The weak link in the chain.

Why don’t we solder the ring that connects your clasp to your chain?

Most of you have heard of “The weak link in the chain”.  Typically, there is a small ring (we call it a Jump Ring) which connects the end of your chain to the clasp (usually a lobster claw or spring ring).  This ring is intended to be the weak link in the chain.  That means it will pull open when the chain is pulled or caught on something.  Yes, I know you are concerned that the chain might fall off, but if that ring was soldered closed, the chain would probably have broken somewhere else anyway (or really hurt your neck).  By having this ring open, it protects the main part of the chain from stress and possible breakage.  It is much less expensive to re-close or replace the Jump Ring than to fix a broken chain.  Another problem occurs when soldering close to a clasp.  Unless it is soldered very carefully, or laser welded, the heat from soldering can damage the metal in the spring and cause it to fail.  We recommend that you check this Jump Ring on your chain periodically.  If it is starting to open, bring it in for one of our Goldsmiths to close it back up for you, or replace it if necessary.  While you are at it, check your whole chain over for parts that are getting thin.  A bit of maintenance now may prevent the loss of a chain (and any pendants on the chain) later.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, On

 

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Jewellery that can’t be fixed or is not worth repairing?

Sometimes jewellery cannot be fixed for a variety of reasons. However, most gold, silver and platinum jewellery can be repaired with the right equipment and expertise. Sometimes, the cost of fixing the item is more than what the item is worth.   If the item has sentimental value, it may be worth it to you to have the item fixed. Some jewellery has to be fixed with a laser welder. This is an expensive machine to purchase as well as to use. Most jewellery repair depots do not have one as it is a very specialized piece of equipment and requires specialized training. We are fortunate to have an in-house laser welder as well as the expertise to use it. With the advent of laser welding, many items of jewellery that could not be fixed in the past, like some costume jewellery, can now be repaired using this specialized style of welding.

If the item is truly not worth repairing, please remember that you can sell your scrap gold and sometimes even the precious stones in the item.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca

Can you melt down my old gold to make me a new item?

Many people ask if they can have their old gold melted down to make something new. This will work, however, to do this properly; the gold must be refined to pure and then mixed with new alloy. It is also possible that if the gold has no contaminants (like solder), it may be mixed with new gold to make a slightly better product that just using old gold alone.

When old gold is melted down, the resulting cast that is made can be quite porous. This means it can literally fall apart or have little pin holes in the final product. This porosity might not be noticed until the item is worked on years later, such as when a ring is sized or polished.

The other consideration that many people don’t realise is that, the lost wax method of casting, which is the most popular, requires about 2 ½ times as much gold as is in the final product.

Professionals in the jewellery industry typically use new gold only. This means gold that has been refined to pure then mixed with the appropriate alloy.

For sentimental reasons, a person may want to make something with, for example, Grandma’s old wedding rings. Since there typically would not be enough gold to make another ring, other suggestions would be:

Make a free form pendant

In this case, we would bring the metal to its melting point and then cool it quickly and see what form the gold takes. A bale can be added so that it can be worn as a pendant.

Take the diamonds or other stones from the item and set them into a new setting. Use the money from the “scrap” gold towards the new item.

In one case, a woman whose husband died did not want to continue wearing her wedding rings, so we took the top portion of the rings, which included the diamonds, and set them into a custom made pendant with an oval “frame” around them. This way she could continue to wear her rings without appearing to be married.

There are many innovative ways to honour the person who once wore the jewellery. With a little creativity, we can create something that you will be proud to wear.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca

What do I do with jewellery that has been passed on to me?

Many people have received jewellery from family members who no longer want or need it. Not knowing if the jewellery has any value is a common concern. We offer a free of charge consultation with our jeweller (by appointment) who will let you know which items are costume jewellery and which have value as jewellery. Of course, sentimental value can’t be measured, but if you require an appraisal we would be happy to do it for you.

We can appraise your jewellery for whatever purpose that is required. Typically, appraisals start at $35 and, will take 24 to 72 hours to complete. Special arrangements, at an additional charge, can be made if you require the appraisal to be done while you wait. For more information on jewellery appraisals, please refer to the CJA website. (www.canadianjewellers.com then put “Appraisal” in the search bar) If you are not in our area, you can also find a list of Certified Appraisal Professionals on this site.  You can also refer to our blog post on Appraisals from January 3rd, 2015.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via Facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca

What is costume jewellery?

