Posted on: 7 March 2017
Sometime back, it took expert goldsmiths to do soldering. They would hold the gem on a ring with the fingers and rapidly join it with a pinpoint flame so fast that if you are very slow your fingers could get hot. This method actually used to work when the goldsmith was fast, precise, possessed the required expertise and used the right mini-torch which had a certain charm to effectively solder gems jewels back them. However, the method cannot fit all circumstances and can leave your fingers singed.
It's important therefore to know various ways to solder gems and tips that can help you to protect your gems during soldering.
- Pack the stone in a refractive or cooling material, wetted paper towels and other materials. Paper clay which originates from Japan and is found in most craft shops universally can also be used when protecting gems. From many jewelers' point of view, a wet paper towel wrapped around the gemstone is the best way to keep them (stones) as it is easy to control the level of wetness for safety. A plant mister can be used to refresh the amount of moisture on the wet towel during soldering.
- Objects made of gold are easy to deal with due to no conductivity compared to silver which can cause problems during soldering because of their ability to conduct heat. It is because of this reason that most jewelers willy basically unset the silver ring until soldering is done.
- Ensure the gem is immersed in water and use the hottest torch-flame accessible to increase the heat when joining.
- To protect gemstones from heating, use a crucible that has a lead shot inside for holding the ring firm to enable soldering. Water should be added to the crucible to enable covering and protection of the gem. During this process, it is advisable to keep an eye on water levels to ensure it doesn't go too low during heating. If it does, then you have a horrible mess on your ring including probable stone damage. Instead of lead shots, you can opt to use stainless steel shots because they hardly expose you to health danger and they cannot melt on your soldering piece at all.
- Use laser welder. it is a fast method of soldering for special repairs but a little bit costly. Two pieces of material are joined together by use of a laser beam. The laser beam has high energy content and a diverging low beam to ensure production of heat when it strikes the surface of the gemstone during soldering. Laser welds are very strong compared to another soldering methods. It's estimated that they are three times stronger than normally soldered joint.