Professional Jeweler Archive: Repairing or Replacing Worn Pendant Bails

August 2003

Professional Bench/Defining Quality


Repairing or Replacing Worn Pendant Bails

Knowing how to perform this task demonstrates another aspect of quality in your shop


The contact between a pendant bail and the chain it’s suspended from inevitably causes wear on the bail. The chain design, pendant weight and amount of time the pendant is worn all contribute to damage inside the upper part of the bail.

The arrow indicates the area of a pendant bail that must be inspected routinely for wear.

The options: repair or replace the bail. Repair may be easier, but consider taking the opportunity to improve the overall quality of the pendant and create a better sale by installing a new, heavier bail.

While your customer is still in the store, let him or her view the bail with a close-up viewing system to better understand the need for repair or replacement.

Worn Pendant Bail Repair

If repair is the better option, here are two methods to reconstruct the worn area.

To repair this bail, cut it at the worn area. File away the worn section and insert a slightly larger piece of metal to fill the gap.
Solder the new piece of metal using easy solder. File, finish and clean.
To repair this worn bail, cut at the weakened area and file away the worn section. Realign the bail and pulse-arc weld. To pulse-arc weld, use the #2 weld pencil tip with the electrode recessed 1mm. Place the tip of the weld pencil directly over the joint to be welded and hit with several pulses of energy. File, finish and clean. The cultured pearl will not need to be removed when using pulse-arc welding process.

Note: Before selecting this option, make sure the chain will still fit through the bail and operate smoothly.

Worn Pendant Bail Replacement

Review your suppliers’ findings catalogs and mark the pages that feature pendant bails. Keep a copy of the catalogs at your service department’s take-in area to show customers possible replacement bails when their worn pendant bails are identified.

Stuller’s new findings catalog (Volume 36), for example, features over 10 pages of pendant bails. They are offered in yellow and white gold and platinum, and some include settings for diamonds that will allow you to create add-on sales when replacing the worn bail.

Example and Resolution of a Pendant with a Worn Pendant Bail

This pendant bail is worn but the setting for the diamond is not. Discuss with your customer the benefits of upgrading the bail over repairing it.
This new bail (#1655A from Stuller) is heavier and includes diamonds. A better sale was made, and overall quality and value were improved.

– by Mark B. Mann

Illustrations by Lainie Mann
©2003 Visual Communications


Professional Repair and Installation of a Pendant Bail

A. The pendant bail should be aligned properly in all views.

B. There should be no tool marks or excess solder.

C. The bail should be sized appropriately for the pendant and chain it’s worn with.

D. The bail should blend evenly with the pendant and not appear “stuck on.”

E. The solder joint should be complete.

– by Mark B. Mann

Illustrations by Lainie Mann
©2003 Visual Communications

This series is sponsored in part by Jewelers of America, (800) 223-0673.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications