Jewelry - blue glass stuff cracks

I have a ring (much like this, except not pink for crying out loud) with a cracked … um, “stone” I guess it’d be called. Inset into the stone is an emblem, the stone has a hole through it, and the dang stone has cracked several times.
The first time it broke I took it back to the place from whence I bought it, the guy sent it in and presto, good as new. Now, many years later, that guy is gone and I don’t know to whom it was sent.

Any jeweler types know if this kind of thing can be fixed? Is it some kind of manufactured sapphire or just blue glass? Would a local jeweler be likely to have the equipment to make an oval blue stone thing with a hole in the center?

The two jewelers I’ve consulted took one look and said “No, sorry. Next.” Not very talkative, so I didn’t get an explanation of why not (not that they owed me an explanation)
I’ve tried contacting the few online companies that carry the one linked above, but they’ve not responded, and I’m not in a position to drop another $500+ on a ring for myself.

That was kind of rambling, sorry. I’ll try again -

Me broke ring. Someone fix?

Your link doesn’t have a very good picture.

Not even a very bad one.

Well, unless you’re a Mason, you can’t see it… :smack:
Try this

So it’s a kind of Masonic class ring? These people say they do ring/custom jewelry/Masonic jewelry repairs. So does this guy. Also here. Also here.


That’s a fairly complex piece of jewelry; if you don’t specialize in fixing that kind of ring, you wouldn’t dream of touching it.

Those Mason’s sure are secretive bastids…they have invisible rings now?

I’ve already said too much.

Apparently there is a company that will sell the stone/emblem combo in any of 4 shape/size combinations. This product is a fraction the cost of the labor to replace it (a pretty large fraction, but a fraction nonetheless), but I still don’t know what the stuff is.

I still can’t see the picture, but I can say that if it’s cracked it’s probably not sapphire, manufactured or not. Even lab-created sapphire is still sapphire and that’s pretty tough stuff.
The hole is probably the root cause of the cracking, whatever it is.

It’s a Masonic ring with a clear blue oval thing.

One last try at a picture -

Blue spinel maybe?
Jeez, never had so much trouble linking to a picture.

Probably, it’s what Jostens uses for their medium-blue colored stone.

If it is clear blue and a pale color, it is probably a Blue Topaz or Aquamarine.

Spinel isn’t usually blue, and its actually fairly rare, so I would tend to doubt that’s it. According to this: “fine spinels are rarer than rubies.”

On edit: maybe that quote refers only to the red ones?

Erm…can I ask, without sounding like I’m telling a five-year-old there’s really no such thing as Santa…What makes you think it’s a gemstone at all, whether semi-precious or precious? Why isn’t it just glass?

Perusing the Harry Klitzner catalog, I don’t see any mention that any of their rings contain any kind of gemstone–conspicuous by its absence is any kind of information as to what kind of stone each one contains. And my (admittedly limited) experience of buying jewelry tells me that if there’s some kind of “worth actual money” stone in there, the vendor is darn sure gonna tell you ALLLLLL about it, oh yeah.

Also, I was not aware that class rings contained actual gemstones, either. My assumption for some 40 years now has been that they’re all glass, too (“paste”). Looking at Jostens website, under “Ring Options”, and “Stone Choices”, I see that it says this:

So the only “genuine” stones, i.e. “not glass”, that they offer are basically not gemstones at all.

So how do you know your Masonic ring isn’t just glass?

You could take it to a jeweler and ask him.

Since I’ve already admitted that I’ve no idea what it is, I think I can go ahead and confirm that I don’t know it’s not just glass (see thread title). Manufactured sapphire isn’t terribly expensive (cheap enough to use for watch crystal, anyway) but the tendency to crack makes me suspect it’s not that, manufactured spinel is probably cheaper than that, being not as hard and used (apparently) in class rings. Ipso guesso - $500 ring, not sapphire, maybe spinel?

Also, I did take it to a couple of jewelers who weren’t interested in talking about it, so I thought I’d ask here.

ETA - the guys I found that might replace it do use spinel. $75 for the stone and emblem, $100 labor.

What shape is the “stone”? Is it raised up like a dome or is it flush with the surface of the setting? If it is flush, it could be some kind of enamel (i.e. glass) or possibly a resin inlay.

Synthetic (lab grown) spinel is fairly common in this kind of jewelry. The lab grown stuff does not have flaws and doesn’t break as easily as a natural stone (but that’s not really proof of anything). It is very unlikely to be natural spinel.

Those are my best guesses without actually seeing it.

Oval, 6x8 maybe, flush.
Would the fact that the ring isn’t filled (the blue thing isn’t supported in the back) be a concern?

I certainly hope that it is glass and that a replacement will be more durable, as this apparently isn’t a do-it-yourself fix.

From what I know of Jostens–assuming that they are the manufacturer–wouldn’t it almost have to be synthetic blue sapphire? I’ve always objected to their practice of always offering synthetic sapphire rather than a mined, less expensive gem.

It’s not a Jostens - just using them as an example since I can’t figure out who did make this darn thing.

Natural sapphire is cheaper than synthetic? I, personally, prefer synthetic for everything but ritualistic uses (but that’s another show) and thought I was saving money, too.

I read that as a different, less expensive natural stone, as opposed to resorting to synthetics just to have a sapphire and keep the price down. Synthetic sapphire will be cheaper than natural (except for maybe very, very low grade material).
The open back does make it seem less likely it is enamel. I suppose it is possible they made a mold and cast something glass or plastic to fit. But if the back of the inlaid piece is flat and not curved to fit around the finger, that could suggest a stone. I imagine a flat oval shape would not be too difficult to fabricate from stone. I honestly don’t know a lot about manufacturing methods, I make things by hand so it’s all different, I am just speculating here. Do you have any idea when it was made? Did it crack across the stone or did it chip?

If the replacement is going to be synthetic spinel, that should be pretty sturdy, though synthetic sapphire is tougher. Toughness, not hardness determines how easily a stone will fracture (hardness describes ability to resist scratches). I suppose the fact that the back of the stone is not being supported would also make it a bit more vulnerable to breakage. Also if the stone was poorly set originally, that could have put more stress on it.

Synthetic spinel is sometimes used when an item is described as an imitation ruby or sapphire or whatever (it can be manufactured in many colors). If they are calling it imitation and not synthetic it is technically not inaccurate. I wouldn’t be surprised though if some material being sold as synthetic sapphire is actually synthetic spinel.

Oh, right… Yeah, makes more sense that way. :smack: