Share the Repair

Before-and-after transformations... from hesitation to hallelujah.

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Share the Repair is our popular (and often copied) social media series that lets you peek behind the glass and see the magic of the Repair Shop at Jack Lewis Jewelers. Featuring before-and-after photos and occasional behind-the-scenes documentary videos, join service manager Tami Bonos and goldsmith Moriki Tomihara Smith as local Bloomington-Normal jewelry repair stories are told from to start to finish, from hopeless to victorious, from hesitation to hallelujah. Share the Repair shows you the transformations, the results, helps you understand what to expect, and gives you confidence to bring your jewelry repair to Jack Lewis Jewelers. We know what it means to you... don't give up on it just yet.

New episodes air Thursdays at Noon, when in-season.

Latest Episodes

Read Judy's Full Story

If preserving one memory is priceless, preserving two memories might be twice as priceless.

Judy brought us two pieces that held a lot of special memories. The wedding set was her mother's, which her father put on her finger in 1958. And since both her parents passed recently, she wanted to bring back its beauty, and re-size it so she could wear it herself. Judy's other piece was a heart charm from her grandmother's charm bracelet. It had Judy's name and birthdate on it, and now she wanted to wear the charm as a pendant...while also adding a bit of gemstone sparkle.

Love it! We went to work!

On the wedding set, we noticed that the shanks were thin on both the engagement ring and the band, and the gallery (side of the engagement ring) was broken on both sides. First, we removed the half shanks, separating the rings from each other. Then, the gallery was rebuilt on both sides of the engagement ring. Each ring then had a new half shank put on it, while making it the size Judy needed. After all that was done, we soldered them back together, and added our finishing touches to the set. It looked brand new and was much stronger. When Judy put it on, it fit perfectly, and she was so happy with how it turned out!

With the charm, we landed on a London blue topaz to represent her grandmother's birth month of December. So we removed the little jump ring on the heart charm first, and attached a new stronger bail. Then we set the topaz into the new pendant basket mounting. Each pendant would be worn next to each other on the same chain.

Now Judy has a necklace that connects her grandmother to her, along with her mother's wedding set on her own finger, and it was our honor to help her preserve these memories.

If you have multiple jewelry projects on your list, bring them all in at once! We’ll sort through the ideas, keep them organized, and get all your memories restored in one fell swoop. We know what it means to you. So don’t give up on it just yet. Plus, make an appointment with our shop and we’ll give you 10% off your repair.

Read Julie's Full Story

Here’s the story behind this incredibly special video episode of Share the Repair: when Julie's husband passed away, she wanted to create a piece of jewelry that would allow her to wear his band, while continuing to wear hers too. She approached us wondering if there was a way to combine them.Definitely! Together, she and Brad came up with an idea to lay her husband's band flat and drill small holes so it could hang as pendant. Then we could take the sparkly diamonds from the side of her engagement ring and set them into the inner curve at the bottom of the band, which our goldsmith Moriki decided to accomplish via a bezel-setting to complement the round shape of the band.

Then her center marquise diamond was put into its own separate pendant that could be worn with or without the band. This was great because Julie also had a pearl piece that was a gift from her late husband, and she wanted to retain the option of wearing that too. Once the sketch was created and Julie gave the green light, Moriki got to work! Watch how we created this amazingly meaningful piece, and stick around for Julie's reaction...which says it all.

Nothing preserves the memory of a loved one quite like a piece of jewelry. If there’s someone you want to remember every day, our team would be honored to help you create a special piece that keeps them extra-close to you forever. We know what they mean to you. So don’t give up on the idea just yet.

Read Deb's Full Story

While not strictly a “repair” project, this custom cufflink project our shop performed for Deb is one of our favorite stories. Here are the full details:

Deb’s boyfriend is named Andrew. When Andrew and his brother John were kids, they planted a tree in the backyard with their Dad. Years later, when their Dad died, that southside Chicago home was sold to new owners, and life went on. Fast-forward, Deb and Andrew are dating, Deb learns about the significance of Andrews’ childhood tree in Chicago…and decides to find it. 

For that, Deb recruited John’s wife Kim to drive by the old childhood home and see if she could simply grab a branch off the tree. But when Kim drove by, she was devastated to see that the tree was gone. Neither of the brothers knew this had happened, so when Kim went home and told John the news, it hit him pretty hard. 

