Re: Can Palladium Rings Be Sized-Down?



On Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:39:55 -0700, in rec.crafts.jewelry hmbrt
<jonathanhumbert@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I recently purchased a palladium wedding band that is slightly too
small. Having bought it through a friend for a discounted price, I am
unable to return or exchange it. I have seen posts on resizing-up.
Is having the ring sized down an option? Thanks in advance for your
response(s).

Jon

While palladium is somewhat tricky to work with in some ways, it's not
impossible to size palladium rings. If the ring is a design that would allow
stretching, as is common with plain wedding bands in gold or other metals, then
this would work just as well with palladium. Same thing if sizing down is by
"shrinking". Both these methods do not cut into the ring, nor do they require
any welding or soldering of a seam, so the problems encountered with palladium
aren't an issue. There are limits though, as to what can be stretched or
shrunk. The machines that do this are intended for plain half round or to a
degree, flat, seamless wedding bands without stones, and without a design that
would be marred. Usually this means a plain polished band, or one with a matte
or brushed finish, or other easily restored finish. Problems occur in shrinking
bands that have stones set, or facetted / diamond cut patterns and the like, or
irregular holes that make the metal weaker in some places than others. The same
issues affect stretching, though bands with a diamond cut pattern can be
stretched a little.

The main problems occur with the types of bands that cannot be just shrunk or
stretched. This includes bands with diamonds or other stones set, and some
types that taper in width or thickness, or anything where the band is otherwise
not uniform all around in strength and profile. For these, it's often needed to
cut a bit out of the shank of the ring and solder or weld the joint to close up
that seam to make it smaller, or double that, adding a piece of metal to the
cut, giving you two seams.

And here are the problems. Solders made for palladium exist, but often don't
give quite as invisible or strong a seam as gold solders do with gold, or as
platinum solders do with platinum. So seams can show a little, and in the case
of some solders, especially if used by a jeweler with less experience with
palladium, might not be as strong as one would wish. Palladium also is
difficult to weld. Laser welders have become popular with many jewelers in
recent years for their ability to give pretty much seamless joints in the metal.
They're wonderful for platinum, and good for many types of gold alloys. But
they don't generally work well with palladium, giving weak or pitted joints. TIG
welding works with palladium, but you'll have a very hard time indeed finding a
jeweler who even knows what that is, much less is equipped to do it well. And
in the case of rings set with diamonds, just as with platinum, the good
palladium solders melt at too high a temperature for safe use near diamonds.

The bottom line is that yes, your ring can be sized either up or down. A little
bit up is probably fairly easy with many rings, but not all. Down is less
likely to be easy unless it's a simple plain band. If it needs to be cut down
or have a piece added, then too, it usually can be done. But the results may
not be quite as good as might be desired, since the seams are more likely to
show than they would be with other jewelry metals. Much depends on the skill
and experience with palladium, of the jeweler you take it to, as well as what
equipment or solders he/she has available.

Hope that helps

Peter Rowe
.



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