Looking for an inexpensive way to put a little sparkle in somebody's life? With Christmas quickly passing and Valentine's quickly coming, it can be hard to afford expensive jewelry for both holidays. Instead of struggling to afford something new for someone you love, why don't you look at what they already have and aren't wearing—not because they don't love the piece but because it needs to be repaired. Getting someone's favorite piece of jewelry back into wearable condition is a great, economical gift that they're sure to love. This is information that may help.
1.) Rhodium-plating for white gold rings.
White gold went through a sort of lengthy period where it was preferred over yellow gold, and it still has a strong following when it comes to diamond rings and wedding bands because diamonds seem to sparkle even brighter against the cool, white metal. But that color is achieved through rhodium plating, which wears off over time, leaving the ring looking tarnished. It's actually the yellow gold showing through.
Most jewelers can repair the rhodium probably every 2-3 years, which is a quick process. It can range between $60-$120 for an engagement ring, maybe less for another sort of ring, depending on the size and complexity of the piece, the quality of the rhodium, and how fast you need to get it back.
2.) Sizing a ring that no longer fits.
A lot of times, people have a wedding band or other ring that they'd love to wear, but it won't fit them anymore. If the ring is too small, you can expect to pay $30-$45 per size it needs to be dropped. If it's white gold, because of the rhodium, you'll have to pay a little extra to replate the ring, probably $25-$40 additional, just to even things out.
Going up a size is a little pricier because you usually have to add metal, and there's no way to predict exactly what the market rate for gold or platinum (a popular choice for wedding bands) is going to be when you need the piece done. That said, checking the current rates for these metals should give you an idea of what to expect. The cost is affected by the width and thickness of the band and the complexity of any design or stones involved.
3.) Repairing a gold chain.
A lot of people have a favorite gold chain that they used to wear that ends up in their jewelry box. The cost of the jewelry repair will generally be determined by what exactly needs to be done because of the fluctuations in the gold market. Broken clasps are a common problem because the metal in the latch sees a lot of use over time. A 14K lobster claw clasp, installed, will generally cost between $40 and $160.
These are three simple, low-cost alternatives that you can use to give a loved one a little sparkle despite the financial pinch of the holiday season. Your jeweler may have other ideas as well.