Holiday Catalog

jewelry repair

  • How you could be unintentionally killing your jewelry...

    Like a new car, new jewelry eventually requires maintenance. This isn’t a suggestion, it’s a fact. When you love your jewelry, you wear it (as you should). When you wear it, you damage it. This fact is not so much about quality craftsmanship as it is about wear and tear.

    When you drive thousands of miles on your car, it is not the car’s fault the tires need to be replaced. The same concept can (and should) be applied to jewelry. Under elements of normal wear and tear your metals should last you the following number of years without requiring prong or shank maintenance.

    1. Yellow Gold – 5 Years
    2. White Gold – 8 Years
    3. Platinum – 20 Years

    This is under normal wear and tear. Below, I have created a list of activities that unintentionally kills jewelry. If you want to maximize the life of your jewelry and delay repair work as long as possible, please be (unofficially) advised to remove your jewelry when doing the following:

    1)      Cleaning:  Many cleaning chemicals contain chlorine – which is terribly harmful to most metals by causing porosity and weakening prongs and shanks. Even all-natural cleaning agents can do damage to jewelry. While they may not necessarily harm metal, they can damage most gemstones that have much softer compositional properties than diamonds. No, this does not exempt you from performing household chores! When it is time to scrub and disinfect your home, remove the jewelry on your hands first! Unlike your skin, jewelry does not heal and regenerate after chemical exposure.

    2)      Swimming: Just like with cleaning, more leisurely activities like, a soak in the hot tub or a quick swim before dinner, will damage your jewelry because of the chemical exposure.

    -Furthermore, when you swim (even in fresh or salt water) your hands are exposed to cooler temperatures. When your hands are cold your fingers constrict, when your fingers constrict your rings become loose fitting, when your rings are loose they fall off!

    3)      Yard Work: We have all had blisters from raking, weeding, chopping, stacking, digging, and/or harvesting. Am I right? We have all seen what yard work does to our hands (and muscles!), imagine what it is doing to your jewelry on a microscopic level. Over time, you will do damage that will bring your ring to our repair shop. May it be a broken prong, a chipped stone, or a missing stone, you will need it repaired, and it will cost you money.

    4)      Hiking: One of my best friend’s engagement ring was purchased from me. A month after the proposal, she texted me saying her platinum was terribly scratched (and it was!).

    The conversation went something like this:

    Her: “You said platinum was durable.”

    Me: “You climbed a mountain with your ring on.”

    Need I say more? (Sorry, Karis. I use your active lifestyle as an example on a regular basis.)

    5)      Sleeping: This is a big one. The biggest, really. Folks, take your jewelry off before bed. You’re not as delicate of a sleeper as you think you are.

    You may think you sleep like this:

    But you really sleep like this:

    When you toss and turn you are susceptible of snagging prongs in your blankets and stretching/tangling your chains. There is only so much of this that your jewelry can take.

    Eventually, something is going to give and it is going to either need repair or replacement.

    6)      Gym: Kudos to all of you who work out. Really, you put my couch-potato self to shame.  I never damage my jewelry sitting on the couch. Neither will you. You will, however, damage your jewelry at the gym. Whether you are pumping iron, practicing your left JAB, or using the rowing machine (all things, I have never done in my life) you are putting serious strain on your rings. Those of you wearing rings with stones are at the most risk. FYI: Activity that causes your ring to be pressed into your hand or against something else, even if it’s only at the bottom, will bend your ring. It may not be evident right away, but when your ring bends it effects the structural integrity of the tension holding your gemstones in. They will become loose and gold work will be required to strengthen your ring again. You may even chip your stones, requiring replacement. Yes, diamonds are the least likely to chip, but they can and will if under significant strain or impact.

    7)      Carrying heavy loads: If you’re like me, you hate making two trips out to the car to bring in groceries. To maximize your efficiency, I’m sure you carry all 17 bags and a gallon of milk into the house in one trip. This will bend your ring and snag prongs catastrophically. Reread the FYI from point #6.


    Jewelry is precious, delicate and valuable. While it deserves to be shown off, it deserves to be treated carefully to maximize its beauty and longevity. Please remove your jewelry before engaging in the activities listed above – they are the most frequent culprits of jewelry damage!


    When the time comes, and you need repairs, Day’s Jewelers has the most professional, talented, meticulous, caring, certified and accredited jewelers in the industry. I have had the pleasure of working with most of them, I trust and respect them completely. You will too!




