A simple piece of jewelry can hold a lot of meaning for its owner, making any damage to the piece very distressing. Luckily, there are plenty of jewelry repair technicians ready to take on the job of restoring a beautiful ring, earring, or necklace to its original luster. In order to do the job well, these technicians need the proper tools.

While the very first microscopes were used to study insects in the 16th century and nicknamed flea glasses, jewelry repair technicians today need them in their daily work. The modern day’s more advanced version is the USB microscope camera, which allows technicians to see pieces of jewelry in extreme detail and store photos and video for later. These three common types of jewelry repair all require a closer look that digital microscope cameras provide.

Prong Repair

For many people, a ring is something that they never take off. However, when a ring is constantly on someone’s finger, the prongs can wear and become loose. With loose prongs, the possibility of losing the ring’s precious gemstone increases. Jewelry repair technicians can reverse prong wear by replacing worn prongs, adding metal to the top of a prong to re-tip it, or replacing the prong head. Technicians need the assistance of a USB microscope camera to properly fit the prongs over the crown of the gemstone and ensure that all prongs match in shape, size, and dimension.

Chain Repair

Repairing a worn or broken chain may seem like the simplest fix a technician needs to do, but there are many types of chains that make this simple job rather complex. Link chains, including rope and cable chains, and herringbone chains are typically more difficult to repair because of their intricate design. Small or lightweight chains require a careful touch as well and a digital microscope in order to see the minuscule links.

Ring Resizing

Jewelry repair technicians often have the task of resizing a ring when it is too loose or too tight for the wearer. One way to do this is by cutting and soldering the metal of the ring to adjust the size to the perfect fit. Another option is by placing spring inserts into the ring shanks, adjusting the rink one to two full finger sizes. For slight adjustments, technicians can place sizing beads on the inside of the shank’s bottom, necessitating the use of a USB microscope camera for proper precision.

Most jewelry is made of tiny, precious parts that need to be handled with care. While repair technicians will have the skills to do just that, they need tools like a microscope to magnify the details and make the jewelry look brand new once again.