Post earrings are a popular, timeless fashion accessory, but sometimes the post breaks. Broken posts will make the earring unwearable. To repair a broken post earring, the post must be soldered. Sometimes the repair is easy and straightforward. Other times the repair requires disassembling the earring prior to soldering and then careful reassembly.
Examine the earring. Identify any patina or colouring on the earring to enhance appearance. Take notes or a photograph of the earring to record how the earring looked prior to repair. Remove any stones from the earring using pliers or tweezers and set aside.
Use 220-grit sandpaper to sand the back of the earring where the post needs to be soldered and repaired. Sand the bottom of the post.
Clean the earring back and the post with acetone to remove all dirt, grease and residue after sanding. Rinse with water and dry.
Place the earring on a charcoal block (in an annealing pan) so the back of the earring is exposed. Adjust the earring so the earring is level and will not move.
Paint the back of the earring and the bottom of the post with flux. Place the post on the back of the earring where it will be soldered and hold with tweezers, pliers or a third hand.
Cut a very small piece or solder and place the solder at the base of the post where the post meets the back of the earring.
Heat the entire earring and post with the torch. Do not focus the flame of the torch on the soldering point. Heat the entire metal earring evenly until the metal reaches soldering temperature and the solder begins to melt. Use the heat of the torch to direct the solder to the join when the earring reaches soldering temperature.
Remove the flame once the solder flows. Allow the earring to cool to room temperature.
Place the earring into an acid pickle pot using copper tongs. The acid pickle will remove oxidation caused when soldering the earring post.
Remove the earring from the acid pickle using copper tongs. Rinse with water.
Use sandpaper to remove any excess solder.
Put all stones back into the jewellery, using stone setting pliers, pliers or tweezers. Add chemical patina, if needed. Consult your notes or photographs to be sure the earring looks as intended.
Take fire safety precautions when using a torch. Work in a well-ventilated space when soldering.
Things you need
- Tweezers or pliers
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Soldering pan
- Charcoal block
- Copper tongs
- Acid pickle bath
- "Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition"; Tim McCreight; 2005
- "Metalsmithing"; Robert Ebendorf, Michael Jerry, and Thomas Markusen; 1973
- "Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths"; Heikki Seppä; 1978
- "Jewellery Concepts and Technology"; Oppi Untracht; 1982
- "The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques"; Jinks McGrath; 1995