It happens. Sometimes we just love a ring a little too hard, and a little too long between cleanings and polishing.
What do we do? Do we scrap it out and start over? Do we do a patchwork repair and hope it lasts a few more years? Did we wear out a shank and just need a new half shank to make it all better? Do we just throw it in our jewelry box and forget about it?
Seems a bit harsh if it is a piece that we have worn so hard because we loved it. I am going to share with you some photos of rings that were loved a little, or a lot, too hard and what we did about them.
The case of the overloved Garnet
Many years ago, when I was just starting in the business I had a chance to buy an incredible Tsavorite Garnet and have it made into a ring by the great Oscar Heyman Co. It was a wonderful creation in 18kt yellow gold and platinum.
I sold it to a wonderful couple and after many years he brought it to me and asked if it could be saved.
As you will see in the photo it has been loved a long time and much too hard for a garnet. There is serious abrasion around the table and the ring itself is looking tired and worn and everything is dirty and dull looking.
We took the stone out of the ring and sent it to Richard Homer who gave it some much needed love. We cleaned and polished everything, making it all look bright and new again and then reassembled the ring.
As you can see from the two pictures below, it came out looking as good as new. Probably a bit better actually, because Richard coaxed every possible bit of sparkle out of this magnificent gem.
What is your opinion? Should we leave it languishing in a jewelry box? Or, should we make it new again?
My clients were advised that a garnet with a hardness of only 8 – 8.5 was much too soft to be worn every day and she has resolved to wear it only for special occasions, as it is now very much the special ring again.
The Case of the Inherited Diamond and Tanzanite Jewelry
This next example is a little more horrific. My friend decided to do something nice and did the dishes one morning. Unbeknown to him two rings and a pendant were soaking in a coffee cup of water and detergent next to the sink. He turned on the disposal and dumped the cup into the sink.
Hearing the horrible clatter he immediately shut off the disposal, and fortunately the water. The badly damaged Tanzanite was still in the disposal, as were the other two rings, but the 2ct plus diamond that had been inherited was gone.
My friend called a plumber who came out and removed the trap, It was not there. Shining a flashlight through heading towards the drop into the sewer the diamond was spotted only an inch or two from dropping down into the sewer, from which it could never have been recovered. They were able to fashion a hook and with great care get the hook past the diamond and then draw the diamond back to the anxious hands of my friend.
Sadly, I do not have pictures of the diamond before we repaired it from its nasty journey through the disposal, let us just say that it was chipped, although not as badly as one might have expected it to be.
Here is the damaged ring for the diamond.
As you can see, back then my photography skills were somewhat limited, but the damage is clearly easy to see. There was really nothing we could do that would ever restore this ring to its former condition, so we used the gold to remake the ring completely.
The picture below is what we got when we were finished. The diamond was recut to more modern standards and my client assures me that she loves it as it is even more beautiful than it was when she inherited it from her mother. Here is the finished ring.
Here is a picture of the mounting for the tanzanite.
And two pictures to show you how awful the Tanzanite looked.
It looked horrible, but actually sustained less damage than the diamond, which given the softness of Tanzanite really surprised me.
We sent this gem to Richard Homer, who with the clients approval, finished into one of his fantastic concave faceted gems.
Like the ring we found it preferable to remake the pendant. Here is the incredible result.
As you can see, even badly damaged jewelry can be either repaired or remade to be as good as, or even better than new. If you have jewelry that has been loved too hard, feel free to contact us about making it new again.