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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
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.