Jewelers & Jewelry Repair

Questions & Responses:
Jewelry Repair(3 responses)
Archived Responses: 

Jewelry Repair Jewelry Design and Purchase Related Pages

Where to buy antique wedding ring?

Nov 2008

I recently lost my wedding ring and am thinking of replacing it with an estate piece. I seem to be especially drawn to pieces from the 20s and 30s, but prefer yellow gold to platinum. Any recommendations on good places to look? Alice

So sorry about your ring! One of my favorite stores is the Tail of the Yak, on Ashby just below College. They have a lot of antique jewelry. Also, if I were you I might call/visit Morrison's in Orinda, just opposite the Orinda Theatre. Good luck! Mari has some great antique jewelry. I got my wedding jewelry there, including my engagement and wedding rings. Jennifer

Jewelry from beach pottery shards?

Oct 2008

Where can I get beach pottery shards made into jewelry? I have some beautiful and ancient-looking pieces I found while beach combing in eastern Ireland. Mary

There is a jeweler, Nancy Foster, who makes jewlery utilizing pottery shards (especially one of a kind), her # is 530.887.0700. Her work is great! Tell her lesli referred you. lesli

Reliable jeweller for tightening diamond

Aug 2008

My husband got me a beautiful diamond platinum engagement ring from a store in SF (which closed down). The diamond feels a little loose so I would like to get it tightened in the setting. I live in Berkeley and would like to take it to a place that can fix it on the spot, as I have heard a lot of horror stories about stores swapping out diamonds, etc. I just want to have it fixed. Does anyone know a jeweller who is good, reliable and can tighten it up a bit while i wait. i don't mind waiting a little bit either if that means not having to send it away. Any recommendations for trustworthy jewellers in berkeley (or nearby)? thanks very much

I have been using a jewelry in San Francisco in the Giftcenter (which is a wholesale mart for jewelry and gifts). If you don't mind taking a trip to SF, they are located at 888 Brannan Street (8th and Brannan). Place is called ''San Francisco Enterprises'', ask for Ellie. Although there are quite a few jewelry ''wholesalers'', which I use the term loosely since you still have to know what your buying, SFE is one of the few companies there that has their own manufacturing area. They have repaired many items for me, from sizing, stone setting, to making a new custom designed piece for me. It is a family run business, very personable people; and I have trusted them for over 20 years now. Call them at: (415) 255-2111. Edward
You might try Deb Durant. She has her own small studio in Berkeley and is flexible and wonderful. She has fixed, restored, modified and created pieces for me, my mother and my sister. Take a look at her wen site ... Kate
Try Janko Jewelers in Oakland across from the Kaiser Center ( near Lake Merritt pretty close to Children's Fairyland). Parking can be a bit of a hassle, but my dad has a rich friend and she's been taking all her fancy jewelry there for years. If she trusts them with her stuff.... Jean

Repairing inexpensive necklaces

Feb 2008

I have several inexpensive necklaces that now have broken clasps. I would like to get them fixed but feel a bit silly going to a ''fancy'' jewelry store to fix pieces that aren't worth hundreds/thousands of dollars. Any suggestions on where I can take them to be fixed? anon

Beadazzled in Lafayette has replaced clasps on jewelry of mine, at a reasonable cost and right when I walk into the store (don't have to come back to pick up). I recall it was less than $5 per item. I would think other beading shops would perform a similar service. Christina
May 2007

I have several not very expensive but well loved necklaces that need restringing. Some have broken and the beads are in a bag and a couple are just strung very cheaply and need to be restrung using better workmanship/materials. Does anyone know of someone/business that would do this for a reasonable price? I don't want to spend boatloads of $ since I probably didn't spend more than $120 or so on any of these necklaces and probably spent less than $50 on most. Thanks. Karen H.

I just had several pieces of jewelry repaired at Silver Lining Jewelry (3340 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland 510-465-5103) including a bracelet restrung. They were quick, professional and reasonable. happy customer
I had the same problem a while back (my toddler had a tendency to yank on my necklaces!) and, on the advice of others here at BPN, went to BeadBiz on San Pablo in El Cerrito -- near the Plaza, down the street from Pastime Ace Hardware. I was very pleased with the service I got and the price was reasonable. Holly
Look in the yellow pages for bead stores. They all offer restringing services. There's one on College that restrung my pearls, which was more expensive due to the method required for pearls. But it was still reasonable. anonymous

Jeweler who can re-design a ring

Jan 2008

Hi all, I am looking for a jeweler who can take my diamond solitaire ring and redesign it. I have a picture of what I would like but I am open to his/her ideas as well. Thank you BPN! Cate

