My son asked me to repair his girlfriend’s 10K gold ring with a small diamond in it. It’s an old ring that’s seen a lot of wear. The band is very thin on the bottom but the break was in a thicker area of the band toward the diamond. The bottom line is I now have two pieces and would like advice on how to proceed. I’ll attach a picture.
Some details…After looking closely at the ring, seeing how bent up it was and finding a stress fracture too, I talked to her about it. Turns out she had stepped on it. I explained that the band might melt, but she asked me to give it a try anyhow.
So, I started by filling the stress fracture. I coated the ring with borax/alcohol, used 10K solder, Battern’s Flux, and a very small nozzle on my hydrogen torch. Used a third hand to hold the ring, solder on top of the fracture, flame on the bottom. Success, all good! Put it in pickle to clean then opened up the shank just enough to get a file in the broken area. Smoothed both sides, then same process as above to solder this spot. This time my solder balled up but did not flow. Cleaned it in pickle, worked each side with a smoother file and tried again - same result.
This time when I took the ring out of the pickle the band fell over onto the rest of the ring. Now I have two pieces. I’m guessing I should have annealed the ring before working on the break. Fear of melting it made me shy away from that. And now I’m worried there are other mini cracks I can’t see with my 10X loupe (I don’t have a microscope).
Any advice is appreciated but here are questions going through my mind. And probably obvious, but I only recently started incorporating gold into my designs. Should I buy a new piece of gold and replace the beat up shank? If I try to solder the two pieces back together, should I solder both ends at the same time? Should I file the ends where the new crack is or just jam them together before soldering?