Anyone can make simple repairs to their jewelry and save money in the process. Chains and bracelets are one item that most people have broken at one time or another. Anyone who wears their favorite ring regularly should know the basics of getting rid of blemishes, dirt and scratches. Of course, keeping your gemstones looking like new is a simple process that requires only a little time and patience.
Repairing Chains and Bracelets
The most common repair needed for a chain or bracelet is replacing a broken clasp. No need to call a jeweler, just go buy a replacement clasp, the two most common types are spring ring clasps and lobster claw clasps, and make sure you have 2 pair of needle nose pliers wrap a piece of masking tape over each jaw to prevent damage to the soft metal. If you look at your broken clasp, you should notice a ring that is not soldered connecting it to the rest of the chain. This is called a jump ring, just take the pliers and grab both sides of the jump ring and gently open it up. Slide out the old broken claps and replace it with the new one. Make sure you close the jump ring all the way to avoid the clasp from slipping off the chain. Jump rings are used to attach many items to a bracelet or necklace. Sometimes they get loose and allow and amulet to fall off. The repair process is the same, just use the pliers to close the ring fully and your amulets will never fall off again.
Removing Dirt, Scratches and Blemishes From Rings
Gold and Silver are the most common types of metal used for rings. Unfortunately, both of these metals are soft and are prone to scratching and tarnishing. There are plenty of over the counter tarnish removers readily available. One home remedy is to take your ring and soak it in straight dish washing liquid. The thick gel will eventually penetrate the nooks and crannies around gemstones and gently remove the tarnish from the metal. Let your ring soak for quite a while, we recommend 24 hours, and then use warm water to gently was away the tarnish, dirt, and any other debris that is making your favorite jewelry. Wash the ring until all the soap is removed and never use too much water pressure or you may lose some gemstones. Since we are constantly moving, rings get scratches. Scratches require a special cleaning cloth with a mild abrasive called polishing compound or Rouge. These can be purchased at regular stores like Wal Mart and there is no need to go to a specialty store and pay too much for them. Gently buff the damaged area until the scratches disappear. Since the abrasive will leave a residue, we recommend you use the above method to clean your jewelry after removing scratches and blemishes.
Gemstones come in a wide variety of types and styles. Diamonds are very hard so cleaning them at home can be easy. Soft stones like Opals are very fragile and can crack or even break easily. Before cleaning any gemstone, make sure you know what the stone is and the hardness. Use your best judgement on self cleaning and think about what will be lost if you damage the stone. Cleaning gemstones is much the same as cleaning rings, you can buy professional solutions but plain dish washing liquid will work just fine. Some people recommend steam cleaning gemstones. We at JDRC think steam cleaning should be left to professionals. The fragile nature of some gemstones makes this a dangerous process for the amateur. Please take a look at all of our resources here at JDRC. We have many online tutorials, links to guides and resources, and basic information for those wishing to make their own jewelry or just the jewelry lover who just wants to know more about their favorite trinkets.
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