Hileman opal ring after we removed the bottom piece of opal and the piece next to it and replaced them with some nice blue green matching opal. Just like new!
Your inlay jewelry requires some special care to keep it looking great. The most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your inlay jewelry is to use common sense on when to remove your jewelry. Taking your jewelry off before any activity that may damage it is the most effective way to prevent cracking or chipping the inlay. There are times when wearing any jewelry, not just inlay jewelry, is risking damage to the jewelry and a possible heath hazard to the wearer as well. Any object your ring comes into contact with that is harder than the metal or stone in the ring will scratch or ding the metal and chip or crack the stone. You should not wear your inlay ring on a finger adjacent to another ring. The two rings will grind against each other and damage the inlay and the metal. Stacking them on the same finger is fine (bridal set) but be aware that they will rub against each other and over time a matte finish will appear on the sides that touch. Inlay jewelry is not fragile but does require that you take some care when wearing it. When in doubt take it off. When not wearing your jewelry, store it in a cloth bag or box where your other jewelry cannot ding or scratch it. Doing so will prolong the life of your jewelry and extend the period you can go before it needs to be refinished to remove the scratches and dents. Ladies don't throw your jewelry in the bottom of your purse and men don't put your ring in your pocket with your keys! Every few months take a moment to carefully examine your jewelry for damage, loose stones or worn prongs. Get any damage repaired asap!
Never put your inlay jewelry in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Chemicals and heat from the ultrasonic cleaner may negatively affect the epoxy over a period of time. Also, avoid contact with household cleaners and solvents as these may break down the epoxy and could also oxidize the silver turning it black. Do not soak your inlay jewelry in water or oils overnight. Prolonged exposure to water or oils may weaken the bond between the stones and the epoxy used to hold them in the inlay channel. You should remove your silver jewelry before swimming in a chlorine pool or hot tub. High levels of chlorine can cause tarnishing or slowly remove the finish on the stones and the metal. If tarnishing occurs you should remove it with a polishing cloth but do not dip the jewelry in a tarnish removal liquid. If your inlay jewelry has gemstones accenting the inlay, you can clean the gemstones by brushing them with an old toothbrush and some soft soap. Simply brush the gemstones from the top and the bottom until all the build up is removed. Clean your jewelry regularly to remove sweat, lotions and body oils that can dull the sparkle and shine of your jewelry.
Finally, when the surface of the stones or the metal loses its luster, return the jewelry to us for refinishing. If your jewelry has some damaged inlay it is important to have it repaired immediately. Water, oils, lotion or chemicals can seep in through chips and cracks in the stones and ruin the epoxy resulting in expensive repairs if all the inlay comes loose. If your budget doesn't allow for immediate repair, put the jewelry away and don't risk doing further damage by wearing it. We suggest returning your Hileman inlay jewelry to us for all repairs. Most jewelers are not experienced with inlay methods and do not have stones to match the ones in your jewelry.
It's not a big deal if you have an accident and break a piece of inlay in your Hileman jewelry. We can remove the damaged piece and install a new matching piece of inlay without a problem. A diamond drill bit is used to remove the damaged stone and epoxy and new piece of stone is carefully fit into the space. The new inlay is ground down flush with the existing inlay and the entire piece is run through a series of diamond polishing wheels until all the dents and scratches are removed from the metal and stones. The inlay is repolished on a leather wheel with a polishing compound and then buffed to a brilliant polish. Your jewelry is now repaired and restored to like new condition!
To get the jewelry repair process started, ship the jewelry to us and we will contact you with an estimate for the repairs if requested. It is difficult to give you an accurate estimate without having the jewelry here in the studio to evaluate the damages under the microscope. You can send us a close up photo for a ballpark estimate but that estimate could change once we complete a thorough examination. Please include your name, physical address (for UPS shipping), phone number, email address and approximate value of the jewelry in the box with a brief description of the jewelry and what you would like repaired. We will contact you with an estimate shortly after receiving your jewelry for repair. If damage is extensive we may give you options for complete and/or partial repair. Once you give us permission to proceed it could take 2 to 6 weeks to complete your inlay jewelry repair depending on our work load. You may pay for the repair by check, credit card or request an invoice be sent through PayPal. Your repair will not be shipped until payment is completed unless other arrangements are agreed upon. Your repaired jewelry will be shipped back to you via UPS and you will receive a tracking number if you provide an email address with your contact information.
Hileman opal ring repaired by another jeweler who replaced the end piece of opal with a piece that did not match or fit very well.
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Hileman Silver Jewelry Phoenix, Arizona
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