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Re: [Orchid] Re-tipping prongs setting
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jmarotti Monday, June 03, 2002
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    When I accept a customers jewellery for repair I assume full
    responsibility for it. The thing that can't be replaced is the
    sentimental value of the stone to the customer. The original jeweller
    may have used EASY solder to assemble the whole ring. So when
    retipping I only use EASY solder; it will provide more than enough
    strength for the new tips. Before commencing any work I inspect the
    stone/s for any damage ie; chips, pits, cracks and advise the
    customer accordingly. If a stone is cracked I will not heat it. I
    prefer to unset and reclaw then reset. One important note on diamonds;
    do not to heat fracture filled diamonds.  If uncertain don't heat.
    Important: Raise the soldering temperature gradually to avoid
    shocking the stone and after soldering gradual cool. Assuming that
    the stone/s are in good condition we can set about retipping the

    1.    Thoroughly clean the article in ultrasonic cleaner, all traces
    of dirt must be removed especially on and around stone. 

    2.    Re-inspect the stone/s. 

    3.    File old claw tops flat, parallel to crown facets, leaving thin
    layer of metal so that stone remains set. 

    4.    Prepare metal for new tips, I use flat strip a little thicker
    and wider than required. 

    5.    Another dip in the ultrasonic cleaner to remove filings. 

    6.    Remove finger grease from the stone. If any grease is on the
    stone the boracic (boric) acid may not adhere properly.  Rinse in
    clean water. 

    7.    Dip into boric acid and ignite.  Coverage of the stone is most

    8. A complete glazed coverage is required to prevent the diamond
    "burning". Unprotected diamonds will oxidise in a similar way to
    metal when heated. 

    9.  Melt solder onto the top of each claw then place the retip metal
    and control its position with a poker while heating. I prefer easy
    grade solder, less heat to the stone. As the solder melts press the
    retip metal with the poker for firm contact onto the claw top and
    stone. Take care when adding flux during soldering; liquid flux in
    contact with the stone can cause rapid cooling and may crack the

    10.    When all soldering is complete allow the stone/s to cool
    slowly then pickle. 

    11.  Trim new tips, emery and polish. 

    High quality stones I will unset and re-tip setting. It might take a
    little longer but with less risk. One important note when retipping
    sapphs and rubies - do not coat with boric acid - it can etch 
    the surface of these stones.

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