People go nuts when they bring in a ring that needs to be retipped, only to find out that it’s going to take 2 weeks to fix.
Their initial response is “Are you crazy?”, they can’t believe that it actually takes WEEKS to simply retip a couple of gold prongs.
Why so long?
Well, there are a lot of reasons why jewelry repairs take so much time. One of the biggest reasons is that a lot of jewelers don’t have an on-site repair shop.
A lot of jewelry stores (especially in the mall) have to ship them out to have the work done to other establishments. That process can be a long and tedious one for a simple, quick solder job (some stores even send their repairs [a.k.a. your expensive diamond ring] out of state and across the country to get fixed).
Independent’s might be quicker…
Normally if you want quicker turnaround times, I’d advise going to an independent jeweler instead.
Most independent jewelry stores have awesome jewelers (and a few crappy ones) that work on the premises and can fix broken chains and loose diamonds and simple repairs in a more timely manner. Sometimes while you wait, but generally within a day or two.
It all depends on the job and the time of year of course. Christmastime is the worst time to get any work done fast. During Christmas, the jewelers are rushed to get out those precious gifts on time. So skip the month of December and bring your normal repairs in after the New Year.
But, many times when you do go to an independent jeweler, they still tell you it’ll take 2 weeks for the repair.
WHY IS THIS?
While simple jobs can be done quickly and painlessly, harder jobs and intricate jobs can take longer.
We have to order parts…
The jeweler may have to order in parts and findings. Things like new heads, shanks, solder, gemstones, rhodium plating, you name it. Ordering things like this can take a couple of days just to get the goods in (and that’s if they aren’t back-ordered).
And then, when all of the pieces and parts come in, the job gets sent to the shop. What happens next? It gets filed!
Filed by due date along with all the other awaiting jobs. That’s right; first in, first out.
And chances are good there are dozens and even hundreds of jobs before yours. It gets put in an assembly line and worked on when the time is due.
“It’s an emergency!”
There’s really not much that can help speed this process up either. Obviously if it’s an emergency (the wedding is saturday), or if it’s a really expensive ring (like $10,000) then maybe this will give you a little bit of advancement on the time it takes (funny how money talks).
If you know the owner, are good friends or family of the salesperson, or just pay double the price for a rush job, that may also help.
So when do the jewelers actually touch your job?
You’re going to love this one…
Jobs are always put in a rotating order… Right?
And usually a job doesn’t even get touched until the day before it’s due.
“The day before?”
(Unless things get really slow in the shop.)
So it seems like it sits there for 2 full weeks and then it gets touched???
The day before it’s due, the jeweler will start working on it. Sounds crazy, but that’s the way things are. That’s why, if there’s a problem, that’s when you’re going to get the call saying “It’s going to take another week!” All it takes is for the jeweler to accidentally break a gemstone, or needs to order a new clasp, or even just run out of gold solder…
It happens, and it delays the entire process.
So call first!
I always advise customers to call the jewelry store the day the repair is due, just to double check that it’s actually finished on time (before you drive all the way there).
Nothing gets a customer upset more than wasting their valuable time and gas, just to get there and have the jeweler say “It’s not done yet!”
Most of the time it will be done as scheduled. Most of the time jewelers will even make an attempt to call you and let you know it’s finished. But if the jewelry store gets busy or tied up in a sale, calling you, to tell you your bracelet shortening is finished, just won’t be possible. That’s a matter of fact.
For your inconvenience…
The only good thing about delayed repairs is that sometimes you can talk the jeweler into knocking a couple of bucks off the repair price for your so-called “inconvenience“. It’s worth a shot. You never know.
Another bit of advice…
I would only take a repair to a jeweler that did their own work on the premises.
(Unless you bought it from a jeweler that sends it out. Then you just have to deal with that.)
Why does this matter?
Because usually when customer’s merchandise or jewelry comes up missing or lost, it’s because the jeweler sends things out to other shops to have fixed.
Once it leaves their store, anything could happen to it.
They have no control once it’s gone!
If the repairs stay in the store, chances are good they’ll be finished faster, cheaper (no shipping charges), and it won’t get lost.
If it’s a quick and easy job, like straightening prongs, tightening stones, simple solders, re-rhodium plating, new clasps… I’d say it’ll take anywhere from 1 day to 3 days to fix (on average, give or take, depending on the jeweler, vacations, sick days…)
A normal job, like new heads, new prongs, retipping, tightening channels, resizings… can take 1 week to 2 weeks.
Harder jobs like resettings, new mountings, custom designs, altering settings, creating waxes, castings… Could take 2-3 weeks to repair, if not longer. It all depends on how much of a pain in the butt the job is.
But it’s platinum:
If you’re dealing with platinum, you may have to double the times listed above. Platinum is an extremely tough metal to work with and requires more time, effort, and care to get it right.
So there you go…
That’s why jewelry repairs can take 2-3 weeks to complete.
Keep in mind, if you just need a ring polished… that only takes a minute or two.
Polishings, cleanings and inspections (which you should have done 2-3 times a year) usually are done while you wait.
See… some things are fast!
(I never said they were free.)
14k Wheat Chains
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