Pearls, while gorgeous and covetous, are super delicate, as we learned in Pearls of Wisdom, Part I. So, just like any other type of jewelry, pearl jewelry can need repairs. A jeweler will know what to do with them, but it’s important that you’re aware of how it works, too, so there are no surprises for you when your piece is returned.

Given the delicacy of pearls, and the fact that they do not withstand heat or chemicals well, repairing pearls is a little more complicated than repairing other jewels.

This nifty product is called Heat Shield. Its a paste that can be used to protect gems and pearls from heat during repair! Its pretty neat and handy stuff!

Oftentimes, the pearl will be removed from the piece in order for repairs to be done. Such is the case with a lot of rings that need to be resized, or metal-and-pearl pieces that have damage that sits close to the pearl itself. This ensures no damage will be done to the pearl during the repair process. After the repair is complete, the pearl will be placed back into the ring using the proper setting or gluing technique depending on your particular ring.

There are times, though, that the pearl can be protected without removing it. In some of these cases, a laser welder may be used. A laser welder gives the jeweler the ability to concentrate very high heat to a very specific area. The rest of the piece will remain relatively cool and undisturbed. Since the laser does not heat the entire area, the pearl should not be damaged if the jeweler is precise (which he or she should be—it’s a jeweler’s job!).

These are just a few of the shapes pearls can come in!

If a pearl itself is damaged or has fallen out of a piece of jewelry, the jeweler will need to supply a new pearl of similar size and color to replace the old pearl. Pearls come in a variety of colors, though, and can be difficult to match. A strand of very fine pearls, for example, can take years to create because each pearl in the piece must fit very specific criteria to match the others: size, luster, color, quality, and shape, which can vary greatly even in white pearls! On occasion, especially if it requires matching a pearl to others on a single piece of jewelry, a jeweler will supply multiple pearls to attempt to find the best match for your jewelry.

Your jeweler will determine the best possible way to handle a pearl repair once he or she has assessed the piece.  No matter what repair your jewelry needs, there’s a way for your jeweler to do it without damaging your pearl. Even if one of your pearls cracks and breaks, or its nacre is worn completely away, it can always be replaced. It just might take a little time to find that perfect match.



Jess the Jeweler