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Jewellery Repair vs Jewellery Restoration

Jewellery Repair vs Jewellery Restoration

Jewellery is made to last a lifetime, but sometimes it needs a little TLC along the way. Whether that be a family heirloom handed down through generations or a piece you’ve worn for years, it may be time to look into getting a professional to restore your piece to its former glory. But, exactly how do you go about this? Here we discuss the differences between a repair and restoration and which is the best choice for you.

What’s the difference between repairs and restoration?

Jewellery Repair

Essentially, repairing jewellery is exactly what the name suggests. The old broken parts of your beloved jewellery are put back together, just as if they were never broken. This could be a crack in the metal or a clasp no longer working. In this instance, these repairs may require a small quantity of extra metal or a new piece added to your clasp, but all in all, the jewellery remains the original piece, just repaired to its former beauty.

Jewellery Restoration

When it comes to jewellery restoration, the basic principles are the same as repairs, but the primary reason for fixing the item is different. For instance, when a piece has been worn extensively or been damaged as a result of a previous ‘botched’ repair, this is when restoration may be needed. Restoration is often when the condition of the piece cannot be fixed and involves replacing all the components to bring the jewellery back to its original form. A repair would be ineffective and could even weaken the piece of jewellery further.

Can you give repair advice from just a photograph?

A picture says a thousand words, but a magnifying glass says a million. It is possible to offer advice on whether your jewellery needs a small repair or full restoration from a photo, but ultimately, it is difficult to understand the full extent of the damage. Seeing the item in person helps to provide an accurate quote as it can be viewed under magnification. What looks like a small crack to the naked eye, could actually end up being an old repair which hasn’t moulded correctly with the rest of the piece and will need to be replaced rather than just filled in.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a jewellery repair or restoration can vary depending on your particular requirements. With high-value materials fluctuating in price, as well as the level of skill required for the particular issue and the history of the piece, this can all influence the price of the repair. Often, the majority of the cost comes from labour, as highly skilled specialists will spend a lot of time working on the piece. However, when appreciating the sentiment, you can’t put a price on being able to wear your most cherished piece again.

Is it always possible?

There can be a lot of deciding factors when it comes to repairing or restoring jewellery. These include the level of damage, the type of metal originally used and whether the value of the piece weighs up to the repair. We always aim to repair or restore most jewellery, but sometimes with the level of damage, a total rebuild could be required. When this is the case, it often entails only keeping one element of the original piece, for instance the gemstone of a ring. If repairing the original mount and building up the band is possible, it may be preferred to keep the original structure, even if it is less cost-effective. Essentially, you need to ask yourself, which part of the jewellery holds the most sentiment?

Another difficulty when repairing jewellery can be due to where the piece originated from. Many pieces from around the world are alloys, which is a mix of metals, meaning issues can arise when heat is applied. Some pieces can also be fraudulent in their amount of desired metal. For example, a plated piece can often look beautiful but the imperfections underneath, due to the less expensive metal, can be detrimental to the final outcome and cause more damage than good in the workshop.

The main point to keep in mind when considering a repair or restoration is that it depends on the state of the jewellery and what is required. If you’ve got a piece of jewellery that needs fixing, don’t hesitate to pop down to our shop on London Street, Norwich to get a free repair quote and start wearing your beloved piece with pride once more.

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