  • Top 3 Appraisal Tips from a GIA Graduate Gemologist

    darcy2-resized-600.jpgDarcy Good started her career at Day’s Jewelers seventeen years ago.  Since then she has earned her degree from the Gemological Institute of America as a Graduate Gemologist and is now the full-time appraiser at Day's Jewelers in Waterville. Darcy often gets asked 3 basic questions before performing an appraisal and in this exclusive post she'll give you the tools you need before you head to Antique Roadshow or any other appraiser with your precious items. 

    1. What does an appraisal cost?

    This is the most common question surrounding appraisals. Unfortunately quoting an accurate cost can be difficult because the fee depends on several factors.  First, every stone must go through an identification process.  For instance, diamond and moissanite will test the same on a diamond tester.  It is imperative to distinguish between the two.  Ruby and red spinel look the same; education and experience are necessary to make the separation.  Assigning a value to jewelry with large stones or custom jewelry, often times, requires research.  These are just a few of many examples.  Appraisal fees are usually between $45 and $200.  The appraiser you choose can give you a better idea of what an appraisal of your exact piece may cost.

    At Day's we offer free verbal appraisals to give you an approximate value. If you decide to have an official written appraisal for insurance or other purposes, the fees start at $40 per item and are adjusted from there depending upon the number of stones and research it will take to complete the appraisal.

    2. Why should I get an appraisal?

    Insurance Purposes: We work very hard to buy the things that are important to us. We insure our homes & cars because we know that it would be very difficult to replace those things if lost, damaged or destroyed. The same goes for our jewelry. Once a person has an appraisal, he or she can insure their jewelry by adding it to their homeowner’s policy for very little expense. Over time, our jewelry appreciates in value so it is important to have appraisals updated too.

    Selling: Perhaps you have a piece that you no longer wear. The sentimentality of jewelry can change when a relationship ends or styles come in and out of fashion. A appraisal will not only give you a benchmark for insurance purposes but it will also give you a suggested value if you are looking to sell the piece. An appraisal from a Gemologist you trust will give you the tools you need to negotiate the best price when you sell.

    3. How long does an appraisal take?

    How long an appraisal takes depends on the piece itself. I am able to determine an approximate value in a minute, but it can be a complicated process to complete an educated assessment. There are several value factors that need to be assessed when grading diamonds and colored stones. Every stone must go through an identification process and sometimes additional research is required.


    Have additonal appraisal questions?
    Ask Darcy at


  • New Head vs. Retips

    Most jewelers suggest that you bring your jewelry in every 6 months to be checked: cleaned, tightened up - like a spa treatment for your jewelry.

    However, sometimes when a ring is brought in for inspection it may be recommended that the item needs work done to it to help preserve the item.

    prong_setting_bnFor example, on a ring we do retips. What is a retip?: building up and "repairing" the pegs of metal holding the diamond (the prongs).  The prongs start to show wear and retipping them will bring the ring back to safe and stable condition.

    Retipping is something that will generally last for six months to a year before more wear begins to occur again.

    An alternative to retipping is putting on a new head. What is a new head?: A new head is when you replace all of the prongs that are holding the stone in place with new ones.

    Doing this is a long term fix; it can add another five to ten years to the ring. There are different options that can be done for a head that will also give more security and add to the  life span of the ring. For example, doing six prongs vs. four will add more security to the ring because you are adding an additional two prongs. Another option is doing gold or platinum for the head. Platinum will typically last twice as long as gold.

    These are just some of the things that might be found when having your jewelry inspected. This is why we suggest doing it every 6 months. Should you wait too long, you could risk ruining the jewelry or worse, loosing a stone. This can happen with normal wear and tear.

    Wearing particular pieces of jewelry is a great way to express your own personal style, and remember the special moments in your life. In order to make sure that your jewelry remains a part of who you are, and continues to keep your memories and cherished moments alive, it must be properly maintained.

    Always be sure to talk to a service specialist or goldsmith, they are there to assist you in making the right choices for your jewelry and what is best for you.


    Rebecca Bonney, Assistant Manager
    Auburn, Day's Jewelers 

    Learn more about Rebecca




  • Jewelry Appraisals 101

    cheryl-castner_(1)What is a jewelry appraisal?

    A jewelry appraisal is a written valuation done by a professional appraiser for insurance replacement or estate purposes for Probate. There are also other types of appraisals such as liquidation, point of sale, and donation. The most common type of appraisal is done to obtain or renew insurance. Photographs of the jewelry items should always be included in an appraisal.

    What qualifications and credentials should professional jewelry appraisers have?

