Jewelry repairs versus jewelry restoration
In general, when jewelry is repaired, original broken parts are put back together. Say an earring post has cracked, or stone claws are bent/misshapen, or a clasp no longer working. These are all things where the goldsmith will work with the original parts. It may involve more metal being added, or a new spring etc, but it is still all part of the original piece.
An example of this is the earring above, the post had broken away from this 18 karat gold earring. We replaced it, and also trimmed the posts a little for our client to make them more comfortable to wear.
Jewelry restoration may involve repairs but the requirements go further. Restoration is generally when the condition of the piece is irreparable (highly damaged, worn, or repaired incorrectly creating more damage) meaning repairs will be ineffective, or weaken the structure further. Replacement parts or components are going to be required. A simple example could be a stone setting so worn there is not enough metal to hold a gemstone stones securely in place, or where part of a piece has broken away.
For the Eternity Ring above, the metal was worn in several places, and had a couple of cracks meaning there was a high risk diamonds were going to be lost. For a small area, we could probably have repaired the metal, but here, because there was so much wear, the goldsmith used the old metal to re-create the stone setting, adding additional platinum for strength. The ring is back to being worn daily.
The key outcome with repairs or restoration, is to ensure that jewelry looks the same as when new. Sometimes with some tweaks for a client but a different path to remodelling. It is a good path, as a lot of antique jewellery is very beautiful in its own right – it just needs to be returned to its original glory.
We advise our clients on the nature of the work, once we’ve seen the jewelry as then we have a better idea of how everything works.
Do you have any Jewelry in need of repair or restoration? Contact us at [email protected] for a consultation.
If you are in Bangkok you may visit our showroom and consult with Tong:
Address: Prime Suite Condo, Apt 17/53 5th Flr, Sukhumvit Soi 18, Klongton, Klongtoie, Bangkok 10110, Thailand