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TrueFacet's Fine Jewelry and Watch Guide
Care Guides

What to Do When Your Fine Jewelry Breaks or Gets Damaged

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Uh-oh, the stone from your engagement ring just fell out! The post from your earring broke off! The chain of your necklace is woefully tangled!

Don’t panic, here’s what to do next and how to find a trusted local jeweler who can repair and restore your fine jewelry.

Do not try to DIY a repair.
Even though a broken earring or necklace looks as if it can be fixed with a little craft glue or you think you can pop a stone back into place, never try to repair your jewelry on your own. You run a serious risk of damaging the integrity of the piece: bending the setting’s prongs, chipping the stone or exposing the metal to the harsh chemicals in household products like Krazy Glue.

And, on a related note, do not wear damaged or broken jewelry. This will greatly increase the likelihood of further (potentially irreparable) damage.

Double-check your jewelry insurance policy.
If your fine jewelry is insured, pull out your policy paperwork and read through what repairs are included in your coverage. Also, some policies will only cover you at specific jewelers. Make sure you’re clear on what documentation you need prior to and after the repairs so you’re not left on the hook for a bill that should be covered.

To learn more about jewelry insurance, read our post “Jewelry Insurance: A Beginner’s Guide.”

Find a qualified and reputable jeweler.
If you can, bring the broken item back to the jeweler who originally made or sold it to you. They know how your ring or necklace was originally constructed and would be the experts on how to repair it properly.

Barring that, look for a creditable jeweler. The American Gem Society organized a searchable directory of their members who can help with jewelry repairs and appraisals.

Visit the jeweler in person to ensure they do their repairs on-site and do not send it out to a third party vendor.

Ask for the cost of the repair upfront.
It’s important to know how much you are spending on the repairs. First off, no one wants to be floored by an unanticipated bill. Secondly, a good jeweler should thoroughly inspect the damage before giving you an estimate. If your would-be jeweler is “eyeballing” the piece and rattling off a quote, it’s a red flag that they may do a rush or hack job.

If the piece is irreparably damaged, consider having the stones reset or the piece repurposed.
Sometimes it can be very expensive or too difficult to repair your piece of jewelry. If that is the case, explore your options for having the stone reset or the item repurposed. The diamond from your ring can be made into a pendant necklace. Or the stones from a pair of earrings can be set into a ring. Or your chain necklace can be refashioned into a bracelet. This alternative approach allows you to preserve the value and sentimentality of the item and refashion it into something you can wear and enjoy.