restore even jewelry you may think is beyond repair and strengthen it so future generations can wear and enjoy it.
Jewelry restoration covers a wide range of repairs, from simple maintenance to intricate recreations, including:
- Cleaning / Polishing
- Replacing lost stones
- Re-cutting chipped diamonds or gemstones
- Restringing pearls
- Repairing broken or worn prongs
- Thickening bezel walls
- Fixing bent shanks / Replacing worn or broken shanks
- Restoring engraving
- Restoring filigree
- Recreating settings
- Repairing channels
The goal of jewelry restoration should always be to preserve as much of the original piece as possible, working with the parts that are good and repairing the damaged portions to blend them seamlessly with the original work. Surfaces should be recreated so that the new work is as inconspicuous and undetectable as possible.
Before you begin the restoration process, check with a qualified appraiser to determine if it is worth the expense of restoring it. Ask about the current value as well as the potential value after restoration. Some antique pieces may be worth more in their original condition, even if they are damaged. Others may not be worth enough to justify the expense. Even if the monetary value of the piece isn’t high, the emotional value you have for the piece may make it worth the expense of restoring it, allowing you to enjoy it and pass it down to the next generation.
Find a professional restoration jeweler, like The Diamond World, to determine the cost of restoration. Be sure the jeweler you select is qualified to perform the necessary repairs. Restoring jewelry requires a specialized set of skills and expertise, including the patience and expertise to recreate antique craftsmanship. A substandard restoration could decrease the value of your piece or, worse, further damage it beyond repair and ruin it forever.
In rare cases, some pieces are just too damaged to be properly restored. If this is the case, or you determine that the cost of restoration is prohibitive, consider repurposing the piece to create a new piece of jewelry.