A unfixable ring came my way. I say unfixable because that’s what they called it. “Can you size my emerald ring? I’ve been told it can’t be sized by two jewelers, but my friend said ‘Calla Gold is a miracle worker with jewelry.’ So could you help me?” Rhonda was a new client.
“Probably…though, what exactly did you want done?” I responded.
“It’s too tight, I can squeeze it on in the winter with soap and water, but I can’t wear it at all in the summer. I need you to make it bigger.”
“Great. Let’s get together and let me take a look it.”
Why Normal Open Flame Soldering Ruins Some Gems During Ring Sizing
Emeralds—as well as, many other gemstones, are heat sensitive. Normal open flame soldering heats up a large portion of the ring. The heat conducts quickly along the gold during this method of ring sizing. This heat can cause cracking, discoloration and shattering of sensitive gemstones.
Why Laser Ring Welding, is Like a Miracle for Jewelers
Laser is a acronym for “Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Lasers produce focused beams of light to rapidly melt metal. Because the beam of light is so small, less overall heat is generated and small intricate work can be achieved by an experienced jeweler. For more technical data read this article.
The old school sizing method would have required the removal of Rhonda’s emerald from the bezel setting prior to traditional flame soldering. The bezel—the thin rim of gold surrounding the gem and holding it in place—would have had to be cut open to remove the emerald, causing the setting to have to be rebuilt. This would have added considerable expense to the sizing.
The other thing to be aware of is that when certain fragile gemstones are removed from their settings, there is the possibility of them chipping or cracking.
This is especially true of softer gems, such as opals and emeralds. I’ve seen too many gems that were held together by their setting fall apart when that support was removed. Happily, having to remove the gem and risk it cracking may be able to be avoided with laser soldering.
Laser Welding Machines
Many jewelers don’t own, or have access to, laser welding machines. The main reason is because these precise instruments cost as much as a small car. Therefore jewelers with no access to laser machines will turn down work that requires laser techniques.
Laser Knowledge is Power
I wanted you to know about the availability of this technology. If no one laser welds and sizes in your area, you can still find someone who can safely work on your jewelry.
Look online to find a jeweler who offers laser welding services. It is worth mailing your piece to a distant jeweler if they have the expertise you need.
Rhonda is now wearing her emerald ring year round and is a very happy jewelry lover!
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Have you been told your jewelry couldn’t be worked on because of the risk of damaging the gemstones? Times have changed. Call me and let’s explore if laser ring welding could solve your unfixable jewelry problem.