Platinum is a very durable metal, so prongs will last a long time. However, it is sometimes necessary to re-tip prongs even on a Platinum ring.
By definition, re-tipping platinum prongs imply that the stone remains in the setting during the repair. There are a few things you need to consider before undertaking such a task: Never, never, ever attempt to re-tip prongs with Platinum solder. No stone would be able to take the temperature it takes to melt the solder, and the stones will be ruined.
So, What do You do?
You need to use gold techniques when re-tipping Platinum. The prongs are filed down, so that portions of them still cover the stone. You then melt a small amount of l4K easy white gold solder onto the tips. With a small file, file a flat facet on top of the solder, so that very little solder remains. Prepare a Platinum wire to match the shape and thickness of the prong and solder it to the top of the prongs with the previously placed solder. You can now bend the wire over the stone, cut and shape the prongs to match. With a polished tungsten burnisher, remove the seam by burnishing the area and polishing the prong. The very fine seam will disappear in the luster of the polish
Here are some important things to remember:
- Be sure the stone will take the heat. When in doubt, remove the stone to repair the prongs
- Always check the stones for fracture fill, note any defects or flaws before performing a repair.
- Use 14K easy white solder. 22K white gold solder is too close to the burning point of the diamond.
- It is not good practice to rhodium Platinum. Its natural white color does not need to be enhanced.
Jurgen J. Maerz is Director of Technical Education for Platinum Guild International USA. He can be reached 24 hrs a day to answer your technical questions at PGI’s Platinum Hotline (714) 760-8882