To the person looking for a jewelry designer, Deb Durant makes amazing jewelry. She can make everything from a small project to wedding sets. She is very reasonable and a total perfectionist! Her website is: liza
Talk to Jeff Sahadi on Piedmont Ave., 653-7769. He designs jewelry and does beautiful work. I bought my wedding ring from him, and have had him modify earrings for pierced ears. He's very good. Rebecca
Hi , You might want to try Maury Woulf of Woulf and Ury Jewelers on San Pablo at Moeser in El Cerrito. He has been in the business for almost 40 years and does a lot of re-design business. He is very reliable and also creative. The number is 510-524-3600. lynn
Missed your original questions, but Melissa at Kiss My Ring (510/540-1282) in west Berkeley designs and creates handsome jewelry. Lots of photos at Melanie

Jewelry experienced in casting objects

June 2007

Looking for a jewelry maker experienced in casting objects. I'd like to cast an acorn from a tree in my backyard, and create a key chain from it.

I would start with THE CRUCIBLE. They moved from Berkeley to Oakland and I haven't been there since. But they are definately there and teach classes in casting metal from objects. Also, the bulleton board there will have tons of talented people hungry for work. Just ask someone there for a refferal. A Fire Arts fan.

Jeweler in or near Walnut Creek

April 2007

I am looking for a recommendation for a reputable and trustworthy jeweler in or near Walnut Creek. I need to get a gold pendant repaired. The item has great sentimental value and I am nervous about leaving it with anyone. The only jeweler I have had any experience with is 14 Karats in Rockridge/Elmwood and while I really like them, it's more convenient for me to go someplace closer to home (WC).

There is a wonderful, very professional, family jeweler in W.C. that will do an amazing job for you. They beautifully repaired an heirloom diamond ring of mine. You would never find them unless you knew where to look (I think they do most of their business by word of mouth). The King's Jewelers/William McConnell & Son, Inc., 2185 N. California Blvd., Ste 260. They are inside the courtyard of the large office building on the corner. Good luck Laurie
We have the highest regards for Morrison's Jewelers in Orinda. Very, very reliable and multi-generational business. anon
William McConnell & Sons - I'd trust them with anything. Ph # 925-938-1030.
Morrison's Jewelers in Orinda. Long time Bay Area presence. Formerly in Berkeley; now across from Theater Square. I wouldn't go anywhere else.
Hello, we've used Spitz Jewelers at 1333 North Main Street. On two occasions we needed something made up. One was for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday and we needed something special and not too crazy expensive that day. They listened to our ideas, and we decided a pendent would be good. We looked at a nice variety of pendants, they had the peridot stone that was a close fit and then assembled the piece right there while we waited. It looked beautiful and my mother-in-law loved it. Heck, the most expensive part of the gift was the chain we picked out. Then, this Feb for my son's 16th birthday, they made him a custom ring and it came out perfect as well. This time, they did need two weeks to order the ring base, but I knew that ahead of time. Robin

Jeweler to re-make wedding rings

March 2007

I need to find a reputable jeweler to re-make my wedding and engagement rings. I've heard so many scams about jewelers switching diamonds that I'm afraid to go just anywhere! Thanks! Melanie

Melanie, Both my wife and I understand your reservations about taking your jewelry to just anyone, as we had the same feelings when trying to locate someone to create a new setting for a family diamond for her engagement ring. We live in Alameda and found Mahesh at Park Street Jewelers. He will work with you to create the exact piece you want and will even make wax impressions before he casts the ring(s). His work is flawless and his service outstanding. He did such a great job on the engagement ring, we ended up having him create our wedding bands as well. His pricing is very fair and will work within your budget. Bob
A good friend of mine is a jeweler that works at a small shop in downtown Oakland. I've met the two owners. It's a small shop, they take real pride in their work, and they are very, very trustworthy. They do not overcharge (they'll tell you if you've been overcharged in the past) and they can recognize shoddy work from a mile away. The name of the shop is Janko Jewelers, and my friend's name is Mark (if you talk to him, you can tell him Lisa sent you :) ). The owners are Bill and Nan, very down-to-earth, friendly people. The shop number is 510-836-1586. great to know people in the business
Morrisons Jewelers out in Orinda. It's a very old, very reputable group. My mother has had all her jewelry done there and they are very good and won't scam you.
Given Gold on Piedmont Ave. is very reputable and very good. I would have no hesitation in taking anything to them.