Many people have heard the term “costume jewellery” and are unsure of its meaning. Costume jewellery is typically made from base metals and glass or rhinestones. It can also be made with cubic zirconia or have other inexpensive stones. Costume jewellery may be very inexpensive, BUT, some old but not necessarily antique costume jewellery may have more value than one would think. Many people collect jewellery from certain manufactures, and will pay more for a piece than when it was originally purchased. One such manufacturer is Sherman, but there are others.  The disadvantages of jewellery made with base metals is that the plating that makes it appear bright and shiny when it is new, often wears off over time and these items cannot be re-plated. Also, if the item breaks it usually requires a laser welder to repair. This is an expensive machine to purchase as well as to use. Most jewellery repair depots do not have one as it is a very specialized piece of equipment and requires specialized training. We are fortunate to have an in-house laser welder as well as the expertise to use it. With the advent of laser welding, many items of jewellery that could not be fixed in the past, like some costume jewellery, can now be repaired using this specialized style of welding.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via Facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca

How can I tell if my jewellery is gold, silver or another metal?

Most jewellery is stamped somewhere on its surface. On rings it is typically on the inside of the shank, but, can also be under the head or sometimes on the outside of the shank at the back or side of the ring. Earrings with ear wires or posts may have the stamp on the wire part of the earring. Pendants may have the stamp somewhere on the main section or may have the bale stamped. Precious metal jewellery made in Canada MUST, by law have a quality mark and a manufacturer’s trademark on the item as a minimum or NO stamp at all. That means it must have either both marks, or neither. In some countries, EACH link of a gold chain must have a karat stamp and manufacturer’s trademark. This is not required in Canada. If your jewellery has no marking, or, if you are unsure that the mark is correct, we can test the karat of the jewellery and tell you gold content. There is a small charge for this service; typically $10 per item.

10 karat gold will usually be stamped 10k or 417. 10k means that the item is 10 parts in 24 gold, and the remaining 14 parts in 24 is alloy. 10/24=.417 which means that the item is 41.7% gold. This is why some 10k gold is stamped 417. Just as an aside, it is the metals in the alloy that determine the colour of the gold; typically yellow, white, or rose (pink).

Similarly, 14k gold may be stamped 583, 18k gold may be stamped 750, and 22k gold may be stamped 917. Because 24k gold is very soft, jewellery is seldom made in pure 24k gold.

Sterling Silver is usually stamped 925 or Sterling. 925 or Sterling means that the item is 92.5% silver and the remaining 7.5% is alloy.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via Facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca

How much does it cost to size a ring?

The cost to size can vary greatly depending on if the ring has to be made smaller or larger; the metal needed for the sizing; how much the ring has to be sized, for example one size or three sizes? Are there any stones in the ring? Sometimes during sizing, stones may become loose and have to be re- tightened. If a silver ring has to be sized, and there are many side stones, it is possible that it may have to be sized with a laser welder. This is an expensive machine to purchase as well as to use. Most jewellery repair depots do not have one as it is a very specialized piece of equipment and requires specialized training. We are fortunate to have an in-house laser welder as well as the expertise to use it.

There are many considerations when deciding on the size you need your ring.

For some people, it is common for their fingers to swell periodically. This can be due to medications, type of food eaten, or weather. It is also common for fingers to swell during pregnancy. This can make it difficult to pick a size. We suggest that you either come in for sizing when you are at your biggest, or you choose not to wear certain rings on the days that your fingers swell.

When trying on the finger sizers, you should keep in mind that wide rings will feel tighter on your finger than narrow ones of the same size. Your jewellery store should have a set of wide ring finger sizers.

Typically, alternative metal rings like Titanium, Tungsten, and Ceramic cannot be sized economically (if at all). These rings should be purchased in the correct size.

Silver rings can be sized, but if there are stones set into the ring, a laser welder may be necessary (see above). Also, since silver is often rhodium plated to give it a bright shiny look, the ring would need to be re-rhodium plated after sizing. Typically, we recommend that silver rings be purchased in the correct size, since the cost for sizing is often close to or more than the purchase price of the ring.

Feel free to bring your jewellery in for a free quote. We will size your finger and check for any claws that may need repair. Depending on workload, if you drop your jewellery off on Monday, it is usually done by Friday.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at exquisite@tbaytel.net, or via facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

http://www.exquisite.ca