JewelryFilter: Help me fix my necklace!
April 30, 2013 7:07 PM   Subscribe

I have a silver (silver colored, not sure what it's made of, but it tarnishes) necklace that had been stuffed in a round box in storage, for quite a few months. I'd like to fix it.

Images are here.

About a year ago I received a hanging necklace organizer as a present. My hope was that over time, the necklace would flatten out as it hung up, but it has not. As you can see in the first picture, it's not a typical chain - it is a flat style, meant to look round when it's worn. It's lovely and has sentimental value, so I'd really like to keep it. Anyone have a similar necklace or know of anything that might work?

Ideas I've had, both of which would probably damage it:
Ironing it in between light pieces of cotton
Putting it in the dishwasher to heat it

Going to the jeweler = dinero = last resort.
posted by luciddream928 to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Go to the jeweler! It won't cost much.

On the other hand, maybe the jeweler can't do much. But in that case, neither can you.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on April 30, 2013

Do you have some sort of substantial charm or pendant you could temporarily put on the necklace to pull out those kinks? Maybe that, in addition to some kind of mild heat applied, might make a difference. (I am not a jeweler, and I have no idea if these ideas are good for your jewelry.)
posted by heathergirl at 7:42 PM on April 30, 2013

Oops, based on Miko's link, disregard what I said!
posted by heathergirl at 7:43 PM on April 30, 2013

What you have is an Omega chain

Omega necklaces are difficult to repair, that is the short of it. Yet, unless the crimp is near 2 inches I cannot imagine a need to cut the necklace that much shorter to remove the crimp. Apparently "removing" the damaged part is what the trade shop jewelers intended to do. I would need to see the actual necklace to comment more on that part.

First, it might help to know how the normal omega is put together in the first place. Each section that fits so neatly is actually a strip of gold bent around into the shape you see. Beneath those many little strips of gold is a gold mesh chain, from one end of the necklace to the other. The strips ride on the mesh part.

When an omega is crimped, meaning either a portion of links are bent flatter or with more of a curve, either way, repair is tough. Why? Attempts to recurve the gold links to match the originals will only get close and in the meantime that can loosen the individual links from the mesh chain beneath. No, the links will not fall off but spaces might start to show between the links.

The most common break in an omega is near the clasp, where the chain has spread a bit and space shows between the links. Then the underlying mesh is visible. The solution is to solder the "edges" of links together. By soldering the edges only, the face of the chain is solder free and looks good, even if not perfect.

posted by JujuB at 8:12 PM on April 30, 2013

See if you can find a small jeweler-owned place (not a mall store type of place where they ship out all their repairs or hide the jeweler in the back), that's your best bet for finding someone who might be able to give you advice and a quote for fixing it. Unfortunately those shops are harder to find these days (I used to work in one). In the meantime, keep it flat and straight, not curved. Very gently pull it straight to see if there is damage like in the article linked above (is there bent metal or is it just stuck from being bunched up) and whether it can be re-aligned.
posted by girlhacker at 2:04 AM on May 1, 2013

IAAJeweler, but IANYJ: I've used a drawplate to bring round things back to true - you basically pull the metal thing (in my case it's usually wire or a round tube that's been 'knitted' from wire) through a board or other thing that has the right sized hole, and it kind of nudges things back where they belong. Doing this repeatedly through increasingly smaller holes also lengthens wire or chain.

If this was mine, I would try to dummy up a drawplate experience using a vise and a soft cloth. I'd snug the vise on a soft cloth just tight enough that I could draw this thing through it - you don't want to have to really yank, but you want a touch of resistance. Pulling it through 4 or 5 times (with the flat sides matching the flat sides of the vise) could help. There are Youtube videos that show you how chain drawplates work.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2013

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