That’s when Deb knew she had to keep trying.

So undaunted, she decided to write a letter to the unknown owners asking permission to visit the property and see if perhaps a stump was still buried in the backyard. Here’s a copy of that letter! 

Incredibly, the owners responded and agreed. One day, Deb got a text saying, “You can come by and look around the backyard, but don’t knock on the door.” This prompted a hopeful Deb and two friends to secretly fly to Chicago, in search of a stump in the backyard of her boyfriend Andrew’s childhood home. Here’s an extended excerpt from a journal Deb wrote to Andrew on the plane. Deb wrote:

“I’m forcing myself to answer why I’m doing this. It dawned on me that stuff like this isn’t normal. I think my friend Mark said it best when I asked for his help. He said, ‘It’s because we like stories.’ I guess that’s essentially what life is, isn’t it? Without any stories, what is it? So many people harp on the negatives and we all put so much time, energy and money into solving problems. Why not so much of the same preserving memories? I’ve observed that a lot of the best leadership quotes and love quotes stem from positive moments. We relish in them decades later. Why not create them? 

Another reason I’m doing this: my dad also planted a tree for me in our front yard back in Florida. I watched it grow. I later learned it got taken down. My dad was so disappointed. He wanted to be able to show me something at that address that embodied how he felt about me. He wanted to show me that he believed in my future and our family’s future and that there was a moment in time when he believed he’d be able to look back at the tree and just tell me a story. 

He had found the tree growing from an acorn in the orange groves behind our home. He thought it was the most beautiful thing to find a seed make its way through life on its own. He believed Mother Nature and God are the most beautiful things. He continually talks to the simple beauty around us. Perhaps it’s his growing up with nothing, his journey through Vietnam, I’m not sure. But I do know it’s a memory that is important to both my dad and me. So when you told me you and your brother also planted a tree, you never told me why or really when. Perhaps I projected my own symbolism onto it. For me, to have a piece of my memory would be priceless. Now that we have both become successful, it’s important to me to give you something you can’t buy.

Right now I’m in the air to Chicago, and have no idea if we will find anything. It’s like going on the ultimate treasure hunt! A needle in a haystack? I mean what are the odds that a person would open my letter and actually care enough to respond? Maybe while all men are inherently evil, good can persevere? I hope that we get lucky and find a stump from the tree you planted as a kid, because it would mean a lot to me to give you and your brother something that I also wish someone could give to me. 

I have to lie to you, and I am so sorry! Your brother John is coming to the apartment tonight, and I am going to tell you that my friend Jim’s flight is late. The truth is I have a car service picking us up at O’Hare and taking Jim, Mark and me to your childhood house on the Southside. Mark actually packed a saw in his luggage!! We are on a treasure hunt to look for the stump to find anything we can of that darn tree! But yeah… we’re going with a saw to a random house on the Southside to dig around in someone’s backyard.”

When Deb, Mark, and Jim arrived at the house, they started digging…and were thrilled to find the stump and cut off a piece! 

With the hard part done, the rest was easy. Deb brought the wood from the stump to us, and we fashioned it into a pair of cufflinks for Andrew and his brother.

Back on the plane, before they got to Chicago and the outcome was still in doubt, Deb wrapped up that journal entry by writing this:

“Andrew, I am trying to capture the feelings of hope that I have right now. I know you have always asked me why I set myself up for disappointment. Like why I follow Illini football. BUT what if it’s a win? What if we get lucky? Then it becomes a great story of hope, determination and love.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

When you have an amazing story that can be made real through a piece of jewelry, let us know and we’ll help you tell it. We know what this means to you, so don’t give up hope just yet. 

For step-by-step process guides and a full list of jewelry repair services from our onsite, in-house experts, visit the official jewelry repair page. When you're ready to take action, visit the store or make an appointment with Tami.

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Share the Repair: Transformations

Explore the common repair topics below for a sample of before-and-after jewelry transformations featured in previous episodes of Share the Repair.

