You get your ring back from the jewelry repair after you had is sized.
You can’t wait to wear it.
But you look down, and see a faint line splitting the bottom of your band (see picture).
What causes this?
Why is that line there? Is this normal?
If your rings are gold, 14kt, 10kt, 18kt, yellow or white, then that line is not normal. You should not be able to see that line. That line is the spot where the jeweler has sized your ring, and you should not see it.
It should be invisible.
It should be perfect and smooth and blend in seamlessly with your band. In other words, you shouldn’t be able to know where it’s been sized.
If you can see that joint, then the jeweler did a crappy job of soldering, filing, and polishing your ring back together.
To learn more, let’s look at the actual ring sizing process…
Sizing a ring:
When you get your rings sized, the jeweler either has to cut a piece of metal out of your ring, or add a piece in.
Sizing up? Sizing down?
It all depends on if you get your ring sized up, or sized down to fit. To size your ring up, the jeweler will cut your band or shank, pull the two sections apart and add in another piece of metal to enlarge it.
In sizing down, the jeweler cuts out a section of metal and reshapes and bends your ring back together again to make it smaller.
That splice(s) that the jeweler makes, is then welded and soldered shut with a low-melting point solder that fuses the band back together again.
The ring is then filed down, smoothed out, and polished to look new again.
That sizing joint is the joint that you’re seeing.
It’s all because the jeweler didn’t use enough solder, filed too much solder away, or polished too much of the gold during polishing.
It’s a quick, sloppy repair job that you should never accept.
And since we’re talking about this section of the ring, you’d also like to know that it’s the weakest part of the ring.
This section that the jeweler works on and solders is fragile. And that’s because it’s the part of the ring that takes the most abuse. The bottom of the band takes quite a beating. You hit it every single time you set your hand down. This is why people are always bending and breaking their shanks.
That joint and weak solder line will snap under pressure if you hit it too hard.
The good thing is, it can be fixed easily. A little more solder, a little more filing, some more polishing, and BINGO, it’s all brand new again.
But why does it break, you ask?
The main reason why it breaks is because either your rings are too thin down there (read: Is your ring thin and weak?), the jeweler didn’t use enough solder (hence the visible line), or your rings are just too big.
Yes, if your rings are too large and spin around on your finger, they are more likely to snap at the joint. This is because you have too much space in between your ring and your finger, which causes the joint to crack and break if stressed.
Quick and nasty:
And if the jeweler did a quick and nasty sizing repair on your rings, then that can make them weak as well. If they use too little solder, or file and polish away too much of your ring, then it will cause that sizing joint to become vulnerable.
If you can see that mark, then your rings are probably weak and may break easily.
So what can you do if you see that solder joint?
Have the jeweler redo the repair job.
Have them add in more solder and smooth out your shank so you can’t see the marks anymore.
This will make your rings stronger and endure more wear and tear as well (just make sure they don’t thin out your shank in the process).
Not so with platinum:
Now, if your rings are platinum, that’s a whole different story.
Platinum, and platinum solder are extremely tough to work with. Chances are good with a platinum ring, you will be able to see that soldered line (unless they use a 1700 degree seamless platinum solder).
So depending on the solder used, with platinum, you may or may not see that seam.
Platinum’s just a tougher metal to work with because it doesn’t melt and blend like gold does. But at least platinum is more durable.
Ask your jeweler about platinum seamless solder. It’s a good thing to know.
So the next time you get your rings sized…
Stop and check your ring sizing before you leave the jewelry store.
Spotting a bad sizing repair early is the best way to prevent future damage to your ring and your pocket book.
14k Wheat Chains
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