    1. Formal training in gemology so they can accurately identify and describe gems, imitations, assembled stones, and gem treatments. A gemological credential such as GG, FGA, FGG, AG (CIG), FCGma, FCAA, or FCC is a minimum requirement. To obtain the credentials to become a Gemologist, it takes much more than merely a written or online course - it includes hands-on training with over 500 actual gemstones, using gemological equipment, and being tutored and graded by a certified instructor.
    2. Trade experience
    3. Integrity
    4. Formal training in valuation theory, ethics, appraised procedures and law so they can write appraisals that give you proper legal protection and that are respected by insurance companies, courts, and the Internal Revenue Service. Appraisal credentials such as AM, ASA, MGA, ISA, CAPP, CMA, CGA, and RMV are awarded to appraisers who have attended appraisal courses, passed exams, and met other appraisal qualifications. These certifications also require a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education per year to keep current. Appraisals are a separate discipline, not just a normal function or a service offered in any retail jewelry store.

    Many people offer appraisal services that do not have these qualifications, why can’t I have my jewelry appraised anywhere that this service is offered?

    There can be a huge liability in having an appraisal done by someone who is not qualified. I have seen too many instances where gemstones and treatments were not properly identified, where diamonds were not graded correctly, where Old European cut diamonds, Old Mine cut diamonds, and round brilliant cut diamonds were not correctly identified, and all of these contribute to the correct valuation of the items.

    Also, in the past I have seen appraisals that were used as sales tools which I call the “feel good appraisal”. These appraisals typically over value the piece at more than twice the price that was just paid to purchase it. These appraisals only cost the consumer as they are paying over inflated insurance premiums.

    The most disturbing case I have seen in the last nine  years was a 9 carat diamond  that was purchased in the Diamond District in New York, and the diamond had been laser drilled and fracture filled, which are treatments that the FDA requires be disclosed at the point of sale, yet they were not disclosed. The ring was appraised by two separate “appraisers” and both of them missed the treatments. This case has been in costly litigation for four years with no resolution to the consumer.

    images_(2)Why do I need to have my jewelry appraised?  

    In the ever changing world of commodities, gold prices are currently at a twenty year high, and due to the more recent Chinese demand for diamonds - diamond prices are up as well. If your jewelry hasn’t been appraised in the last five years, you may no longer be adequately covered in the case of theft, damage or loss.

    If I am paying an appraiser to have my jewelry appraised, why am I asked to supply any paperwork that I have?

    I always ask my clients to provide any and all paperwork. This is not to make my job easier, as I don’t always agree with the paperwork that is supplied. I like to be able to see what the client was told so that I can manage their expectations, and if the diamond has any type of certification, I always include these details in my appraisals. If you have paid to own a certified stone, you will want this information recorded in the appraisal.

    Isn’t my jewelry already covered on my homeowner’s or renter’s insurance without having it appraised?

    I advise all of my clients to contact their insurance companies to ask for the dollar amount they insure jewelry items for that are not appraised and scheduled on their policy. Some insurance companies will cover up to $1,000, some $1,500, and I have even seen $5,000. It is important to know what type of policy you have – is it an actual cash policy or do they replace like kind and quality? I typically recommend any items that are over $1,000 should be appraised and scheduled. I had one client whose insurance policy only covered $1,500 for all jewelry that wasn’t appraised and scheduled. Her housekeeper had systematically stolen all of her jewelry over a period of time and she only received a check for $1,500.


    images_(1)Does the client have to leave their jewelry with you while you appraise it, and how long does it take to do the appraisal?

    An appraiser needs to have the actual items in hand in order to do an appraisal. They need to be thoroughly cleaned for grading purposes, photographed,  the metals are identified, and then each stone is identified, measured, and graded. I typically require at least one hour per piece to complete an appraisal. Some pieces such as watches, cameos, period pieces, and designer pieces may require much more research. I understand that some clients are not comfortable leaving their pieces, so I will set up appointments with them where they can sit with me while I am doing their appraisal. If the item requires more research – I will take the photos and all of the pertinent information while they are here, and do the research after they leave.

    I purchased jewelry in the Caribbean and when I had it appraised in the US, it didn’t appraise as high as I was told it would.

    This is something that I see over and over again. My clients will schedule an appraisal and they do not provide any paperwork or details of where the item was purchased. I will complete the appraisal and when I am reviewing it with the client, they are shocked to discover that it appraises at almost exactly what they paid for the item. The old saying that “you get what you pay for” is as true in jewelry purchases as it is for appraisal services. If you are told at the time of the purchase that the item will appraise for twice what you paid for it - buyer beware! If you think about it, it doesn’t even make good business sense to sell something in the Caribbean for half of its value in the US. None of their buyers and wholesalers are able to pay less for their diamonds then we do in the US. Duty free isn’t “free” after you get the piece home, pay to have it appraised, try to return it, or try to have it serviced if you need repairs.


    cheryl-castnerI purchased jewelry online and it came with an appraisal. Can I use that one?

