Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Advice on new e-ring defect / repair

speedy0514

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
25
Hi everyone -

I've come across an unexpected issue with my newly purchased e-ring. For background, I bought my center stone online from BGD and took it to my local jeweler in Chicago to have it set in a custom 18k gold ring (alloyed with palladium) that was designed and cast out in New York. When I went to pick up the ring the day before my planned proposal, I inspected the ring and found a small round defect on the underside of the band. It almost looks like a small hole, I assume caused by an air pocket in casting. See the picture below...

IMG_2083.jpg

So I talked with my jeweler and agreed that I would pay the balance on the ring so I could go ahead with the proposal with the understanding that we would be able to get it fixed at a later date or completely re-cast so I could just bring the defective ring back to have the diamond re-set on site. I just wanted to make sure that my fiance would not have to be without her ring for more than a few hours during the process.

So now I have to decide what to do among a few options. I received this statement from the designer in New York when my local jeweler sent him the photo above:

"This is the easiest type of porosity, it’s an isolated air bubble. It probably will take 10 minutes to fix." Unfortunately, my local jeweler will not fix this in-house, and they will need to ship it back to New York for repair. I definitely don't want to do this because I know my fiance would not want to be without her ring for several days.

I have also been told that I could also go ahead and have the ring re-cast, as we agreed upon at the time of purchase.

So here are my questions:

1. Is this a common type of defect in workmanship, and does it normally make it through inspection? It is fairly obvious to the unaided eye, so it surprises me that no one noticed before I was presented with the ring.

2. Is there reason for me to be concerned about other possible defects in workmanship that may not be noticeable on the exterior of the band?

3. While re-casting the ring would be the least trouble for me, is it worth the risk considering I'm really pleased with everything about my defective ring aside from the small imperfection? I fear that I could get a replacement with even more issues than the first.

4. Is this the type of defect that a jeweler in Chicago should be able to fix with ease? What type of cost would go along with this type of fix?

5. And lastly, what would you choose to do? I'm really having trouble deciding how to proceed.


Thank you all in advance for your input.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
Hi, sorry to hear the bad news. Personally I can only answer point five. If I wasn't satisfied with something, I would be reluctant to complete payment for it. I have bad experiences in the past with things slowing down or people just becoming unconcerned with resolution once payment is complete.

I would actually get it fixed, or get an agreement in writing that supports your own choice of resolution be it a recast or onsite repair. Im not suggesting thst your jeweller is not going to honor the repair, more that i would want the assurance of a fix that works for me within a good timeframe. All the best, let us know when it is all worked out!
 

speedy0514

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
25
TristanC said:
Hi, sorry to hear the bad news. Personally I can only answer point five. If I wasn't satisfied with something, I would be reluctant to complete payment for it. I have bad experiences in the past with things slowing down or people just becoming unconcerned with resolution once payment is complete.

I would actually get it fixed, or get an agreement in writing that supports your own choice of resolution be it a recast or onsite repair. Im not suggesting thst your jeweller is not going to honor the repair, more that i would want the assurance of a fix that works for me within a good timeframe. All the best, let us know when it is all worked out!
Yeah, you could say I was reluctant to complete payment for it. I do have all of my options in writing, so that is not so much and issue. I know it will be fixed either way I go about it, and I do trust that my jeweler will follow through. It's just a shame this was not handled before I was presented with the ring.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,120
How very frustrating! It makes me feel like there is simply no quality control anymore! Why don't jewelers inspect the piece with a loupe before sending it out? I just don't understand it.

I don't know enough about jewelry repair to know what your best solution is. You need one of the appraisers to answer that.

But the one thing I DO know is that whether they send it back to repair it or replace it, I would request overnight shipping both ways so that she would not be without the ring more than 48 hours. This is something they should have caught before delivering the ring.
 

cookies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
706
Since it is a cast defect, you should not have to pay to get it fixed, regardless whether you choose to have a recast or not.

Sometimes air bubbles are inside the shank, and they don't manifest themselves until the owner wants to have some work done on it, e.g. resizing. I don't know if there is an easy way to tell beforehand.
 

speedy0514

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
25
Cookie said:
Since it is a cast defect, you should not have to pay to get it fixed, regardless whether you choose to have a recast or not.
Yes, I definitely will not be paying to have the ring fixed by the designer. I was curious if I took this ring to another jeweler, would they be able to fix this type of defect in-house, and if so how much would that type of repair cost? Was hoping some of the pros in the forums might have some thoughts on how they would go about a repair.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
If you can find a local jeweler who has a laser-welder they should be able to fix in in house for a minimal amount- anywhere from $20-50. The price difference depends on if they have your alloy available, how large the air bubble, ect. Laser welders are expensive pieces of equipment and not everyone has one, but it's worth finding someone in your area who does- all sorts of things can be done, repairs and otherwise, with a laser welder that would impossible to do in house otherwise.

While it should have been caught and fixed before being sent out to you, porosity happens in cast pieces and I don't think your bubble is in a position to affect the strength of the piece, but if you find a local jeweler who can fix it, ask their opinion, just to be safe.

Best wishes!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
Ugh, how annoying! Can you have the diamond put into a temporary setting while the real setting is shipped to NY? Then you can just have it reset in a matter of hours when it comes back?
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,819
Yes, this is a common problem and yes, it's caused by a gas bubble in the metal during the casting process. They should have fixed it before ever shipping it out and this never would have become an issue but I would describe this more of a case of not completing the job rather than a manufacturing defect. The solution involves using a laser to weld more metal into that pit using the same material as the original casting and this is a common part of the manufacturing process. I'm guessing the reason that they need to send it back to the maker has to do with maintaining the warranty. Irritating to be sure, but I don't think this is a reason to recast the whole piece.
 

speedy0514

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
25
denverappraiser|1311515644|2975692 said:
Yes, this is a common problem and yes, it's caused by a gas bubble in the metal during the casting process. They should have fixed it before ever shipping it out and this never would have become an issue but I would describe this more of a case of not completing the job rather than a manufacturing defect. The solution involves using a laser to weld more metal into that pit using the same material as the original casting and this is a common part of the manufacturing process. I'm guessing the reason that they need to send it back to the maker has to do with maintaining the warranty. Irritating to be sure, but I don't think this is a reason to recast the whole piece.
Thank you for the technical explanation. This information makes me more comfortable with the idea of sending the ring back in, but it's a shame that the manufacturer has either poor quality control standards or just chose not to fix the problem assuming the risk that the end consumer wouldn't notice the problem.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Tennis Bracelet Love
    Tennis Bracelet Love
    Pretty Princess Cut
    Pretty Princess Cut

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top