Rings are often not simply accessories, but sentimental reminders of a person or an occasion. When one with such strong sentiment and memories attached ends up broken, it can be heartbreaking – but face it, it happens to people a lot. Everyday wear and tear as well as one-off accidents can result in a misshapen or broken band. While some repairs can be performed at home with relative ease, others require a visit to a local jeweler for an expert eye and technique. The upside is knowing that, if you can get to a reputable jeweler, the worst of ring breaks and accidents can be mended.
Fix it at Home
Some metals and problems are significantly more simple to fix with regard to jewelry and rings. Wire rings that have become misshapen or bent can be easily twisted back into the original shape. Jewelry made of flexible or malleable material can be mended with a wooden mallet and a mandrel, or with the metal rod that a ring is placed on to adjust ring sizes.
Simply slide the band down the mandrel until it stops. Using the mallet, tap the ring while turning the mandrel to conform the band to the perfectly round rod. Remove the ring, flip it over so that the side that was at the top of the tapered mandrel is at the bottom. Repeat the light tapping to ensure the ring is shaped evenly. Though this fix can be used on plain or etched bands, do not attempt to reshape a band that includes diamonds or other precious stones. The force of the mallet could break the stones.
Visit a Jeweler
A ring with a small fracture in the band or that is completely broken into two or more pieces should be taken to a store to be soldered and filed back together. While the ideal option is to return to the same store or jeweler from which the ring was bought, large chains like Kay Jewelers will perform repairs no matter where the ring was purchased.
Before taking the ring to the store, take photos of it so you can be sure the original ring is returned to you. All parts of the ring should be taken to the jeweler for repair, and you should note the ring's type of metal. Explaining the problem or accident that resulted in the break can also help the jeweler in his approach to repairing the ring. For a particularly sentimental or meaningful piece, ask the expert to sketch the final product with the repairs and adjustments before any alterations are made to the ring. This helps to ensure that the result – along with correct specifications – is what you both envision.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.