    That is up to your insurance companies’ discretion. However, I recommend having an appraiser look at your online purchased items to make sure that you have received what you thought you were buying. Many times the consumer does not receive what was promised in terms of quality and value, and it is best to find out while you can still return the items for a refund.

    Cheryl Castner, G.G. (GIA), A.J.P., A.S.G. (AGA), R.M.V. (CIJT)

    Call to schedule an appointment with one of our in-house appraisers.



  • What Does a Jeweler's Warranty Cover?

    rsemi3518_1After 20 years in the jewelry industry, one thing has never changed:  The confusion consumers have when it comes to warranty coverage.  It is really no surprise, however, as each jeweler decides what they will warranty on their own.  Multiple jewelers equal many different warranties.  Yet, despite this, there are some common items that appear in virtually all warranties.

    1.  They require the jewelry be inspected.  Virtually all jewelry warranties require the guest to return with the jewelry either annually or semi-annually so the item can be inspected for security of the gems, claps, ear nuts and the overall wear condition of the piece.  Most (but not all) jewelers will tighten any loose stones or make minor adjustments to the jewelry at this time at no charge to you.  Skipping the inspection generally voids the warranty.  Some jewelers, like Day's will reinstate the warranty upon making a current inspection of the jewelry.

    2.  You are responsible to keep the paperwork showing the inspection was completed.  The majority of jewelers do not keep records of what they have inspected.  As a rule, you will be given a form or folder that has a space for the jeweler to sign off that the inspection was completed, the date, and who did the inspection.  You should store any such items in a secure area of your home as the form is usually needed for any warranty work to be done at no charge.

    3.  Normal wear and abusive wear are not covered.  Jewelers generally do not cover any damage or repairs that occur with the normal wear of the jewelry or any abusive wear.  Generally, guests confuse abusive with being extremely rough with the jewelry.  This is sometimes the case, but not always.  Gold and other precious metals are soft and can shape easily with wear.  However, even gold alloys have their limits.  Pushed enough, they will crack and break as well as any other metal.  An example of abusive wear would be a crack in the ring due to a guest misshaping the ring to an oval shape.

    As for normal wear, gold and other precious metals wear down with time. The crown on a diamond solitaire, for example, will last between 5-10 years and then will need to be replaced.  Most jewelers do charge for this.

    4.  Defects in craftsmanship or materials are what the warranty does cover.  This is a tough one for the consumer.  Jewelry is an unknown to most people not in the industry and unless you know what you are looking for it is impossible to know what is truly defective.  Understand that most jewelers actually WILL stand up and take responsibility for a defective item or job.  Why?  They want you happy and they know they can return the item for a remake or refund from their vendor for a mere shipping charge if it is indeed defective. In essence, when they tell you it is not a warranty covered item, they are telling you they have no grounds to request a refund or exchange from their vendor.

    jmlogo-tagline_clr5.  Loss and disappearance or not covered.  Jewelers are not insurance agents and cannot help you if the item goes missing.  Day's recommends you insure your jewelry through your private agent or through a policy from Jewelers Mutual Insurance.

    6.  Repairs done by someone other than where you bought the item void the warranty.  Jewelers will not cover work done on their jewelry done by someone other than themselves.  You will need to have any repairs or alterations done where you bought the jewelry.  Otherwise you will have to enquire as to whether or not the jeweler doing the work will now cover the item.  Most jewelers do have a limited warranty for repairs they do, but it is generally not as comprehensive as a standard warranty.

    7.  They are generally free.
    Most jewelers offer some form of this warranty as a free service.  What they do vary slightly, but the common theme is they are free of charge with the purchase.  For example:  Day's Jewelers provides free stone tightening, clasp tightening, ear nut tightening for earrings, cleaning, polishing, and a once a year re-rhodium for white gold rings purchased from Day's Jewelers.

    These are the primary commonalities with jewelry warranties.  There are also extended warranties that exist in the market as well.  These generally cost a percentage of the purchase and can cover additional items such as stone chipping and lifetime sizing.  Beware of these warranties.  They do cover more, but have a limited lifespan, cost money out of pocket, and have very strict guidelines about inspections.  The most common pitfall is the inspections.  If you miss one...even by 1 day, the warranty becomes void and you cannot reinstate it.  I recommend you avoid the extended warranty unless it states in writing it can be reinstated if a date is missed.  It will save you money and frustration in the long run.

