When you say you need to replace the ring shank, do you mean you have
to replace the entire shank? Or does the ring just need a half shank
or perhaps even quarter shank? If all the ring needs is a half shank
or quarter shank, if you’re confident in your soldering abilities, as
conductive as silver is, there’s a possibility that the new shank can
be soldered in place with the top half of the ring covered by a
refractive wadding of your choice. I use a lot of wet paper towel and
on occasion, heat shield at work.
If the entire silver shank, not just half or a quarter needs
replacing, depending on how attached the customer is to that tooth
there’s an outside possibility you could sell the customer on
re-making the silver portion of the ring from scratch. You could then
cut the silver away to let the tooth free, remove the gold from the
old ring and attach it to the new one exactly as it was before.
As for annealing the antlers to get the tooth out, unless the gold
used to make those antlers is extremely tough/brittle they’ll
probably be good to bend back enough to let the tooth out. I don’t
know how the ring is put together exactly but if the antlers are
soldered on you’d want to be pretty careful annealing them anyway,
they may be attached with a solder that flows very easily and while
annealing they could just let go an drop off. I once had carved west
coast native band in silver with a gold element attached to it that
had been stuck on there with soft solder. You could try gently
grabbing hold of one of the points of an antler away from the tooth
with a pair of pliers and see how that point reacts to being bent. If
it doesn’t snap right off then the rest of the gold is likely the
Either way, the worst case scenario there is that the antler breaks
while extracting the tooth but in my experience that’s not all that
common for gold to break if you move it slowly and watch carefully
what it’s doing. If you see any cracking at all, stop, reassess the
situation, get a coffee and think things through. If the antler
breaks, you’ll at least have the tooth out and you can then repair
the antler and work on the ring all you like.
Alternately you could seek the assistance of a local repair shop with
a good reputation. It’s not too uncommon for other jewellers to come
to the shop where I work for our assistance. I’m not sure where you
live but people on the forum here might be able to point you to
somebody nearby that could be of assistance to you. If you’re in
Vancouver, I’ll be happy to look at the ring for you.
Hope that helps a bit.