RETIPPING PRONGS ON A PLATINUM RING
by Jurgen J. Maerz, Platinum Guild International-USA
Platinum is an extremely durable metal so prongs made of the metal will
last a long time. However, it's sometimes necessary to retip prongs even
on a platinum ring.
By definition, retipping implies the stone remains in the setting during
the repair. There are a few things you need to consider before undertaking
such a task.
The most important: never try to retip prongs with platinum solder. No
stone would be able to withstand the temperature it takes to melt the solder.
The heat would ruin the stone. So what should you do instead?
Use gold techniques when retipping platinum. The prongs are filed down
so portions of them still cover the stone. Then melt a small amount of 14k
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
You can now bend the wire over the stone, cut and shape the prongs to
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 gemstone will be able to take the heat. When in doubt,
remove the stone before beginning to repair the prongs.
- Always check the gemstones for fracture filling, and note any defects
or flaws before performing a repair.
- Use 14k easy white solder because 22k white gold solder is too close
to the burning point of the diamond.
- It's not good practice to rhodium-plate platinum. Its natural white
color does not need to be enhanced.
1. Placing solder on the prong tip.
2. Tipping a platinum prong using platinum wire and gold solder.
3. Melting the preplaced white gold solder to attach the platinum wire.
4. Platinum wire soldered across two prongs. This allows retipping two prongs
at the same time. Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.
Next month: Sizing a Platinum Ring