Jeweler to adjust wedding rings

Oct 2006

looking for a jeweler to adjust the sizing of my wedding rings. anyone have any recommendations? thank you!!! cate

I had to have my wedding ring resized recently and used Oaks Jewelers on Solano Ave. They did a wonderful job! I have developed arthritis in my ring finger (with a lot of swelling) and they had to cut off my wedding ring(s)and they then resized them (3 sizes up!). The rings (engagement and wedding) look wonderful, you would never have known that anything happened to them. I paid $120, which was well worth it! Happy with Oaks
J. Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Ave is great for custom pieces and repairs!

Wedding bands/ engagement ring

June 2006

We are looking for wedding bands and an engagement ring. The engagement ring we have in mind is more of a band then a single stone setting. We need advice on quality and wear/tear. Any recommendations of local jewelers who are fair and reputable is appreciated. EGM

14 karats on college avenue is great for wedding bands. The couple who own it helped my husband and I design our bands, and weren't fazed by our limited budget. They even surprised us by putting a better stone in mine than the one that we had seen before--but charged the same. They have also happily resized and repaired my husband's band, for free (he bangs up his fingers and his ring regularly). happy customer
My husband got my engagement ring at the Gem Gallery (2945 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705). Our friend had purchased his wedding rings there and loved them. I love my engagement ring, and we went there for our wedding rings. We looked at their designs, and chose the style of design we wanted on our rings and they made the rings out of platinum for us. They made my husbands ring in the size he wanted. Mine is much smaller and matches the size and style of my engagement ring, but also matches my husbands ring. We love them, and their prices were reasonable. One clerk there who tried to help us was clueless, so we saw the woman who knows everything and is super helpful, and I wish I could remember her name! I think she has blondish hair. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but most people there really know their stuff! Good luck Andi
I've gone to 14 Karats for years and have always been thrilled with what they've made for me. Don't be put off by the fact that they have no answering machine--go wander around in person and talk to John or Lilly. Beautiful, beautiful jewelry Brynn
Clay Kirchenbauer is an independent jewelry designer who works with you to create the type of ring that you are looking for. You can reach him at: clay at (He is also a great poet.) Melanie
I highly recommend Park Street Jewelers in Alameda. Mahesh is really good at listening to what you want. He is also quite skilled at making jewelery on the premises so he can custom make something if he doesn't already have it in stock. His prices are fair and he will clean your jewelery at no charge. Tell him Laura sent you, I used to work with his wife a satisfied customer
If you are willing to travel to East Contra Costa County, we have a jeweler in Pleasant Hill who we love. John Stanziano owns a store called JNS Designs. He does custom jewelery and lately he's been doing a lot of custom wedding band designs. He'll work with you to make sure it's what you want and pricing is reasonable. If you use him, please tell him I recommended him to you. He designed my Mother's Ring and I am very pleased with it Stephanie
We went to M. Lowe & Co. on Shattuck in North Berkeley. The woman who helped us was really nice and helped us get just what we wanted. And they are totally unpretentious and not as pricey as I would have thought AND they have beautiful stuff Lowe's fan
Shane Company. They have several locations, we use the Walnut Creek location. My husband got my engagement ring there 18 years ago. It was a plain band with a diamond. I picked out the wrap to go with it. Years later we upgraded and got double the price we paid for it credited to the new ring. They have many options available since you can pick your own band and stone, so the price ranges are very wide. We have bought many pieces from them over the years. They have great service, educate their customers, and never treat you like a dummy! I have NEVER been encouraged by the employees to spend more than the limit I give them either....a refreshing change from other jewlery stores.
Visit Oaks Jewlery on Solano. They are a family owned business and have been around for years. Their service is always very good, and their prices are fair Rose
I have found all the folks at J. Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland to be good to work with my jewelry repairs and my mother-in-law's necklace design project. Jeff Sahadi does the design and production and he does attractive, very well-priced design and repairs! They have rings for sale in the case and he can also do custom designs.
We bought our wedding bands from I was initially nervous about jewelry on the internet, but I went with a recommendation from a picky (and wealthy) friend who raved about some diamonds she bought through them. Everything went well. My husband's band is just as he bought it. Mine was plain from Blue Nile. We took it to Pave on College Avenue for some gorgeous engraving. They were the most creative, informed and lovely people to work with. I highly recommend them for any ''interesting'' jewelry needs at a real store Congratulations!

