We all know that when jewelry breaks, it needs to be repaired, but did you know that repairing an item can also make it more likely to break in the future? Let’s see why jewelry repairs can be problematic and learn what can be done about that.
The Problem with Jewelry Repairs
Usually, when a part of your jewelry is broken, the jeweler will use solder to fix it. In a similar manner, many times when a part of your ring or bracelet needs to be replaced, the new part will be soldered in place.
The problem with soldering is that once your jewelry has been fixed this way, the place where the repair was made remains a weak spot. Rejoining something that has been broken never restores its original integrity. And the more an item is repaired, the more likely it becomes to break.
Common Jewelry Problems That Require Soldering
Rings and bracelets that wear down: A common problem that causes rings and bracelets to break is that they wear down with time. One of the factors that make it easier for that to happen is the type of metal: The softer it is, the more quickly the part made of it wears thin. For example, jewelry made of gold or silver wears down more quickly than that made of platinum. And if your ring or bracelet was originally designed to be too thin, then it will be more likely to break.
Chains that break: Chains are especially at risk of damage. They are often tugged, pulled and yanked when worn, and the stress can kink them and make them break. Depending on their design, some chains are easier to break than others, and repairing them often involves soldering if the particular type of chain link cannot be rejoined in another way.
Rings that need resizing: Changing the size of a ring often involves cutting it and rejoining it using solder. Next time you have your ring resized, you should keep in mind that the process will leave its band weaker. And if it is resized too many times, then it will become a lot easier to break.
Handling Your Repaired Jewelry
If your jewelry has been repaired by using soldering, you should be extra careful when wearing it. Don’t put too much pressure as when you do so, the soldered place is more likely to break. For example, don’t pull your necklace hard, and be careful when handling and taking off your bracelet or ring.
Similarly, once your ring has been resized, do not wear it when you engage in a strenuous activity, and take care to protect it from hits and bumps.
What Kind of Jewelry Is More Likely to Break?
We mentioned that items made of soft metals such as gold or silver are more vulnerable to wear. However, there is another jewelry category that is at risk of breaking, and that is cheap jewelry. In order for its price to be low, this kind of jewelry is often made using less metal and its construction is not very sturdy. As a result, the parts that cheap jewelry is made with are thin and more likely to break.
How to Avoid Jewelry Repairs
The best way to steer clear of problems with repairs is to be careful with your jewelry. However, sooner or later, your items will need to be repaired anyway just because everyday wear takes its toll.
A way to minimize the risk of damage to your items is to buy jewelry that has a more robust construction. This means that you should avoid cheap jewelry: The initial price may seem like a bargain, but if you wear the piece every day, you will need to have it repaired often and pay for that. Considering the cost of repairs, a cheap ring, for example, may turn out to be not so cheap in the long term, and a more durable item may prove to be a better choice.
Choosing metals that are more durable is also a way to make broken parts and repairs less of an issue. For example, jewelry made of platinum, tungsten or titanium will last longer than items made of gold or silver.