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Stone print? [Was: Customer dilemma]


#1

I’ve been reading this thread on “fear of stone swapping” for a
while. Although I’ve been a jeweler for a some years now, I solder
only in silver. Most of my market doesn’t justify using gold. When I
use a little it’s only as an accent, so I’m still using silver
solder.

Anyway- about a year and a half ago, I noticed that my wedding ring
was wearing thin at the back from rubbing against my engagement ring.
My rings date back to my pre-jewelry-making days; actually 19 years
ago to be exact. In examining them really carefully, I decided I
really could not wear them anymore without risking losing them. The
shank needs to be thickened and the two rings soldered together. (And
of course, I’ve gained a little weight over the years, so, they might
have to be enlarged a teensy bit) The rings are 14K white gold. (I
wanted platinum, but at that time was told I couldn’t get it unless I
brought in a piece to be melted down) There is one central .43 carat
diamond, with a .07 carat diamond on either side. The other ring is
plain- no stone.(Not very impressive, but all I could afford when I
was a poor scientific illustrator.) Never having soldered white gold,
or having set a diamond for that matter, I decided this job wasn’t
worth the risk for me to attempt it myself. I mentioned to my husband
that I would be looking for a place to have it repaired, whereupon he
started in on the whole diamond-switching business. We argued back
and forth for some time.Of course I don’t personally know any
reputable repair jewelers. I live in an anonymous suburb with
anonymous shops, so no one’s reputation will be ruined by fear of
unethical practice. The net result was that for the last year and a
half, I no longer wear my wedding ring, which seems like a shame. If
I can’t wear it because it’s worn thin, and I can’t fix it without
"losing" the diamond, I guess I can’t wear it. (Although I did tell
him that if anyone switched the diamond, it would probably be an
improvement) So it sits in a drawer, waiting for the cleaning people
to steal it, and friends ask in a concerned voice if we’re still
getting along. Interestingly enough, my mother’s platinum and diamond
rings had the same problem about 6 years back- but hers had worn thin
after 45 years of marriage. Object lesson in wear of platinum versus
wear of white gold. She (who did live in a small town) brought it to
the neighborhood jeweler to have done. (and she had to wait until he
found some platinum) As far as I can tell, it sure looks like the
same stone. Those prongs have a distinctive pattern on the top (four
prongs with a V-shape scallop outline) I don’t see how anyone could
pry those up and burnish them back down without changing them. But my
ring is much less distinctive. Anyway-sorry about the digression- I
remember hearing about something called a stone print, where you
could get some kind of photo-micrograph of your stone. Does anyone
know anything about this? Also, is it expensive? Is this a viable
solution? I thought the nail polish idea was very clever-but it
wouldn’t persuade my husband. When I still used a microscope I
examined my diamond, so I know where the flaws are. If I borrowed a
scope and made a plot of inclusions, would that be one way to tell?
(I’m afraid diamonds under a microscope will all look alike to me).
Thank you for your patience… it’s late, I’ve had a glass of scotch,
so I get wordy…


#2

Hello Linlahlum, Really, this sounds like an opportunity to learn a
new skill. I think gold is more forgiving in soldering than silver,
so your silver soldering skills are probably transferrable. If it
turns out that an Orchidian lives nearby and is agreeable to coaching
you, then do it yourself. What’s the worst that could happen…if
you melt something, what are you out?? One thought though, if the
shanks are as badly worn down as you indicate, it might be better to
simply re-set the stones. I’d guess that the prong tips are worn
down too. Now could be the time to go to platinum! Could your
mother’s jeweler do that for you? In any event, get those babies
back to sparkling on your finger. Good luck and have fun! Judy

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681