Jeweler to re-size ring

May 2006

I have a beautiful bracelet that my husband gave me, and I am afraid to wear it because the clasp, while perfectly appropriate to the unusual style of the piece, is unreliable. I need someone to change the clasp for me who has experience making heavy, silver jewelry. The bracelet is a series of ''S'' shaped links with inset stones. I tried to take it back to the store where he told me he bought it, but they refused to do anything without a receipt, which he threw away. I have 2 boys and a job, so I would like to find someone in Berkeley. Big Bling Lover

We have been going to Oaks Jewelers at the top of Solano for all our jewlery/watch needs for the last 20 years. It is family run and they are wonderful. GN

Trusted jeweler to repair platinum ring and replace diamond

Dec 2005

I need to repair my treasured engagement ring. It is a platinum ring with a raised basket mount for the main diamond with three elongated rectangular baguettes on each side. The mount for the baguettes on one side broke, so I am now missing the small platinum piece and three baguettes. Can someone recommend a reputable jewelry repair shop that than replace the platinum and the baguettes in a timely manner?

The main diamond is a good-sized, flawless stone that represents the only time I've actually seen my husband spend any time shopping. I always remember my great grandmother swearing that one of her diamonds was replaced when she had a ring repaired years ago. Bless her soul, but to this day I am paranoid about handing my ring over to someone I don't know. I am looking for a trusted professional very experienced in working with platinum and of course guarantees their work to a reasonable extent. I live in Rockridge but am willing to travel. Of course I would like the work done in time for the holidays. Thank you.

We bought platinum wedding and engagement rings at Pave at 5496 College in Rockridge and had a great experience. We didn't buy off the shelf; they made everything for us based on designs we worked out with them. My ring had to be adjusted and I was really happy with the changes--if that counts as something that shows how they repair jewelry! We supplied one diamond from an old family ring and they supplied two pink diamonds that were way better than supposedly comparable diamonds at a prestigious San Francisco jeweler. We worked with Leanne but I'm sure everyone there is great. Good luck! anon
I don't know that they can help with your particular situation, but I recommend McConnell & Sons/The Kings Jewelers in Walnut Creek. Website: They provide very personalized service, have amazing collections of stones, and do quality work. Leslie
I have used Given Gold Jewelers on Piedmont Ave for repairs on my engagement ring. I even had to leave it there for 3 days, I was nervous, as I've heard about the replacing the diamond with cubic zirconia trick too. BUT I don't believe any reputable dealer would do that. I was very happy with my service there, though my ring is gold, but they do platinum work as well. I'm sorry I don't have their contact information handy right at the moment. Also, we bought our wedding rings from 14 Karats on College. I don't know if they handle repairs, but their quality and service was excellent as well. Hope that helps! Kukana

Studio to redesign and set diamond wedding ring

Aug 2005

I am looking for a design studio to help me redesign and set my diamond wedding ring. I've looked at Pave on College ave. Any other suggestions? Karen

I recommend Fishers jewelry on Solano in Albany. They helped me design a ring for my wife long ago when we were engaged. We've both been very happy with the results. I went there a few weeks back to get a replacement wedding ring (long story!) and they were as helpful as ever. Jeff
I am so glad you are asking. My family has had many stones set and often they were ''lost'' or switched by the very jewelers we had trusted the stones to. We just had a large diamond set three weeks ago-- into an engagement ring --in Alameda at Dennis Jewelers on Park Street and it turned out perfect--pretty and with the origianl stone. I have heard dozens of horror-- and sad --stories about most of the other local jewelers. Be very careful---and also take photos of the stone before you hand it over. Good Luck. nancy
Union Street Goldsmiths in San Francisco (on Union). The designer is named Glenda. They are fabulous. They designed my husbands wedding band and he gets compliments all the time. anon
Try Eric Trabert Jewelers in SF,in the upper Fillmore area: 2420 Fillmore at Jackson. (415) 567-8887 Eric has worked with me to redesign several pieces of jewelry, including my engagement ring and a necklace. He has also done an absolultely fantastic job of restoring several pieces of jewelry that have been in my family for over 100 years. He is very friendly and his prices are incredibly reasonable.
Go to Pave Jewelers on College in Rockridge. They helped me design a necklace using stones I had from two different rings. The end result is stunning - even better than I had hoped. Their staff is extremely nice, very professional, great in helping with design ideas but always following the customer's lead. I have used Pave several times for jewerly repair also and I highly recommend them. Susan
Clay Kirchenbauer is a jeweler in Oakland who works by appointment to create custom jewelry designs to meet your needs. He has a refined artistic sense and many years of experience. 510 339-6269 Melanie

