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Antique platinum filigree ring and solder

Does anyone know what kind of solder would have been used to join up
the 2 halves of antique filigree rings?

I have a platinum filigree ring that needs a new shank. The client
has had it repaired twice because it keeps cracking at the solder
joints. My guess is that either the solder originally used to join
the 2 halves of the ring is causing some kind of contamination or
that the shop that originally repaired it contaminated it some
other way; maybe they used acetylene.

I cut plenty of metal away from the old solder joint to remove any
contaminated platinum that may have been present, but I’d like to
avoid using a solder that is too much hotter than the original
solder used.

The customer told my client that the original shop said the ring was
previously contaminated by 18 karat. I didn’t see any gold on the
ring and have heated the metal and not found any change in the metal
that would indicate gold solder.

I’d like to keep this job from coming back to haunt me!



By two halves do you mean joined at the shank or bottom of the
shank? Are you putting in a full shank? If so you would most likely
have cut all the contamination out and should be able to solder it
with plat solder. Unless it had been reshanked previously with some
other type of solder. Is the ring stamped?

J Morley
Goldsmith/Laser Welding

Hi Larry,

I’ll try to answer your questions about the antique platinum ring.
But first, is the ring set with stones? If it is set with stones
the correct way was to unset all of the stones and then either weld
or high temp platinum solder as needed. However we are now blessed
with laser welding which will handle this job perfectly without the
risk and cost of unsetting. Many fine old rings have been
contaminated with gold solder because the repairman took the easy

If the ring was originally made by knowledgeable craftsman it was
most likely welded, not soldered together. He would fusion weld the
two half’s together so you will not be able to find solder seams. If
the ring has been rhodium plated then you must first strip the
plating off to find any platinum or gold solder seams. Again, with
laser welding chances are you won’t have bother with stripping. Do
yourself and your customer a favor and use a laser.

Jim Miller

I think you need to soak the piece in aqua regia soultion to remove
all the solder. That is the responsible method. Anything less is not
complete and the next jeweler down the line will have to fix your
mistake. I know this is something you want to do, but adding more
solder to the filligree ring is wrong. Commission someone with a
laser to build up the piece and your credibility to the customer will
be solid.

Scott Isaacs
Berry’s Jewelry Nashville