    In the end, the warranty is only one piece of caring for your jewelry.  Proper insurance and a good relationship with a jeweler you trust are equally important for the longevity and protection of your most precious memories.

    About the Blogger: 


    mark-poulin2-web20111Mark, Store Manager,
    Auburn, Day's Jewelers

    -Diamond council of America Certified Diamondologist
    -Jewelers of America Certified


    Why Day’s?
    -He loves working with customers and teaching them about jewelry.

    Learn more about Mark...



  • Day in the Life of Our Goldsmith

    repair-and-servicesgoldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal through filing, soldering, sawing, forging, casting, and polishing metal.

    Day in the Life of Our Waterville Goldsmith:

    Often on time but some days the devil gets to her.  Her arrival brings about a flurry of excitement and anticipation.  The hardest working employee we have: she never stops, rarely takes a break (except for a quick drive to the drive thru for coffee leaving a trail of dust in her wake).  She moves from job to job never losing track of each project. Perfection is her middle name and talk about taking pride in her work well you never seen anyone better. Her day is often filled with interruption for the sales staff to the service staff asking can this be done or what about this. Rarely does she say no. Rarely does the project take the full seven days to complete. Most jobs are completed the same day and exceed the customer expectations.


    jpdkt0870_1But what does a goldsmith do? They are master craftsmen and women who repair all the fine jewelry we seem to break.  We all know it’s not intended, we just forget the word fine and what it truly means.  From the necklace we’ve worn for years and never taken off to the ring we’ve out grown that needs to be cut off and now remade and everything in between.  But the true value of a goldsmith is taking your idea and creating a one of a kind piece that is truly amazing.  That’s what the good ones do best. For years I’ve watched our goldsmith create one of kind pieces that bring tears of joy to the faces of our customers.  She is truly worth her weight in “GOLD” as a goldsmith.

    About our Waterville Goldsmith: Stephanie


    stephanieI have been with Day’s Jewelers since October 2007. I took jewelry classes all through high school and a few in trade school. I also worked as a hands-on jeweler’s apprentice for 5 years and also owned my own business. I have been working in the industry and making jewelry for over 25 years.

    I enjoy working in the jewelry industry because I can be creative and share that with my customers. I also find that there are some creative customers that we have that enjoy it as much as I do.

    My favorite designer collections are Ed Levin, Keith Jack and Forevermark. I like Ed Levin and Keith Jack with the organic look of their handcrafted designs, and Forevermark because they stand for the responsible sourcing of diamonds and giving back to the community.

    Our Other Goldsmiths: 

    We have a goldsmith in all of our Day's Jewelers locations. They each have their own style and touch. But yet, every one of them are amazing artists and are always right there to "fix" anything that needs to be done!

    Learn about our other goldsmiths buy going to your local Day's store and saying 'hi' or reading about them online in our Employee Bios!


    At Day's Jewelers we take pride in our services, which include watch repair, personalized engraving, jewelry repair, diamond and gem setting, jewelry design, pearl and bead stringing, remounting, appraisals and much more. Our own professionals complete most all services we provide on the premises, so there is no need to worry about who will be doing the repair on your special piece. 

    We believe that service starts with people. It begins with hiring talented people with strong values, and then training them with exceptional care so that when you enter any Day's store you can be sure that the person who helps you is an expert at what they do. Our top-of-the-line professionals and equipment go hand in hand to better serve your needs.


6 Item(s)


If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.


All orders are fully insured and require a signature at time of delivery. Each item is cleaned, polished and inspected before it is wrapped and shipped to you. For engravings and ring sizing, please add an additional 2-3 business days to your order. Special orders or customizations may take 3-4 weeks. Please click here for full shipping information.


Day's Jewelers requires suppliers to provide a written warranty, for every diamond purchased, that it was acquired from non-conflict sources. Furthermore, as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Day's is committed to supporting and promoting the highest level of social, ethical and environmental responsibility in our communities and in the areas of the world where our products are sourced. Learn more...


If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.


Your jewelry purchased from Day's Jewelers is warranted for a lifetime against defects in materials and craftsmanship. To be eligible for this warranty, your piece of jewelry must be inspected at any Day's store at least once every six months. If you should live in an area where there is no Day's store located, we would be happy to recommend a reputable jeweler to perform the required semi-annual inspections. Day's also offers a low cost extended care plan that covers normal wear and tear of items not deemed as defective.


Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.


Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.