Professional Jeweler Archive: Omega Earring Clips

September 2004

Professional Bench/Defining Quality


Omega Earring Clips

Professional repair, maintenance and installation of omega earring clips demonstrates another aspect of quality in your shop


Omega Earring Clip

This type of earring finding hinges and flips over a post to provide additional security, positioning on
the ear and comfort. For your customers’ comfort in the wear and security of their earrings, you should know the techniques and tips involved in professionally installing omega earring clips.

Installing Omega Earring Clips

Single-post earrings have only one security device – a friction back. Unless the friction back is excessively tight, the earrings will turn in the earlobes. Omega clips will keep the earrings properly oriented and eliminate pressure caused by the tight friction backs. Earrings with omega clips are easier to put on and remove than those with friction backs. They also provide security, with no worry of losing the backs. Here are some steps to follow for the conversion of post-only earrings to omega clip earrings.

1. Remove the post and post support bar. Refinish the back of the earring. Position the new omega earring clip and determine where the post and post support bar need to be relocated. Solder the new post and post support bar where the center of the omega wire loop will be when it’s closed.
Bench Tip

Choose the right omega earring clip. They are available in several sizes, shapes and alloys. Some have longer mounting posts, while others have small, medium or large loops with a slightly different curvature to their profiles. Determine the one that best suits your customer’s needs and earring design.

2. As supplied, the omega clip mounting posts are left long to accommodate fitting and are not true at the bottom. File the bottom flat and/or cut and file the mounting post to the length you need. The desired amount of space between the omega loop and the back of the earring determines the proper length of the mounting post. Omega clip findings must be disassembled before soldering. To do this, file part of one side of the flattened rivet wire and remove it, separating the clip from the post.
3. Firecoat and preheat, then place a chip of easy solder at the joint on the mounting post. Hold it upside down in a pair of cross-locking tweezers and melt the solder in place.
4. Place the mounting post in the precise position for soldering. Direct the torch flame just below the mounting post on the earring. Enough heat will conduct itself upward to complete the solder joint. A direct flame on the mounting post will cause it to melt because it's relatively lighter than the earring.
Welding Options

Temporarily position the 0mega earring clip using the ABI Tack II Tack Welder. Then permanently weld the earring clips to the earrings using the ABI Pulse-Arc Welder or a laser welder. No disassembly is required because the omega wire loops would not be annealed using these welding options.

5. After soldering, pickle the assembly. Replace the omega loop in its full upright position and reinstall the rivet pin. Using a hot flame, heat each end of the rivet pin and form a bead. This process keeps the pin in place, but requires care or you run the risk of annealing the omega’s wire loop. Another option is to use the ABI Pulse-Arc Welder. Leave the rivet wire extended about 0.75mm. Set the welder to the high energy setting at 35 volts and direct a pulse of energy at the end of the wire. This will permanently weld the rivet pin with no damage to the wire loop.
Bench Tip

If for some reason the omega loop is subjected to heat above 650°F, it will loose its “spring” and its ability to perform as designed. If this happens, remove the loop from the omega assembly and retemper it in an oven set at 650°F for two hours. This will replace the springiness lost when it was inadvertently overheated.

6. After final polishing and cleaning of the omega back and earring assembly, place a minute drop of oil at the rivet pin.

By Mark B. Mann

Illustrations by Lainie Mann
Photograph by Mark B. Mann

Visual Communications, Inc. © 2004


Professionally Installed Omega Earring Clips

A. There are no visible solder joints or pits between the mounting post and the earring.

B. The transition between the earring and the omega mounting post is smooth, symmetrical and even, with no dimensional reduction in any area.

C. The detail is sharp, crisp and even, not overfiled or over-polished.

D. The earring post is located properly in the center of the omega loop when it’s closed.

E. The omega wire loop is adjusted properly and centered with the earring.

 

Potential Problems

There are tool marks and unfinished areas.
This omega back was installed with no care to its alignment, appearance or function.
The loop doesn’t function properly. It has lost its springiness and doesn’t return to position. It also doesn’t stay closed when being worn.

By Mark B. Mann

Illustrations by Lainie Mann

Visual Communications, Inc. © 2004

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

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications