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Frequently Asked Questions

About Jewelry Repair

I lost my diamond from my ring. My diamond is lost. How do I find my diamond?

Think of where you last saw the diamond in your ring and trace your movement back to that location. Try to think of anything you did that might of shaken, snagged or pulled your diamond out of it's setting. Look carefully at your ring to see if it has any fuzz or other debris on it. This may indicate what the setting snagged on, and where the diamond was lost. For example, if there's blue fuzz on the prongs, and you have a blue couch, you'll want to look in the area of your couch for your diamond.

Do you think your diamond was lost in the kitchen? Carefully check everywhere in that area, no matter how unlikely it may seem. There are several places it may have fallen into, for example: the mayonnaise jar, salad bowl, dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, trashcan, oven mitt etc. Think of any action that may have shaken or jarred the diamond loose. I heard of a diamond that was lost in a kitchen, that was later discovered in a sandwich at lunch.

If you think your diamond was lost in a carpeted area, meticulously vacuum the area with a tank-type vacuum cleaner. Please don't use an upright vacuum cleaner that has a revolving brush, because this could damage your diamond.

Vacuum carefully around baseboards and any crevice where the diamond may have lodged. You most likely won't be able to see where the diamond is, but the suction of the vacuum will pull it out. Keep in mind that a diamond can bounce and roll several feet from where it hit the floor.

Other places to look are: sink traps, swimming pool, hot tub, pockets, couch, chair, bed, washing machine and keyboard.

It's common for diamonds to be lost in pools and hot tubs because the water dissolves the dirt and soap scum that was holding the diamond in a worn setting.

If you think you lost your diamond in your car, vacuum the floor mats, seats, map pockets in the doors and anywhere else accessible. Remove the floor mats and vacuum the floor too. Maybe the diamond fell out of it's setting when you slammed your car door. Vacuum the cracks in your driveway or garage floor, anywhere the diamond may have landed.

After you have vacuumed the area, dump the vacuum cleaner contents into a gold pan or similar pan with water. Swirl the mixture while looking for your diamond. A bright light helps immensely. The diamond should be fairly easy to spot. You'd be surprised how many diamonds have been recovered using this method. It's well worth the effort to find your expensive and sentimental diamond.

I have lost several .01-.02 carat (1.3-1.7 mm) diamonds in my workshop, and I had no idea where they were on the floor. I looked at every square inch with no luck. After vacuuming and panning, I found every diamond, every time.

Even though your diamond is extremely small and it seems like it's gone forever, if you search and vacuum carefully, it's very probable that you will find your lost diamond.

No other website on the internet has information on how to find your lost diamond. Only Tim's Jewelry Repair has this information.

I had several links on my gold bracelet repaired where they were thin and now my bracelet is 15 mm shorter. What caused this?

The end of each link was restored back to it's original thickness, which in turn made the inside dimension of each link a little shorter. The combined reduction in length of the links reduced the overall length of the bracelet.

What should I use to clean my jewelry?

I recommend an ultrasonic cleaner and cleaning solution from Wal-Mart. It produces fantastic results when used properly.

My ring needs to be sized, but it has stones in it. Can it still be sized?

Yes, I can do it, and usually the stones won't even have to be removed. I use a special technique to protect the stones during the soldering process. There is no possibility of the stones being damaged by the heat from the torch when using this technique.

Will I be able to see where my ring was sized?

No, in most cases the repair cannot be seen.

My chain broke, can it be repaired?

Yes, I repair hollow chains, braided chains, silver chains, white gold chains, tri-color chains, snake chains, herringbone, omega and more. Even the finest, smallest chain can be repaired. I've soldered chains made of wire as small as .006" (6 thousandths of an inch). Human hair is .003"-.004".

My gold chain has lost it's shine and is even turning black. What causes this and can it be returned to it's original condition?

Perfume, cologne, cosmetics and perspiration can make 14K gold turn extremely dull and even black. Yes, I can clean it and polish it to look like new. I use a special technique to remove even the most severe oxidation.

My herringbone chain is badly twisted and kinked. Can it be fixed?

