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Useful and interesting  stuff for Jewellers and Silversmiths


  • Dawn Meaden-Johnson

Why Jewellery repair work needs experienced hands

I'm often asked for a 1-day Jewellery Repair course by someone who is not a Jeweller.

In the first instance it may seem to make commercial sense for a Jewellery Retailer to set up a repair bench at the rear of their shop or for someone to consider Jewellery Repair might be something they would like to do. However in this instance quick fix training for Jewellery retail sales staff or anyone who has no experience of making Jewellery using traditional hand skills/bench methods is not a recommended as feasible option, and careful consideration should be taken.

I may politely decline your request for a Jewellery Repair course if you don't have the relevant experience, but these factors explain why why a Jewellery Repair should only be placed in the safe hands of an experienced Goldsmith or Jeweller.

In this blog I explain to those working outside of the Jewellery Industry what a Goldsmith or Jeweller considers before taking on each repair job.

The Repair Factor

Before you begin repair work, a Goldsmith needs to consider these factors and be confident that they can overcome any issues that may arise during the repair, regardless of any previous work done on the piece by someone else.

  • Which metal is the piece made out of and are you confident working in this metal?

  • Will the structural strength of a piece be compromised by a repair solution?

  • Will the value of a piece be compromised by undertaking a contemporary repair?

  • What is the stone and does it need to be removed?

  • Has the piece been repaired before and could this repair be effected by any work you undertake?

  • If there has been a previous repair was the correct solder used? Easy solder used to secure a shoddy repair may fall apart one you begin work using a harder solder with a higher melting point.

  • Could any repair work damage the piece, honestly is repair a viable option?

The Sentimental Factor

Finally remember that the piece being bought in for repair MUST have sentimental value, otherwise it would simply have been scrapped and replaced.

By undertaking a Jewellery Repair a Goldsmith has the added responsibility of caring for someone's VERY precious often quite old item and they need to be certain that any work they do will not damage it or destroy it. Any replacement offered in the instance of a repair disaster would not have the same sentimental value to a customer.

The Experience Factor

All of the above explains why only someone with at least 5-8 years Jewellery Trade experience should consider undertaking repair work.

Even Jewellers sometimes undertake specialist training for Jewellery Repair, so that they try to be prepared for most common eventualities.

This is because they you never know what might come in for repair, the possibilities are endless. In this instance I'm always happy to help a fellow Jewellers with a course for Jewellery Repair with tuition from a Goldsmith with repairs experience.

The Alternative Factor

You may not have the experience to undertake Jewellery repairs in your own Jewellery shop, or on your own however you could still offer this service to your customers by outsourcing the work to a local Goldsmith. This is a very common practise in the UK, most customers would understand and expect a complex repair to take at least a week, if you explain why time should not be a priority. Jewellery Repair is careful considered work and should not be rushed.

Jewellery Retailers never promise a repair solution to a customer because it's their Goldsmith who will make an evaluation about repair possibilities based on his/her experience and there is a possibility that the item may not be a feasible repair.

BLOG - About the author

Dawn Meaden-Johnson is the Director and Founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company. She has over 25 years’ experience working in the Jewellery Industry including Retail Jewellers and almost 10 Years at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery during which time she has worked extensively with national and international clients whilst managing their Short Course Programme project.

Dawn is also an experienced jewellery business specialist mentor for Jewellery Graduates and Designer Makers.

A graduate Silversmith of Birmingham School of Jewellery, Dawn still occasionally creates limited edition contemporary jewellery.

- Email Dawn at



Jewellery Repair Experience



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