Platinum ring repair.
This is a platinum and diamond ring that came in to be sized down. On close inspection it’s apparent that the ring had been worked on previously and this adds some extra complications to the repair process. Here is what happened.
The ring had been reshanked or for some other reason it was soldered in the places that are marked in the photo. Because the ring is going down in size the choice is made to cut out the old solder and weld the shank back together, thereby removing and lower quality material.
First the ring is cut on one side only. The section of low grade solder is completely removed.
This is a bag of platinum sizing stock, it contains various sizes of platinum wire and square stock that can be used for fabrication or repairs.
A thin strip of platinum is chosen.
The ring is closed up using nylon jawed ring closing pliers.
A small piece of platinum stock is cut and put in position.
Platinum has a melting temperature of just over 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that any stones in the ring must be protected during the welding process. In this picture the ring is “packed” into a kind of wet putty that is heat resistant and will protect the diamonds in the ring.
These darkened safety goggles must be used when welding platinum. This is because as the metal is heated to welding temp it gives off a very bright light that can damage the eyes.
Ready to go. So stylish.
The ring is brought up to temp and the torch is focused on the thin piece of platinum in order to melt it into the ring shank.
Platinum does not oxidize and therefor does not require any flux. Once the metal is welded it leaves a clean bead.
This process is repeated on the other side.
The welding joints are struck with a cross peen hammer to stretch the ring to just the right size.
The excess metal is filled away and collected.
A rubber abrasive wheel is used to remove any scratches from the shank.
This leaves the ring free from any deep scratches and evens out the surface.
The ring is then polished using buffing wheels and compounds specifically for platinum.
The ring is now solid platinum and shiny just like new.
Working on jewelry like this is a very good learning experience. It allows for creativity within very narrow guides. This creates focus on a small set of problems and elevates them to the utmost importance. On this project, the design of the ring is not important only the design and execution of the repair.
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