Hi all, I have laser experience (5+ yr.s) and consider myself
competent. One of the things I heard before using a laser is that I
would be able to tip stones with a laser that I couldn’t tip with a
So… let’s pick a typical repair job; a 10 year old ring, which
maybe has several 2 pt. emeralds, all set in six prong 14ky cup
crowns. Many are worn to different degrees, customer only wants to
spend $XX. So don’t reply that I should replace the crowns, etc. For
the sake of argument I need to TIP THE EMERALDS WITHOUT REMOVING
Okay, here I am with my laser, looking at tipping several of these
worn prongs, let’s say they are worn right down to the stone. If
these were diamonds I’d torch-tip with solder and be done. But,
they’re emeralds (or if you’re reading this and are thinking, “Heck,
I can torch-tip emeralds” great, make them opals).
Per all the hype a Perfect Candidate for laser re-tipping, right?
When asking other operators if they can do it, they invariably say
"Sure! I can do that!" When I press for details what they actually
mean is they cut off the prong down low and replace the prong and
probably remove the stone while they’re at it. That is re-pronging,
not re-tipping. When I look at websites selling lasers, they say you
can re-tip anything with a laser - then they show a video of putting
a new prong on.
So, here’s my question - can anyone do the re-tipping job I’ve
outlined? Adjust your beam in such a fashion you can introduce the
new wire onto the incredibly thin remaining tip, that’s flush
against a little, cracked emerald, and end up with a useable new
PS - Here’s a site for Laser Star with demo videos, check out the
’Re-tipping an emerald setting’ video. It’s not stone-in-place, and
it’s not re-tipping.