Lend me your ears! Earrings are subtle yet stylish pieces of jewelry. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely fragile, even if you purchase metal earrings.
You should expect to repair earrings sooner rather than later. Yet you shouldn’t panic. You can restore your earrings by yourself using a few basic steps. Here is how you can fix your earrings in no time!
Assess the Situation
Don’t panic if your earrings get damaged. Put your jewelry underneath a light and use a magnifying glass so you can look closely at both pieces.
Pieces often get damaged due to their shapes and sizes. Long earrings that dangle downward usually break along their jump rings. Post earrings have a front part attached to a metal stick, and the front piece may snap off. Try to see where precisely the break is and mark the area with a pencil.
Be careful while handling your jewelry. Hold your earrings with your fingertips and place them down without applying too much force. If your earrings are in many different pieces, you should collect them, put them in a bag, and go to a jewelry repair service.
Write Down the Metal
If your earrings are made of metal, you must figure out what type it is. Repairing metal earrings may require soldering, which is much easier when you know what metal you are working with. If you can’t figure it out, the solderer can run a metal test, but this can damage your earrings.
Most earrings are either gold or silver. The color may give away what type of metal you have, but you may have earrings that are painted a particular color.
You can drop a few drops of nitric acid onto your earrings. Silver turns white when it reacts with nitric acid, while gold does not react at all. Make sure to wear gloves and goggles while handling nitric acid.
Your earrings may have tiny jewelry markings on them that provide identifying details. “Gold-filled” means your earrings have a gold exterior with a base metal inside. “Gold-plated” has a skinny coating of gold on the outside; “silver-filled” means the same thing but with silver. Trying to repair plated jewelry can change the color, especially if you need to apply heat to your earrings. “Plat” means that the piece has 95% platinum, while “pall” means it has 95% palladium.
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You can use glue to repair your earrings, especially if you need to connect two parts of them together. You can buy a few different types of jewelry glue; any of them works as long as the smell or texture doesn’t bother you. Do not use hot glue, as you risk damaging the earrings.
Use a small brush, toothpick, or Q-tip to apply the glue to your earrings. If you have post earrings that broke off at the post, smear a small amount of glue onto the post. Bring your front piece toward it and hold the two together.
If you have large or thick jump rings that have broken apart, you can do the same thing. For tiny jump rings, try using tweezers to push the rings together.
Leave the earrings alone for as long as possible, ideally a few hours. Before you put the earrings on, inspect them using a magnifying glass to see that you have glued them together correctly.
Related: How to Fix a Broken Necklace
Solder Your Earrings
Soldering is the best way to repair earrings made of metal. It can provide a more permanent solution than gluing your earrings, and it can fix earrings that have broken into three or more pieces.
Before you solder, you should remove any debris on your earrings. You can use sandpaper or a microfiber cloth to do this. Do not push down too hard on your earring post, as you risk scratching it or chipping part of it off.
Hold the earring post upright using a pair of tweezers or a clamp. Whatever you use to hold the post upright should withstand very high heat.
You can now apply heat to your earring post. Silver earrings start to melt at 1,763 degrees, while gold earrings start to melt at 1,948 degrees. You want to use enough heat that your post starts to soften but not too much that it falls apart.
Once it starts to melt, you can apply it to the front piece. Hold the two parts together as the metal cools. Once you have fused the two parts together, quench the earring in a bowl of cold water. Let the earring rest in the water for a few minutes, then remove it and inspect it to see if it is whole. If the earring is still broken, apply the solder again. If you notice any rough spots in the metal, use a file, sandpaper, or scouring pad to smooth the piece.
Need assistance with repairing your jewelry? Reach out to LaCkore Couture’s team, and we can help you make a quick fix!
Clean Your Earrings
Jewelry care and cleaning tips can help you remove dirt that can cause your earrings to break again. A dish soap and warm water solution is all you need.
Mix two tablespoons of dish soap with a bowl of warm water. Place your earrings in a colander, then lower the colander into the solution. Let the jewelry soak in the soap solution for a few minutes, then remove the earrings and wipe them off with a clean dish towel.
If the dish soap solution doesn’t work, fill a bowl with hydrogen peroxide and let your earrings soak in them for 20 minutes. Do not do this if you have pearl earrings; you should instead use a jewelry cloth and gently wipe your pearls with a bit of soapy water.
Related: Polishing Jewelry
Signs that your earrings are about to break again include bent or broken posts. If your posts are starting to bend, you can straighten them using tweezers. Rotate the posts so you can squeeze them from multiple angles and avoid overcorrections.