The Jewelry Hall of Shame and How to Avoid it
My jeweler friend Casey Gallant, of Stephen Gallant Jewelers wrote this up and is letting me share. This is as good an excuse as any to share pictures of messed up jewelry.
My brother has offered to make my wedding ring and I’m having some reservations. He’s been taking classes at the local City College, but he has a habit of starting and stopping things.
He tuned my car once and, can I just kindly say, I didn’t have to sell it but…..
Anyway he’s my fiance’s best friend and that’s how we met and I’m freaking out because my fiancé suggested that it sounded cool to him. How do I make this not happen? I’ve included a picture of his work so far, please let me know what you think.
Am I being overly picky?
– Dear Miss Not Being Picky,
Dear Miss Not Being Picky,
That picture said it all, thanks for sending it! Mismatched metal color, blobby solder job, he seriously is not ready to create a ring, much less repair one. More power to him on his hobby in the privacy of his garage, but not your forever ring on your hand.
As far as what to say. Perhaps something on the lines of, you and I are both connected to my brother in our own ways, but we’ve created our own relationship and I want my ring to be about you and I, but I don’t want it to include my brother. It’s about our love and our life, let’s just you and me figure out the ring I’ll wear every day to symbolize our love.
Hopefully your brother understands and keeps working at his hobby! Every jeweler started off making bad rings. Which they then melted and tried again. I think he needs to try again a lot before he makes anyone’s ring, much less a forever ring.
TOP 3 REASONS YOUR JEWELRY BROKE….hint….it’s usually not the jewelry’s fault.
- Sleeping in it. Yep, seems harmless, you’re just resting for hours, right? But prongs can snag in sheets and hair gets tangled around chains overnight EVERY night and can cause them to break.
- Wearing it to the gym (or golfing, or mowing the lawn, or tennis, etc). Any activity where you are lifting or pushing a heavy object is going to damage the back of a ring (see Photo). These activities are the perfect time to pop on a Qalo silicon band to protect your finger AND your fine jewelry rings.
- Dirt. The #1 thing we hear is “I wear it all the time.” And that’s ok, but you need to clean your jewelry, and not just so it LOOKS pretty. Dust from the air (or dirt from your garden, sand from the beach) and oils from your skin (lotions, sunscreens, bugspray) can combine to act like a sandpaper and wear away at the metal links in your bracelets and necklaces, and between rings to wear them thin.
Can We Talk About Wearing it 24/7?
It’s a good idea to take off your ring at least once a month and clean your ring. Uncleaned rings can lead to contact dermatitis or other irritated skin reactions. Dirt gets between prongs and gems, changing the position of your prong, months later that dirt comes out, your setting is now looser, this lays the groundwork for you to lose your gemstones.
Just because no gemstones have fallen out, or it’s not showing breakage doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a tune-up. This intricate vintage ring is in dire need of help, but it is valiantly soldiering on in spite of its need.
What Can You Do to Dodge Damage?
Avoid Putting Your Ring Down Near a Garbage Disposal
Twenty-Four Seven Plus Fifty Years
The Number One Thing to Check? Your Prongs
I love this picture of the bent prong. You look at it and you think, “Oh, I’d totally notice that.” But actually careful jewelry wearers can have things like this happen. It’s like we glance at it and see a picture in our minds from when it was cleaner and in good working order.
It’s important to inspect a repair when it’s done as sometimes they aren’t so great. When you have more gemstones it’s easier to miss that problems are developing. In the pictured multi-diamond ring shown it suffered from weird previous repairs as well as worn down prongs.
Prongs don’t always snap off. Sometimes they bend outward. Warning signs are catching on clothing. It’s not always as obvious as this runaway prong.
I have no Idea How This Happened
Daily wear can wear down your metal. This is the bottom of a platinum eternity bottom. It’s amazing how much the bottom of your ring gets beat up. This is my excuse to find a place to show what happens to a ring on the bottom of your hand. For my eternity band lovers who wonder, “how did that happen?”
Non jeweler fixing your jewelry
I thought I’d share with you what my husband did when I asked him to take my bracelet to get fixed. Yeah, I’m not wearing that. Can it be fixed? Or will every jeweler I show it to laugh fit to pee his pants like that guy at the mall store?
– Wife of Mr. Fix it
Dear Ms. Fix it,
I’m thinking that the next time he loses his keys and you have to find them, you could paint some bright nail polish on one of them, to “help him keep track of them!”
Then if you’re still married after that little caper maybe you can get him to agree not to “fix” your jewelry himself!
My Fellow Jewelers, Beating Back Broken Jewelry, Turning Tears to Smiles
I want to thank my jeweler friends, most of whom are in Jewelers Helping Jewelers, who generously shared pictures for my jewelry hall of shame:
Sako Khatcherian at Cicada Jewelers, Los Angeles California,
William Cano, owner of Cano’s Diamonds in San Angelo Texas,
Timothy Hunter Hawkins, West Main Jewelry in Dothan Alabama,
Deborah Rember Faubian, of Jay’s Jewelry, Chickasha Oklahoma,
Jen Hollywood Showell, J Hollywood Designs, Exton Pennsylvania,
Dawn and Todd Nickel, Owners at Weigal Jewelry in Beatrice Nebraska,
Aladar Solymosi, at Youngs Jewelry in Cleveland Ohio,
Charles Norton and Chuck Norton Designs, Dunwoody Georgia,
Jessica Ioerger, of Lucky Hunter Jewelry in Eureka Illinois
Luisa Valeria Smith, at Cornerstone Jewelers in Colorado Springs, Colorado,
Alex Artinian, Designer at Facet Grade Jewelry, in Boston Mass,
Scott Isaacs, Owner at Belle Meade Jewelry and Repair in Nashville Tennessee.
You make me smile, you answer my questions and you are my tribe. We jewelers love to share our pictures of jewelry in distress. One of our wacky pastimes. Let me know if you enjoy it as well.
Your Personal Jeweler,