BEFORE (1 of 3): Ring got got ran over! Thankfully the damage was not as bad as it could have been. As you can see a diamond popped out, and the center stone sustained an internal fracture in the corner.
BEFORE (2 of 3): The gold supports were all bent up!
BEFORE (3 of 3) It’s looking pretty smushed! You can see the diamond halo is also dipping.
STEP 1: Remove the center stone.
Since there is going to be a lot of reshaping going on, let’s remove the center stone. We will also be able to better access certain areas of the ring. Slowly pull back on all four prongs to loosen the stone.
The stone is Removed! Hello gold support bars.
Step 2: Round Out The Ring.
The ring was placed on a mandrel and slid upwards until it was tight. You can see here that the ring shank itself is also bent out of shape. This will need to be addressed at a later point in time.
Step 3: Clamp The Ring In A Vice.
Clamping the ring in a vice is a great way to free up both hands, it also keeps the ring completely still, thus allowing you to better manipulate the gold as needed.
Step 4: Reshape The Halo.
Using needle-nose pliers, work them underneath the halo and slowly pulled upwards. You want to be careful that the top of the ring does not get damaged as you are searching for leverage.
Step 5: Straighten the support bars.
This is probably the trickiest step in this repair. Put pressure on the backside of the support and gradually squeeze until the metal starts moving. Again, be mindful not to ding the top too much. Due to the fact that this is such a delicate ring setting, it can be expected that the ring will never be fully “perfect” again after sustaining such damage. We should however be able to restore it to a point where it can look good and be worn comfortably!
Symmetry has been restored! While not perfect, it is certainly much better than it was, and won’t be noticeable when the ring is worn on a finger.
Step 6: Replace and Set the missing diamond, tighten all other stones.
Lay a new diamond in the area where it was missing, take a beading tool and push towards the stone, thus securing metal all around the diamond. Repeat this process on all of the stones! While many stones were not lost, there are bound to be many loose after sustaining the damage from the car. The process of reshaping the ring can also potentially loosen stones.
Step 7: Straighten out the ring shank.
Using a hammer, lay the ring on a flat surface and tap the ring flat. Flip the ring over and repeat the process.
Step 8: Use a fine sanding wheel to remove stretches.
This is part of the “pre-polish” stage where scratches and tool marks are removed from the ring. Make sure you use a fine grit as to not remove too much metal.
Step 9: Use a brush wheel to get into all of the finer areas of the ring.
This polishing brush works wonders to brighten up the ring.
The Final Result:
Step 10: Reset the center stone, clean and steam.
Resetting the center stone is basically the reverse process of removing it. Use stone setting pliers to pull the prongs back down over the stone. I think it’s great to retain the original center stone even though it was slightly damaged. In my opinion it gives it character.
The ring restoration is Complete! (1 of 2)
(2 of 2) All done!
Being a goldsmith is a very rewarding career for me. I enjoy being able to work on new projects on a consistent basis, and the opportunity to share them with you!
Thanks for reading!
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