White Gold Turning Yellow

Little known fact: white gold doesn't actually tarnish. The rhodium plating that gives it the bright white finish, can fade from wear to a muted slightly yellow hue. This is totally normal! But we also understand that's not what you want. Fear not. This is an easy fix. We have experience restoring your white gold to its original breathtaking beauty.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair of white gold wedding ring set turning yellowbefore and after jewelry repair of white gold ring missing a stone
before and after jewelry repair of white gold wedding band turning yellowbefore and after jewelry repair of white gold engagement rings and wedding band that turned yellow after 19 years

Missing Stones or Replacement Stones

Over time the prongs that hold diamonds and gemstones in your ring can become weak (which is why it's important to have your rings professionally cleaned and checked by us for FREE every 6 months!) And a weak prong can mean a stone falls out that needs to be replaced. Other customers inherit or purchase a ring and want to replace the center stone or side stone with something that has personal meaning and significance. We have experience doing both.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair of a cross missing a center stonebefore and after jewelry repair of grandmother's ring missing a center stone replaced with blue topazbefore and after jewelry repair of a grandmother's ring missing a diamond and being well wornbefore and after jewelry repair of a wedding set missing stones and needing to be solderedbefore and after jewelry repair of a damaged pearl ring that needed a new pearl and to be polished like new againbefore and after jewelry repair fitting a brilliant round diamond into a marquise setting

Resizing Rings or Cutting Rings Off

If you've ever inherited or been gifted a ring, you quickly realize that not all fingers are the same size and you might need some adjustments to make that meaningful ring fit you. Or time has passed since your wedding day and the rings don't fit the same. Too tight. Too loose. We've even had to help customers through the emotional process of having to cut off a ring so that we could resize it and make it a joy to wear again. We know how meaningful your rings are to you, so if you're nervous just know that we have the experience to do this right, and we take extra special care to help you.

In an emotional video episode above go behind the scenes as we work some shop magic to restore this amazing 'his and hers' wedding set. Jim & Kay both had wedding rings that were impossible to take off, and Kay hadn't been able to wear her engagement ring for years. Kay writes, "We were treated like old friends, and Tami took her time with us, showing compassion when the tears came as my wedding ring was cut off. It had never come off my finger since our wedding day 42 years ago." Watch the video and see why Kay closed her comments to us by writing, "We were more than happy with our experience at Jack Lewis and will highly recommend their services to anyone."

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after pictures of a wedding ring set being repaired and resized after having to be cut offbefore and after jewelry repair of rings that had been cut and turned yellow but are now white gold again and resizedbefore and after jewelry repair of rings being cut off and then resized, strengthened, and polished

Men's Wedding Rings and Men's Wedding Bands

Some rings have tragic accidents that leave them in pretty bad shape (even a flattened shape). But don't despair. Watch the first video to see that restoration is possible. And check out the other stories of men's wedding bands and rings being re-blinged and reimagined.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair of a grandfather's professional baseball ringbefore and after jewelry repair of a men's wedding band missing stones with a cracked band

Women's Wedding Ring Sets

When an engagement ring and a wedding band are joined together, so they essentially function like one ring rather than two separate ones, it's referred to as soldering (pronounced sah-der-ring). Some customers choose to do this years later and need an expert to get it right. Others find that after several years they want to separate their rings. And others want to connect a third ring, an anniversary band. No matter how you want to tweak your engagement and wedding ring set to fit your personality, preferences or ring size, we've got plenty of examples to show what our amazing onsite repair shop can do.

Click on any image to learn more.


before and after of a wedding ring set missing diamonds and being soldered togetherbefore and after jewelry repair of a wedding ring set and anniversary ring setbefore and after jewelry repair of a wedding set that needed prongs to be strengthened, shanks to be thickened and the pair to be soldered togetherbefore and after jewelry repair of an engagement rings and wedding band that suffered from thinning prongs and shanks. the result was a soldered together pair that will last longer before and after jewelry repair of a wedding ring set that needed a thicker shank and rounded tips that hold the diamond in placebefore and after jewelry repair of a ring that needed to be cut off and the diamond had fallen out. with a new setting and band that was resized the diamond ring could be worn again.before and after jewelry repair of a diamond wedding ring set that no longer fit and was soldered together to reduce future wear and tearbefore and after jewelry repair of a diamond engagement ring with a loose center stone and damaged side stones, strengthened and soldered together to prevent future damage since the rings were always worn togetherbefore and after jewelry repair of a diamond and sapphire wedding ring set whose channels and settings were too thin to keep holding the stones in place. the result was strengthened, reset, and soldered together to last into the futurebefore and after jewelry repair of a diamond engagement ring and diamond wedding band, that were modified to look like an intended set, and soldered togetherbefore and after jewelry repair of a diamond and sapphire wedding set that needed to be resized, strengthened and soldered after 25 years of marriage

