Ballbearings for ring

Fellow list members,

I’ve got a problem. I have a special, personal ring. I bought it
about 5-8 years ago at a local shop here, named Gurinsky’s. It’s
a swinger ring. Pretty unusual looking, with about 14 diamonds,
wide band, 14kt. I wear it everyday, and should have enough
sense to take it off, for a lot of things. Problem is that the
other day after I got out of the shower, I realized it was
rattling. The little bearings are gone… I took it to Gurinsky’s
for repair, and today they called and said they have no idea
where the bearings can be found, and cannot fix it, and have no
idea who can. I am a beginner, and I have no idea how to do the
repair. Any one have any ideas? I would be so grateful for any


Aloha BJ, The bearings (micro bearings) are not real hard to
find. A measurement of the outside and inside race (rings of the
bearing) is necessary to find the replacement. This way you can
find the original size and the missing ball bearings really
don’t matter in the equation. If you need sources I will look
them up, drop me an email.

Best Regards,

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking


Surely Gurinsky’s knows where the ring came from and could at
least assist you by eather sending the ring to them or, if they
are out of business, advise you further. Seems to me they have
something of a responsibility to you if it’s only been a few
years. I’ve seen the type of ring you describe in trade magazines
and in shops before but not in a while.

Steve Klepinger

     I took it to Gurinsky's for repair, and today they called
and said they have no idea where the bearings can be found, and
cannot fix it, and have no idea who can. 

When I lived in Detroit, the local tools/materials supply house,
C.R.Hill company, in Berkley Michigan (a detroit suburb) carried
suitible bearings. Don’t have their number off hand. They don’t
print a catalog, but are happy to do mail order. They’re on west
eleven mile road… From that, the phone company should be able
to connect you.

Repairing these usually means unscrewing the top ornament that
caps the “axel”. Sometimes, it’s fixed to the “axel”, and the
latter is threaded into the ring. Other times the whole thing is
just soldered. In any case, disassemble the thing, even if you
have to cut that axel, which is nothing more than just a piece of
suitable wire. After this is done, you should be able to
install new bearings. usually, they’re just held to each
"dangle" by a few small simple prongs that hold it into a collar.
If those need repair, it’s also pretty basic. Once the
individual bearings are on the swinging parts securely,
reassemble the ring. If it was just screwed together,
reassemble it, adding a drop of loc tite or super glue so it will
stay tight. Don’t strip the threads. If it had to be replaced, I
usually run a new wire all the way through the ring and solder it
to the ring from the inside with a soft repair grade of solder,
taking care to heat sink the bearings as best as possible.
Remove flux with just hot water, not pickle, to avoid damaging
the bearings (which are usually stainless steel, but still will
be damamged by the pickle.)

One thing to remember about jewelry purchased in retail stores.
Most stores just buy the stuff. That they carry it is no
guarantee that they’ve the staff, knowledge, or willingness to
work on the stuff, and these rings can be a real pain for
beginners who’ve not done them before, as well as their bosses
who are watching the clock… You may need to do a little more
searching to find a more skilled jeweler.

If C.R.Hill can’t help you, you might want to investigate firms
like Winfred Berg, or small parts inc, who often carry tiny
bearings at unfortunately high prices… (usually a lot more
than the buck or two Hills was charging me a few years ago…

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

Extra Small Series Metric Miniatures

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA certified Master Bench Jeweler

Aloha Christian, and thank you so much.

The repairman made it sound like there was no hope. He said it
would be very hard to find a source for the bearings. Would you
please see if you can find a source. Maybe the jeweler will be
able to do the repairs if I can get what he needs. You have made
my day. Thanks again, for taking time to respond. I hope someday
I can return the favor.

Happy regards,


My imagination has failed in its efforts to visualize what ball
bearings can do in a ring; and my experience clearly isn’t rich
enough. Does anyone know of a pix on some site somewhere?
thanks so much! ryr

They’re called spinner rings. When first done, in the sixties,
by a well known german designer, they were very new. Now they’re
hacked out by the knockoff artists. Back in the Detroit jewelry
slum building I worked in, every Armenian jewelry store in the
place had a few.

Imagine a plain band ring, with a vertical stiff wire comeing
straight up from the middle. Hung on this, via those bearings,
are various items, which can spin around in the horizontal plane
as the ring is moved. common is eccentric circles, sometimes set
with diamonds, or bright cut. Often there are two of them, the
lower one larger than the upper one, and then the wire is capped
on top with another small ornament. When they’re well made, they
can be quite fun, and surprisingly durable. But well made ones
are rare…

Peter Rowe

hi, to identify what size bearing you have, examine the inner and
outer races the donut shaped thingies that hold the ball
bearings) and you may see some numbers that identify the size and
quality of the bearing. not all bearings have this number
though, good luck.

best regards,
geo fox