Need top-notch jewelry repair person to repair star sapphire ring
January 30, 2015 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I have a ring with three star sapphires set in a very simple gold setting. I need to find the right person to swap out a stone, and fix a poor repair job done years ago. It's hard to find someone who knows/works with star sapphires. How do I find a truly trustworthy specialist? The ring has enormous sentimental value and there's already been one botched repair job.

I went to a guy reputed to be the best in the Jewelry District in NYC for difficult repairs, and he said he didn't want to work with it, as star sapphires are delicate and he was afraid that the heat required to melt the gold would burst the stone. Sounds odd, but maybe he's right. Star sapphires seem like kind of a "niche" stone. And since the newer stone doesn't match the others, the jeweler also has to have a good enough "eye" to match the color, size and clarity of the other two stones, and the sources to acquire an appropriate replacement.

Can anyone recommend someone? I live in NYC but am willing to consider artisans outside the area if need be.
posted by ROTFL to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (1 answer total)
I don't know of anyone, but just to clarify: sapphires (and ruby) are often included with silk, usually titanium dioxide. Some gems are heat treated to remove this silk. However, if it presents itself in a way that makes the "star," then you have your star sapphire. So yes, extreme heat could damage it, especially if the stones have inclusions. If it hasn't been heat treated and might have inclusions (as lessor stones would burst during heat treatment to make them gem quality, and obviously star sapphire has NOT been heat treated, as the rutile silk is still present), then I can see why someone would be hesitant to work with your ring.

You do want someone who is GIA certified, but just to let you know, that guy wasn't blowing smoke up your butt. What I would do is go to a jewelry store and ask around. I am not sure that the temps required for melting gold would damage any sapphire, even a star sapphire.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:22 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

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