How Much To Size My Ring?
At least fifteen times a day the phone rings, and the question we hear most is “My ring/necklace/bracelet is broken, how much would you charge me to fix it?” Or, “How much would it cost to size my ring?” It seems like a simple question, right? Well, no, not really. That’s the hardest question there is! And I know that they just want an idea of the cost before they bring it in, but how can I do that without knowing anything other than it’s a ring? There are so many things I need to know in order to figure out the cost of a jewelry repair.
If I hurt my arm, I can’t call my doctor and ask him how much to fix it. He needs to know what is wrong, exactly! Is it broken or sprained? Is it swollen, bleeding, movable? He is going to say that I need to come in so he can see it. It might need an x-ray or MRI before he can tell me what needs to be done. Or what if your car breaks? You could try to call your mechanic and ask how much to fix your car, but they can’t answer that question until they see the car in person.
So what do I need to know in order to give you a reasonably accurate cost estimate? Let’s start with what kind of metal. Is it gold, or silver, or platinum, or something else? If it’s gold, what karat is it, 10k, 14k, 18k, yellow or white or other? Platinum is harder to do, so any work on platinum jewelry costs more than gold. The cost of ring resizing depends on metal, color, width, stones, thickness, complexity of design, and how many sizes up or down. Can I tell that over the phone? No, not really. And the tricky part is that all of those factors relate to, and affect the others. I just need to see the jewelry in person, and hold it in my hand in order to give an accurate price. Over the phone I can’t tell anything, because I can’t see it.
Chain repair is almost the same, with some slightly different questions, like hollow or solid? If the clasp is broken, what kind is it? Lobster, spring ring, or other? What size is it? Those things affect the price. And sometimes, the chain is not even repairable.
So you are probably thinking so what, how much different can everything be? Well, I can tell you! Let’s start with a chain. The least expensive chain repair I have done was $0. If it’s yellow gold, the price usually starts at $20 for a simple solder, or $30 for a laser. A what!? A laser. It is another way to solder, without using fire. It actually welds the metal together. Not everyone has one though, as they cost as much as a small car. And just because someone has one, does not mean they know how to use it. It does make more jewelry repairable, though, as sensitive gemstones don’t have to be removed and reset. So there is no additional resetting charge, or prong repair.
In any case, a laser can go where a torch cannot, but because it costs more to operate than a torch, a jewelry repair utilizing a laser costs more. So back to the chain repair. Starts at $20, but could go to…much more. What if the clasp is broken? A spring ring could cost as little as $30, but could go to $300 or more. How about a jump ring? Do you know what that is? It is a loop that connects to the chain itself or to the clasp, and is used to connect one thing to another. A small one could be $20, and a large one could be $60 or more. It depends on the size and the thickness of wire. I can’t tell you on the phone which size it is, and most likely you cannot tell me.
Rings are much more difficult. There are so many variables, that even when I see it in person, something could happen during the repair that could cause the cost to be more. Like loose diamonds, or an unforeseen crack that appears when the metal is bent. Sometimes I cannot even see everything until the ring is cleaned. That just happened recently, and it turns out that a simple prong straightening turned into a complete re-make, because the ring could not be repaired. There was not enough metal, and a previous repair was not done properly. A ring resizing is also something I need to see in person. Has it been sized before? How much does it have to go up or down? How wide is the shank? Yellow or white gold? Yellow gold bends easier than white gold, so yellow gold rings cost less to resize. And what about platinum? If there are stones of any kind, then it will need to be laser welded so the stones don’t get too hot. It takes a lot more fire to solder platinum, and even diamonds will burn. A ring resizing could be as little as $60, but as much as $600 or more.
So as you can see, that simple question – How much to size my ring? – is not so simple. The good news is that in a very short few moments, I can answer that question. As long as I can hold your ring in my hand.