A good place to start is with your friends and family, people you already know and trust. Ask them where they have gotten their jewellery repairs done and how the experience was and who they would recommend?
Once you have a recommendation, it is important to do your own due diligence in order to determine whether or not it is the right place for you to have your work done. The internet can be a very resourceful place and you can easily visit the company website to get a feel for the business. Some important questions to ask yourself while researching may be: (a) Is the website professional and informative? (b) Does it give a clear picture of the quality of work that is being produced?
Next, you may want to call the establishment that you have decided to take your jewellery to, and ask them possibly the single most important question: Do they do the work themselves on the premises OR do they send your jewellery out to a third party? Unfortunately, the majority of ‘jewellers’ source their work out simply because they lack the technical knowledge and proper equipment to be able to do the necessary repairs themselves.
If it is important for you to know WHERE your jewellery is, WHO is repairing it, and if you would like to be able to speak face-to-face with the actual Goldsmith who is doing the repair on YOUR jewellery, finding an In-House Repair Studio with an experienced Master Goldsmith is an absolute must.
Cost is a very legitimate concern when getting something repaired, whether it be your car, your home or your jewellery. A lot of times we are too focused on how much it will cost, that we forget the more important details which will often save us a lot more money and headache in the future.
Since many people can relate to having some service or repair done on a vehicle, this makes for a great example:
- A customer goes in to get a tune up on their car. The mechanic does a full 100 point inspection and explains the specific service your car will need to get it running at optimal condition and the cost will be $120.00.
- A customer goes in to get a tune up on their car. The sales associate lets the customer know they offer a $49.00 Tune Up special for new clients.
The common mistake most of us make as consumers, is to assume that Mechanic “A” is “ripping us off” simply because they were able to find a significantly cheaper price at Mechanic “B”; however, as many of us have learned the hard way, shortly after visiting Mechanic “B” the car seems to have more issues than before. Mechanic “B” failed to let us know that the $49.00 special only provides the most basic service, with generic fluids (same for every vehicle regardless of make or model). Unfortunately, this ‘generic fluid’ has caused an issue in the vehicle and now the ‘full service repair’ will cost upwards of $500 at Mechanic “B”.
This is very apparent in many common jewellery repairs, such as a ring sizing. No two rings are the same and, therefore, having a ring sized is not a generic repair for every ring. Many places do offer a set price for sizing a ring, often because they have a generic repair procedure; however, this will result in complications just as with a vehicle.
There are different qualities of solder that can be used when sizing a ring and at the surface to the naked eye it is undetectable; however, the end result is completely different. It is important to use the same karat (quality of the gold) solder as the ring is made in, but more importantly, it should be a "hard" solder as opposed to an "easy" or "medium" solder. Why? Because a hard solder of the same quality as the ring will be stronger, more durable and have very little colour difference, if any. Unfortunately, many workshops choose to use "medium" or worse yet "easy" solder simply because it is easier to work with and costs less. As a result it will be ‘cheaper’ up front, but, of course, the quality and longevity of the repair will reflect that.
Always remember "the bitterness of poor quality lingers longer than the sweetness of low price".