Your fine jewelry is more to you than an adornment; it’s an investment in your future and a piece of your past.
Needless to say then when it breaks, you should only entrust it to a seasoned expert with a proven track record of impeccable jewelry repair and design work.
When a piece of your favorite jewelry breaks, you’re likely to do the same thing many others in your position before you have done: panic. Before your fear can subside, you have your phone in your hand and are searching “jewelry repair near me” or “fast fix jewelry repair.” It may be tempting to rush off to visit the top result on the page, but we suggest you first take a moment to learn what to look for in a jewelry repair service. Below are a few points to consider.
1. How Long Does Jewelry Repair Take?
The short answer is: it depends. Many factors will determine the length of time needed to repair your jewelry. The turnaround time for your repairs can be influenced by the nature of the damage, the availability of materials, and even the time of year.
The person you choose to complete your jewelry repairs will also influence the time that is needed. While you might think a large chain jeweler will have more resources to complete your repairs, this is not always the case. In reality, many of the large chain or department store jewelers do not complete repairs on-site.
2. The Benefits of Independent In-House Jewelry Repair
When you’ve invested in fine jewelry, you'll want only the most talented artisans to complete your repairs. Most often, you'll find find these highly-trained professionals at your local independent jeweler. The skilled craftspeople who own or work in independent jewelry shops are likely to have been apprentice to some of the masters in the field. Many also have advanced degrees besides to their practical training.
3. Who will complete your on-site jewelry repair?
When you visit an independent jeweler and ask this question, you'll often hear the response, “I will!” The person who is completing your repair is frequently a member of the staff or even the shop’s owner.
You can expect the repair specialist to inspect your jewelry down to its finest details. They'll want to discuss your concerns before providing you with your options and a quote. If your visit is unscheduled, you may be asked to leave the damaged item so the repair person may examine it and provide you with an accurate quote.
4. How long does on-site jewelry repair take?
For most repairs, you should expect a turnaround of 1-3 weeks. If your fix is an emergency, don't despair. Explain your predicament to your jeweler and see what alternatives they have to help.
Simple repairs and jewelry polishing need less time than more complex repairs, such as repairing intricate filigree or replacing a lost diamond. The availability of materials will also be a factor in the time needed to complete your repairs. Most independent jewelers will have supplies and materials on hand. The highest quality repairs may require less common materials, however. Matching a missing pave diamond or finding a rose gold solder equal to your item can take extra time to locate, for example.
Certain times of year are busier than others for jewelers, and this can lead to longer jewelry repair times. The month of December, as well as the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, are likely to yield longer turnaround times. If you have broken jewelry, it’s best to get it to your jeweler as soon as possible rather than waiting until you want to wear it again.
There’s more to jewelry repair than just turnaround time. Our free guide to jewelry repair is packed with all the facts you need to know. Read it here: Must-Read Guide to Jewelry Repair
5. What You Need to Know About Off-Site Jewelry Repair
If your jeweler does not have anyone skilled enough for jewelry repairs, they’ll sub-contract your repairs to someone off-site. This may be a corporate repair center in another state or even across the country for a chain retailer.
You’ll also find companies online advertising as a jewelry repair service. They'll direct you to ship your items and downloadable paperwork to a repair person. They may streamline the process by scheduling a parcel carrier on your behalf. While this may be convenient, you should carefully consider the quality and security of these processes. Even the most expensive of shipping methods cannot guarantee safe delivery. If you insure your package you may be covered for loss or damage, but is this a risk that you want to take with your cherished jewelry investments?
6. How long does off-site jewelry repair take?
Quick turnaround times are a red flag in off-site jewelry repair. Even the fastest shipping methods require at least 48-72 hours to ship and return your items. When shipping time can't be reduced, ship-and-return services have only the time spent on your repairs left to sacrifice.
Mall jewelers may offer turnaround times on repairs similar to those provided by independent jewelers. Their off-site process, however, increases the odds of unsatisfactory results.
When your repairs are completed off-site, you’re engaging in a game of telephone. Unlike the old kindergarten pastime, however, this game can have serious consequences:
● First, you’ll likely speak with a sales associate at a retail location.
● They will ship your jewelry and their corporate fill-in-the-blank forms to a repair person.
● This person will interpret the instructions and complete your repairs within the allotted time.
● Your jewelry will be shipped back to the shop who will call or email you to pick it up. Unfortunately, you may find that your original message was lost in translation. If you want it fixed, you’ll start the game of telephone all over again and hope it goes better on the second try.
7. Only Trust a Proven Expert for Jewelry Repairs
Jewelry is personal; your jewelry is a reflection of your past, your history, your style, your family, and the commitments you’ve made for your future. Your jewelry is also an investment you’ve made, both for yourself and for future generations of your family. Just as you wouldn’t hand your heart to the first person to swipe right or hand your financial planning over to someone inexperienced, nor should you trust your significant jewelry investments to just anyone.
At Carats & Stones, our reputation as one of San Francisco’s most trusted jewelers has been built over forty years. Jewelry design has been passed down through our family just as our jewelry has been passed down through our customers’ families. If you're looking for fine jewelry repair and design, you can turn to us with confidence.
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