Not all jewelry is made equal… Moreover, not all jewelry is fixed similarly! If you have a damaged necklace or bracelet in need of chain repair, you may be having mixed results with certain jewelers. Worse, they may be rejecting you—but why? Continue reading to find out why your jeweler is refusing to repair your chain.
How Do Chains Get Repaired?
Chains are typically quite simple to repair if they are within a standard thickness of around 1.4mm. Depending on the kind of chain, the jeweler may cut a link open at one of the two broken ends, thread it through another link, and solder, an easily melted metal alloy that acts like glue, can be used to close the gap.
Other forms of chains, on the other hand, are more complicated. For example, it’s difficult to repair a rope chain and keep its original integrity because of the way it’s built; the region of work will be evident in relation to the remainder of the chain. Even after restoration, some chains will never look the same. Here are a few reasons why a jeweler would refuse a chain repair:
The chain is made of hollow links.
Rope chains are known for their design: the chain’s design is vacant on the interior of the links. This is done to minimize metal weight and make the sculpture more affordable for selling. While this means you may get the chain for a reduced price, it also means the piece will be “crushed” where the jeweler is working on it. Furthermore, the repair is weak and may not endure regular use over time. As a consequence, in order to prevent any possible problems with their consumers, some jewelers would reject the item.
The chain’s design is unchangeable.
If your herringbone or other custom-designed chain breaks, you’re nearly out of luck. Because these chains are made up of a succession of fluid, interconnecting flat links, snagging the chain “unravels” the whole structure. The links are generally extremely thin slices of metal, and once bent, it’s very hard to hammer them back into shape.
Most jewelers would not even try to restore these items; nevertheless, we will accept them and inform the customer that the areas of work will be quite evident. With many probes, our jeweler gently bends and pushes the chain back into position; he then tacks certain points in less-visible regions (such as the rear) to keep the links in place.
The metal is unusual.
If your chain is constructed of unusual base metal, such as brass, bronze, or copper, the jewelers may pass it up. This is particularly prevalent if your chain is embellished with stones, charms, or pendants. Unknown metals may react bizarrely to heat, and the soldering procedure requires exposure to a laser or a flame. When the metal warms up, it has the potential to melt or burn, damaging the chain and everything linked to it.
Furthermore, the repair area will not match the remainder of the chain. Because most jewelers do not have base metal solder, they will use silver solder instead. This throws off the overall hue of the chain.
To prevent these concerns, McGee Jewelry tests the chain with a little heat beforehand. If it behaves poorly, we will notify the client that we will be unable to complete the repair. If it seems to be heat resistant, we’ll remove any components from the chain that may burn during the repair procedure as an additional precaution before proceeding. The chain is then polished and, if required, re-plated to ensure that the color is consistent.
The chain has a plated finish.
Some chains are coated with gold or rhodium to give them a certain tint. The restoration process removes the coating, revealing the original color of the metal underneath. Because some jewelers may not be able to gold plate the chain, they may decline it to prevent any problems with their consumers.
The original metal of the chain is also a consideration. Most jewelers should be able to re-plate a sterling silver chain that has been gold-plated. Strange metals, on the other hand, cannot be easily plated, and if the jeweler judges that it is not easily conducive to the gold plating procedure, they will decline the work.
Our jewelers are capable of working with unusual jewelry metals that need plating. We do this by nickel plating the chain to make it chemically compatible with the gold plating process before placing it in our gold-plating tank for the final colour.
You’re now aware of the reasons why your jeweler will not conduct the chain repair! If you’re having this problem, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to assist you.