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Sometimes terrible things happen to a ring, and it might seem impossible that anything could be done. Here's an example of one that nearly didn't make it.

I sold this ring to a lady here in town, years ago, back when I didn't realize how much they ought to cost. She lost it, and it's been gone for most of the time since then. Last month she turned it up while working in the yard, and here's how it looked:
Ring in a sad state.
Well, from the looks of it, it didn't just spend time buried in the yard -- it got hit, more than once, and very hard. I don't know if it was a lawnmower blade, probably not, but there were marks of serious impacts that could have been from a garden trowel, or a hoe.

I'd like to point out that this falls well outside of my normal warranty repair, since I don't guarantee my jewelry as anything other than jewelry, i.e., it will survive being worn and displayed without going to pieces, and is made of the materials I specify. If you throw it out in the yard and run it down with the lawnmower, expect a repair bill.
The same ring, greatly improved.
As you can see, it looks like a ring again. I had to take out the original silver strand and recycle it, and I replaced it with a slightly larger diameter wire, but the twisted 18K gold strand in the center, while somewhat beat up, is still intact. This picture was taken without any preparation of the ring, no polishing or cleanup, but I imagine that even after it's been tumbled for a while the marks will still be there. This is an "experienced" ring, for sure.

Again, slightly different situation but still a ring that needed help. This one was being worn, and got caught on the edge of a steel door, if I remember correctly from the owner's email. He reports that he lost some skin, but the strands parted before any permanent damage ensued. Lucky fellow! (Remember, I do recommend that no rings, mine included, should be worn during work with tools or around any situation that puts the hands and fingers at risk. A metal band around a wrist or finger, or even a neck, may look very nice, but you don't want it caught up on something that is stronger and faster than you can deal with.)
Ring in a sad state.
There are four broken strands, three of them in one of the leads, one from an adjacent lead. The ring is made of 18K yellow gold and pure platinum, by the way, so I have to be careful. I opened up the weave and pulled all the ends out, then measured and cut them at lengths that would put the joints as close as possible to hiding underneath crossing leads. I was very lucky in that the three of them that were broken together were very close to the ends, two "tucks" away, so I just completely removed the section out to those ends, and could get away with just running the new sections right where the old ones were, with the ends fused and left loose. The middle strand, one of the three, was led another two tucks further and overlapped the end that met up with it. Given the density of the weave, I only soldered one end of each of the patched strands, and tucked the other end in, so the ring is now a very unusual example of my work, with several extra ends visible within the band.
The same ring, greatly improved.
I tried to take a picture of it that would show some of the changes, but it's really hard to see them from the outer part of the band. This is a Good Thing, though, don't you agree?

I didn't take a picture of the "before"state of this ring. There was just a frayed place in the twisted center strand, and I placed a dab of solder on it to prevent scratches and hold it securely. There are places where the wear has gone nearly through the solid wire, and this ring is clearly one that is worn daily, and comes in regular contact with harder materials than skin and clothing.
Ring in a sad state.
There isn't anything I can really do about the thin places, but I'm very pleased with the overall condition of this well-worn ring. It's just beautiful!

This is a pretty old ring, made in 2001, part of a wedding set. Some wear on the wire is inevitable, but it also sprung a strand from the center twist, which needed fixing. I could have dropped a bit of solder into the break, but it would've remained visible. Alternatively, I could've cut away from two adjacent "under" crossings and soldered a patch in, but that's a serious bother.
Ring with broken twist.
In fact, the most direct and successful choice for a repair of this kind is to replace the entire length of the twisted strand. Here's what it looks like now:
Ring with broken twist, after repair.

(This site last updated on 03-07-2017)

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