For Your Staff:Selling Quality
Repairing Channel-Set Jewelry
Knowing why these pieces of jewelry need to be repaired demonstrates
another aspect of quality in your store
by Mark B. Mann Director of Professional Certification Jewelers of America
Last month's article ("Channel Setting Round Stones," pp. 165-168)
covered the proper method of setting melee diamonds in a channel and a few
examples of errors in workmanship common to channel setting.
This month we'll discuss the characteristics of channel-set pieces needing
repair because of wear or errors in workmanship. We'll also look at problem-solving
techniques to use with these pieces.
We're giving you and your staff an exercise use the illustrations
and photograph that follow to identify the inspection points you should
check before taking in a channel-set ring for sizing.
These are the most common reasons why channel-set jewelry (usually rings)
are brought in for repair:
- Loose stones.
- Metal worn from the top and/or side of the channel.
- Inadequate support or no support bars between the channel walls.
Instructions: Your customer needs the channel-set ring pictured below
sized down one size. Test your knowledge of the inspection points you should
check before take-in.
First, using a separate piece of paper (and without looking at the list
below), write in order the correct steps in the inspection procedure. Then
look at the list below and see how yours matches.
- Inspect, using magnification.
- Check for loose, chipped, broken or abraded stones.
- Clean the ring.
- Check again for loose stones.
- Examine the stones carefully. Are they genuine? Synthetic? Treated?
And again look for chipped, broken or abraded conditions.
- Check for support bars between the channel walls. Are there any? If
so, are they of sufficient dimension and placed properly to hold the walls
in place securely?
- Check the thickness of the channel wall. Is it sufficient for stone
- Check the seating of the stones in the channel wall. Are they executed
properly to ensure their security?
- Check for evidence the ring has been sized before. If it shows the
signs of having been sized before, is the channel distorted?
- Make sure the shank is substantial enough for sizing. (See the JA Quality
Assurance Guide in Professional Jeweler,March 1998, pp. 99-104,
for more information on this point.)
- Determine whether sizing this ring needs to be done in several steps
(resulting in a slightly higher charge for the service) or if it can be
sized down in a single process.
Contributions to this month's article came from David Geller of David
Geller Jewelers, Atlanta, GA, and Cameron Comer of David Baker Jewelers,
JA Quality Assurance Guide
Repairing Channel-Set Jewelry
Proper Channel Repair
- Channel walls are flat, even and parallel; there are no visible solder
- Tightening loose stones has not resulted in any visible traces of burnishing
- If stones have been reset, the individual seats were cut properly.
- The tables of the stones are level with the top of the channel wall.
- The stones are tight and secure in the channel.
|Channel walls wavy and thin|
Channel walls are stressed because they were made dimensionally too light
or have worn thin.
|Walls too low|
The overall height of the channel walls is inadequate and needs to be built
Channel wall shows excessive tool marks from tightening stones without refinishing.
|Seats not prepared properly|
Seats in the channel for reset stones are not cut to the proper size
they are too large or too small.
|Lacking structural support|
There are no rings or bars beneath the stones to connect the opposing channel
walls, which may fan out (move out of parallel) or drift apart, loosening
the stones. This is caused by errors in design and manufacture.
©1998 Jewelers of America Standards as described by the JA®
Bench Jewelers Certification program
All Illustrations by Lanie Mann
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.