The wildfires in recent years have decimated many homes, and with them, precious family heirlooms have been lost or ruined. If you or someone you love has the opportunity to sift through the ashes, you may be lucky enough to find jewelry that was special to you. The most success with locating small items such as jewelry is if those items were in a fireproof safe and on the ground floor of a home, but it’s not impossible to find them if they were stored elsewhere. While certain items may be irreparable, we can show you how to clean fire damaged jewelry, and it is possible to restore most pieces to their original brilliance.
Types of Heat Damaged Jewelry that are Good Candidates for Restoration
If jewelry was stored in a fireproof safe, there is often a high likelihood that it can be refurbished to look as good as new. If your pieces were located near an exterior wall of your home or protected underneath a wall that collapsed, they may not have been exposed to the highest temperatures in the fire, and may thus have suffered less severe damage. In general, many of the pieces most easily restored fall into the following categories:
- Platinum jewelry (due to it’s very high melting temperature)
- Gold rings (due to the typical thickness of the metal used)
- Precious jewelry that was damaged by being charred or slightly warped without being totally melted
Because silver jewelry has a lower melting point than gold or platinum, it often costs more to repair than what the item is worth. If there is sentimental value involved however, we can certainly attempt to restore the item, though it may take more time and therefore, have a higher cost.
Finding and Restoring Fire Damaged Diamonds
Diamonds are one of the jewelry items many people find after a fire, especially if they were kept in fireproof safes or were set within rings. Because the diamonds in rings are often surrounded by a good deal of metal, and thick metal takes time to burn, these diamonds are usually easier to locate than those set in earrings or pendant necklaces.
If you are able to find fire damaged diamonds, we are able to restore them for you because most of the damage only appears on the surface. When polishing charred diamonds, the stone will typically lose about 4% of its weight on average, but will look as good as new and sparkly as ever when finished!
Options for Melted Jewelry
Melted jewelry can be difficult, if not impossible, to restore, but we can have our custom jewelry designers work with you on some creative solutions to preserve special pieces that cannot be restored to their original form. Watches, for example, typically cannot be repaired after going through a fire, but many people choose to create a pendant with their burned watch with a new bezel that can frame the original face. Melted silver jewelry can be remolded into a different item, and if a melted jewelry piece has particular sentimental value, we can always recreate your beloved item in a similar fashion should you happen to have photographs of it.
Come into Either of Our Auburn Jewelry Store Locations for Fire Repair Services!
Feel free to contact us with any questions at either of our Auburn jewelry store locations in Downtown Auburn at (530) 885-4852 or North Auburn at (530) 885-8020, and please stop into one of our two brick and mortar Auburn jewelry stores located at 818 Lincoln Way in Auburn or 2288 Grass Valley Highway in Auburn in the Bel Air shopping center. The friendly staff at our Auburn jewelry stores look forward to meeting you and will take excellent care of both you and your priceless jewelry!