Inconspicuous Indicators That Your Jewelry Needs Repair
Clasps that don't close securely - If your clasp gets stuck open or stuck closed when you put it on, this is a telltale sign that it's in need of repair. Wearing it without repairing it may lead to losing it entirely.
Discolored knots between pearls - The silk string holding your strung pearls together is in contact with environmental elements as well as body oil, and over time this builds up and shows itself through discolored knots. Not only are these unsightly, but they also leave you vulnerable to potential breakage.
Knots being pulled into drill holes on pearls - If the knots between your pearls slip in and out of the drill holes, this is also a sign that it's time to restring. As the thread stretches and pulls into the drill hole, pearls come in direct contact with each other, which can lead to wear and other damage.
Thinning or bent shank (the part of a ring that rests near your palm) - This is the part of your ring that comes in contact with hard surfaces the most, and if it shows signs of erosion or weakness you should schedule a repair before you wear it again.
You don't properly store your jewelry - Fabric lined jewelry boxes aren't just for show; they serve an essential purpose. Metals can scratch, erode, and fatigue when stored improperly. Silver jewelry, for example, should be stored in tarnish proof cloth where it cannot be exposed to air or moisture. Proper storage is a necessary element of jewelry care for all fine jewelry -- your jeweler can help you identify the best storage options for each piece.
You wear your jewelry while swimming, bathing, or showering - Chlorine, salt water, shampoo, conditioner, and even sunscreen can all wreak havoc on your metals and gemstones. If your jewelry has taken a dip in the backyard pool or you find that you often forget to remove your rings before you get in the shower, you may have unseen damage in need of repair.
For more information on identifying the symptoms that your jewelry is in need of repair, read: When to Repair Jewelry
Common Jewelry Breakages & Repairs
In addition to the potentially unseen signs listed above that hint at the need for jewelry repair, many visible and common breakages will make it evident that a piece can't be worn again until it's been repaired. A qualified certified jeweler can inspect your items to determine the best approach to fixing these common breakages, as well as others.
Observable Signs That Your Jewelry Needs Repair
Broken links or clasps - Breaks in your chain necklaces and bracelets or their clasps are an obvious indicator to take that piece of jewelry out of rotation until you can have it repaired.
Loose gemstones - If you see or feel a gemstone that is loose in its setting, you should not wear it until the stone is secured to ensure it isn't lost.
Missing gemstones - If your stone is already lost, you'll need to both replace the stone and repair the setting before you can securely wear it again.
Chipped gemstones - If you notice a chip in your gemstones, you should know that there are some options to recut or reset your stones to consider before opting to replace the stone entirely. Your jeweler can examine the piece and tell you what options are available.
Broken or bent prongs - A prong that is broken or bent can also lead to missing or damaged stones.
Uneven gaps between strung pearls - Pearls strung on silk thread need to be restrung over time.Uneven gaps between each pearl are one of the most common signs that your pearls need to be restrung.
Stretching of silk string in pearl necklaces and bracelets, evidenced by added length or looseness - If your pearl necklace is hanging lower or your pearl bracelet isn't as tight as you remember, it's time to restring the piece.
Other Functions Performed by Jewelry Repair Services
Your local jeweler or jewelry repair service can help with far more than just fixing broken jewelry. They also perform necessary maintenance to keep your jewelry looking its best.
Cleaning and Inspection - While cleaning your jewelry at home is necessary to uphold its beauty and integrity; professional jewelry cleaning is unparalleled in its ability to clear away the dirt and grime that conventional cleaning options leave behind. This also allows your jeweler to inspect your jewelry for any issues that may need repair. Frequently, professional cleaning and inspection are provided at no cost by the jeweler who sold you the piece.
Rhodium plating - You may notice a lack of luster or yellowness in parts of your white gold jewelry , which is a natural and expected process. To restore white gold to the bright white finish it held, your jeweler will re-plate it on an as-needed basis.
For more on the typical repairs your jewelry may require, read: Typical Breakages & Repairs