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Jeweler Problem - What would You Do? (Long)

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peachster

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
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37
I have a very old jade pendant which belonged to my grandmother in the 1930s, and I suspect it is actually older. It is a really fine jade, apple green, with an engraved 18K bale. I love it and it means a whole lot to me. Sometime many years ago, before my mother received it around 1960, it had been broken in one spot and very expertly glued. In fact, without a loop you can''t even see any sign that there was ever a breakage.

A week ago, the unthinkable happened, and I dropped it. It broke cleanly in half. I was horrified, but immediately put the two pieces in a jewelry box. I read a little on the internet that using something called Epoxy 300 is the best stuff to repair jade, given its properties. Regular glue or superglue is not recommended.

I decided to take it to a very reputable jewelry shop in the area the next day, asking them to glue it and stressing that it is a really important piece to me despite having perhaps a low intrinsic value from having been broken. They told me to pick it up in a week, and I did so today - the lady cheerfully handed it to me - "no charge."

I looked at it carefully, and it is a mess. The glue looks like a hack. But what is really the worst is that whoever repaired it broke it again in the process - a triangular chunk which was not broken was also glued, with the edges sticking out. Shiny glue all over. I just can''t believe that a reputable jewelry shop would not tell its customer that they damaged an item in the process of repairing it. I am furious. I want to get the glue off and take it to someone to do properly, with the problem now worse that a big chunk that was previously solid is broken too. Aargh.

The owner on hearing me so upset came out and started to make excuses. He said, "jade is really a hard substance." I know - so why did they break it further? I told him I wanted to know what epoxy they used so I can get it removed and re-glued properly. He said he would take off the glue, but I refused. After all, I think it is pretty unethical what they did, and that they took no responsibility for the problem. If he had even said he was sorry that they had broken it, and neglected to tell me by accident, I might have felt better. But, I decided I just did not trust them to have it and work on it further.

So, I plan to take it to another very reputable jeweler here, and see what they suggest. My question - I am so upset by the action of the first jeweler, I want to send a letter to them or somehow convey how really wrong it is to take responsibility for an item, and then break it. Jade, after all - very hard. Or, should I just avoid ever using this vendor again for purchases and repairs?

What would you all do?
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
Peachster, I''m sorry to hear this. Jade is something very special, and it''s a real shame that this has happened.

I tend to get angry very easily. Something like that would have me with steam coming out of my ears... and the jeweller''s neck twisted in a knot, with a couple of jade nose rings to boost.

The issue is that simply getting angry does not get a solution to your problem, and I don''t think you now trust that store to fix the issue. However, there is a need to vent, so here''s what I would do:

Write a letter to the owner - don''t even print it, just save it on your PC. Tell him factually what happened, where it went wrong, what your expectations were, how they were missed, what you are doing about it and what they can do to get it right (give you compensation? pay for the repair somewhere else? both?). Then sleep over it and re-read it in the morning, this time trying to see it from the point of view of the recipient. Most times, I find myself toning it down and getting results.

Good luck! And keep us posted.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,452
Peachster,
I''m so sorry about your jade pendant. I would be horrified and furious too to see it all mangled and further damaged! And worse, to not even contact you about it! I''m not sure if I''d ever return to them for any kind of jewellery work. What if they mess it further trying to remove the glue? It''s just not worth the worrying.
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
This is not meant in any way to be an excuse for the jeweller, but the jeweller was probably meaning that because it was hard it would be brittle. Like an egg shell is hard but brittle, and as is always pointed out to us that diamond being on the moh's scale at 10 is very hard but that has nothing to do with durability and diamonds can be brittle because they can chip.

I do not want to make any excuses they should have told you that it had broken further, just thought I would write this because if you say back to the jeweller about jade being hard he will probably go on about that is why is could be brittle. Contrary to this though I have read that whilst jade can be easily scratched it is very durable and more so than diamond.
 

Upgradable

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
5,537
Coyoteman gave you some great advice. It will probably serve you both emotionally and in regards to getting some sort of compensation for the damage.

What I really wanted to add is that it frustrates me that so frequently jewelers forget how emotionally attached we are to the pieces we entrust them with! It''s not like sending your steak back because it was improperly cooked or being dissatisfied with a piece of electronics that broke the first time we used it! I''m sooooo sorry that this very personal and important piece of your family history was treated with such disrespect! You are completely valid in feeling personally betrayed by this jewelers nonchalance! I''m soo sorry!
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
Date: 3/6/2009 9:53:07 AM
Author: Upgradable
Coyoteman gave you some great advice. It will probably serve you both emotionally and in regards to getting some sort of compensation for the damage.

What I really wanted to add is that it frustrates me that so frequently jewelers forget how emotionally attached we are to the pieces we entrust them with! It''s not like sending your steak back because it was improperly cooked or being dissatisfied with a piece of electronics that broke the first time we used it! I''m sooooo sorry that this very personal and important piece of your family history was treated with such disrespect! You are completely valid in feeling personally betrayed by this jewelers nonchalance! I''m soo sorry!
Ditto!!!

I''m sorry that this happened too. I hate that feeling when you wish you''d never done something because you ended up being worse off.
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
755
Actually, jade is pretty tough because it''s not a highly crystalline structure, it''s basically an amorphous rock with sometimes a fibrous structure, so it must have been mishandled pretty badly to break again.

At any rate, what I find appalling is that the jeweller has not admitted fault, apologised or offered anything to compensate for the damages caused, regardless of whether it was "reasonable" for the piece to break or not when handled. I would steer clear of any discussion about the physical properties of the piece; you entrusted him with something to set right that was returned in worse conditions than before. He is the professional that (should) know how to deal with hard, soft, brittle and tough gems appropriately - you shouldn''t feel you are assumed to know those things.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
I''m so sorry you''re going through this. I don''t know what I would do in your situation, but it sounds like you''re managing it with class and style. I wish you the best of luck with resolving this situation.
 

lavenderlill

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
22
I wonder if there exists either online or in your city a gemologist or jeweler who specializes in fine jade that you could confer with on how to fix the piece. Any experts or jade collectors out there that might know?
 

peachster

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
37
Thank you for your kind replies. It just upset me so that this very valuable (to me) item was trusted to the best in town, and that the jeweler did not even bother to tell me they broke it further and apologize. The gluing was appalling too!

I really never will go to that person again, and while they have a lot of delightful eye candy (they specialize in antique and vintage jewelry), I can get that elsewhere. What I thought I was getting was integrity. At the least, if you make a mistake or an accident happens, own up to it.

I like the suggestion of writing a letter and then deciding whether to send it. Gives a little time to reflect. I will be taking it for repair to another "high end" jeweler. This person made a speech at my son''s Junior Achievement meeting, and while I have never been to his store, he spoke with true passion and I think a person like this may understand that a little piece of jade means the world to someone. Not everyone gets it! But the PS community does. I hope he will be able to really fix it.

Again, thanks for your responses. I was so upset and in tears and now I feel a little better.
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,772
Hi, no offence, have you gone to an appraiser to ascertain if the piece is indeed jade? As the others have mentioned before, jade is much tougher than diamond and it takes a very hard blow to break it but from your description of the problem, it seems that to have broken too easily. I would keep the two pieces or leave it as it is. I understand that there is great sentiment attached to the piece but to fix it may risk breaking it further. So far the the jewelers that I have spoken to in where I live generally refuse to fix anything that is of great sentimental value to customers because it will be irreplaceable if an accident were to occur when it is being fixed.
 
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