Yes, it can usually be straightened to an acceptable condition. It may not be exactly like new, but it will be wearable and will look fine.

My piece of jewelry used to have parts of it painted, but it's chipped and worn away. Can it be re-painted?

Yes I can re-paint it using a special paint that is very durable, glossy and looks great.

My silver ring used to have parts of it oxidized black, but it's worn away. Can it be re-oxidized?

Yes, I use a special mixture of chemicals to re-oxidize silver jewelry to it's original state. It makes it look fantastic.

My ring was mangled when it: went through the garbage disposal/vacuum cleaner/was stepped on/ran over by a car/arced on the car's battery terminal/chewed by the dog. Can it be repaired?

I have repaired jewelry damaged in these types of accidents and more. Usually even the most twisted, bent, dented, scratched, cracked rings can be made wearable again. Most of the time they can be repaired to look like new.

My jewelry is discolored and irritates and discolors my skin. What causes this and how can I prevent it?

The most common cause of skin irritation and discoloration of all karats of gold jewelry and silver jewelry is cosmetics. Cosmetics contain extremely fine abrasive compounds such as zinc oxide, titanium oxide, ferric oxide, and calamine. Cosmetics containing these compounds can rub off tiny particles of gold, which strangely enough, looks like black dust. This black dust causes a black smudge on skin and clothing. Remove rings and other jewelry before applying cosmetics.

The alloys in gold, such as silver and copper can be corroded by perspiration, perfume, cologne and even smog and air pollutants. This can result in a greenish-black skin discoloration, even with 14K gold. To prevent this, apply an absorbent powder, free of abrasives, to skin that comes into contact with jewelry.

Clean your jewelry often and don't let perfume and cologne come into contact with it. Always remove your rings when using soap and detergents to prevent soap buildup. Clean your jewelry often to prevent buld-up of dirt and bacteria which can also cause skin irritation.

As a last resort, clear nail polish can be applied to the part of jewelry that contacts and irritates the skin.

I've heard that jewelry can be damaged by wearing it in a swimming pool or hot tub. Is this true?

Yes, sometimes the chlorine and other chemicals in a pool will attack and corrode the solder, or the nickel, copper, silver, zinc or other metals used to alloy the gold.

After repeated immersion in pool water, prongs can crack and break off, shanks crack, settings fall off etc. Dipping your jewelry in a mixture of water and household bleach to clean it, or while doing laundry can damage it too.

Muriatic acid, which is used to adjust the total alkalinity and pH in pools is also an ingredient in aqua regia. Aqua regia is made of 1 part nitric acid and 3 parts muriatic acid. Aqua regia dissolves pure, 24 karat gold.

Some stones, such as opals, turquoise and pearls can be damaged by pool chemicals. If you lose a diamond or small piece of jewelry in a pool, it can be very hard to find. It is best not to wear jewelry in swimming pools.

The tips of the prongs on my ring are worn, can they be repaired or does the setting have to be replaced?

In most cases, the tips of the prongs can be built up with gold. Occasionally it is more economical to replace the setting.

My tennis bracelet has broken between two of the links. Can it be repaired?

Yes, a new tube and pin can be soldered in place and it will be like new.

My ring is too tight to remove from my finger. How do I remove my ring?

Try soaking your finger in ice water to shrink it as much as possible. Quickly dry your finger and apply some cooking oil or liquid soap to help the ring slip off. If this doesn't work, the ring will have to be cut off at a jewelry store or medical facility.

My ring was too loose and I lost my ring in my backyard. My ring is lost. How do I find my ring?

Look in the phone book under Metal Detecting and Prospecting Supplies or Metal Detector Clubs for information on how to contact a person with a metal detector. Many times they will be glad to search for, and usually find your lost ring. Often they ask for nothing in return except a small fee or permission to search your entire yard for lost coins.

Do you have a question about jewelry repair? Email me:

If possible, include close-up picture of jewelry in question.
I reply to all email. If no reply within 24 hours, try again, as Hotmail has been blocking some email lately.

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