Bracelets

Bracelets and Necklaces have different wear and tear issues over time than rings do. Typically a clasp doesn't stay closed anymore, or it is too challenging to close (or open). For others, the links that hold your bracelet together have lost some of their strength. We have experience helping with this too.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair of a bracelet with broken links

Cleaning and Strengthening

Not all repairs have to be complex. Sometimes you simply need a good thorough cleaning and polishing, and to ensure every prong is strong and stable to hold onto your diamond no matter what your day brings. And wouldn't you know, that can make your ring look shiny and new, no matter how many years it's been loved.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after of a custom platinum diamond engagement ring that needed to be polished and the top of the bars strengthened.

Custom Ring Restoration

Whether you want to put it together or take it apart, we will clean it, strengthen it and resurrect your custom ring into the gleaming piece of jewelry it was on day one, retaining all of its meaning and none of the wear and tear.

Once upon a time, Katherine's father made a very special ring for her mother. It was centered around his company service pin, and her mother wore it for many years until it was gifted to Katherine. She says, "This ring is a reflection of the work of my father and his love for my mother." With something that important, we're honored that she also said, "I felt safe sending this family heirloom to Jack Lewis." Watch the video to see the before & after transformation, and see why Katherine closed by saying, "I couldn't be more pleased with the result. I will wear it proudly."

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair to add diamonds to a cracked wedding ring setbefore and after jewelry repair to combine her mom's engagement ring and dad's wedding band into one new ringbefore and after jewelry repair to separate a soldered diamond and garnet ring set in order to pass them down to the next generation

Transformations: Passed Down Through Generations

Whether it needs to be repolished, resized, separated or combined... we helped these customertransform meaningful jewelry from parents and grandparents into pieces they could wear for years tocome.

Clarice came in with her grandmother's diamond engagement ring. It had been passed down to her, but before she could wear it, it needed to be re-sized and the prongs on the center stone needed to be upgraded. Because it had been worn with love for so many years, the overall durability of the ring was weakening. We couldn't just resize it and give it back because it was too thin, and it wouldn't have withstood further everyday wear and tear. So, we suggested to do one of Tami's favorite repairs: take a separate, brand new band and use THAT to reinforce the entire original ring by literally soldering it inside of the old one. This way, all the original metal is still there on the outside... it's just been strengthened from within.

Click on any image to learn more.

before and after jewelry repair turning two rings into two pendant necklacesbefore and after jewelry repair of grandmother's ring turned into a ring and pendantbefore and after jewelry repair turning a watch into a ringbefore and after of a 4th generation ring that needed resizing and polishing

Transformations: Earrings, Necklaces, and Pendants

Have you ever wanted to combine two meaningful pieces of jewelry into one? Or turn a pin into a pendant? Or a ring into a necklace? Check out some of the more unique ways we've created custom jewelry by transforming existing pieces and adding new complementary elements.

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before and after custom jewelry that combined diamond stud earrings and gold hoop earrings into one new beautifuly unique pairbefore and after jewelry repair that turned a two piece vintage pin into a wearable pendant for a necklacebefore and after jewelry store of how three gold bands and one loose stone turned into and amazingly meaningful pendant representing her mother, her mother and her childhoodbefore and after jewelry repair of a sterling silver cross pendant that lost its jump ring and needed some clever jewelry engineering to solder on a new onebefore and after jewelry repair that transformed her grandmother's diamond pin into a diamond pendantbefore and after jewelry repair that transformed diamonds from her grandmother's ring into a new and unique pendant for a necklace

Share the Repair helps lessen the anxiety of bringing your most meaningful piece of jewelry in for repair. Join hundreds of your Bloomington-Normal neighbors and trust Jack Lewis Jewelers to restore your treasure to its former glory, while preserving every memory. We know what it means to you... don't give up on it just yet. Reach out and get the process started today.

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