Jeweler to re-size ring

June 2005

I am looking for a jeweler to size a ring for me. The ring was a gift from my parents and is a couple sizes too big. My parents bought the ring in the Carribean while on a cruise and the shop they bought it from said yellow gold can be changed into white gold by a process called Rhodiuming (?sp- they use a chemical called Rhodium to do it). Has anyone heard of this? I would have this done as well if possible, but the sizing is more important, obviously. If anyone has a well-trusted jeweler in the East Bay, let me know! Laura

Rhodium plating is a popular way of getting yellow gold to be ''white.'' However, because it is a form of plating, it does wear off. And, I've heard, it wears off in little patches, so it looks bad, especially if done directly over yellow gold (true white gold is a mixture of yellow gold, nickel and other white metals--because it will ''warm'' over time to a more yellowish color, rhodium plating is also often added over white gold, to keep it very silver). I don't really recommend rhodium plating, therefore, unless you don't mind continuously getting the ring re-plated. prefer white gold, too!
My husband has had his wedding band resized twice at Pave in Oakland, and they did a flawless job both times. We love Pave in general. They are professional, not at all snobbish, and located right in the heart of Rockridge. Amy
Try Oaks Jewelers on Solano. They are a family business, and as honest as you could get. We've been going there for over 20 years for anything jewerlry or watch related and they have always done great work.
Pave on College is a wonderful . anon

Jewelry store in Alameda

Sept 2004

I saw the recommendation for David Allen Designs in Alameda in the archived recommendations and tried to call him but the number is busy constantly. I called 411 but he is not listed. Does the person who recommended him know if he has moved and/or what his contact info is. Or, does anyone have any other suggestions for a good jeweler in Alameda, or in the Pinole area? I am trying to redesign my wedding band (add some small diamonds)and would like someone trustworthy and reasonably priced. Also, can you easily switch from an out of town jeweler ie. what happens as far as appraisals go, do you lose out if you switch to a different jeweler? Thanks so much!

Editor Note (Feb 2012)
The current phone number for David Allen Designs is 707-861-9119, located at 139 North Main, downtown Sebastopol and email address is dadesigns AT
The BEST jeweler, in my humble opinion, is Seelenbacher Jewelers in Alameda. It's a family owned business and has been owned and operated by the family since the 60's. Chris Seelenbacher is the head jeweler I believe- he's who we always deal with. At any rate, he is very firendly, and he really knows his stuff. We've done a lot of business with him, and will never go anywhere else! He's been able to craft jewelery pieces for me just the way that I have described them, he's fixed jewelry for me, and though I've never personally had him appraise anything for us, some friends of ours have and were very happy with how thorough and knowledgeable he was. We've always felt like valued customers there and feel very lucky to have had him recommended to us. His address is 1507 Webster Street in Alameda and his phone # is 522-8300. I hope you find him as wonderful as we do! Jessica
Jan 2003

I'm looking for a jewelry store to do simple repairs on jewelry, perhaps to appraise some small pieces, and to replace watch batteries in my nicer watches. I have been to a few places in Alameda but never had a great feel for them. Does anyone have one to recommend? Thanks. Jennie

Dennis Jewelry on Park Street is very reputable and does good repairs on the premises. Dennis, the owner and Stella, his wife, are friendly and helpful. I've been going to them for many years. They also put in watch batteries, and you can ask about appraisals. susan

White gold re-plating, where?

Jan 2004

Hi there, can anyone recommend a place where I could have our white gold wedding rings and engagement ring polished and re-plated by a good, honest and not-too-pricey jeweller? It has to be possibly somewhere between north berkeley and rockridge. Thanks very much barbara

I highly recommend J Sahadi Jewelers on Piedmont Avenue. They have a real professional who does repairs, settings checks, and even makes his own jewelry (beautiful stuff). They are honest and do quality work. We've had them maintain items bought elsewhere (before we moved here) and have also purchased new items from them. I used to lose small diamonds from my wedding ring on occassion, but no more since they worked on it. I do have them check it once a year (which they do for free). I'm not sure how they compare on pricing, but it has always seems reasonable and well worth the cost.

Custom jewelry

Dec 2003

Hello, I have a coin that I want turned into a necklace. Does anyone know of a good jeweler who does custom work and is reasonably priced? Thanks! J

Fourteen Karats on College in Elmwood can do this kind of work. Holly
I do not recommend Solano Jewelers, who specializes in custom jewelry. I asked for a simple resize of my 14k White Gold ring, and it came out warped (he couldn't re-create the straight line so it was wavy) and he over-polished the white gold & didn't refinish so it looked like very light yellow gold in some spots (Yes, it was spotty). All this is for $45! KN

Aura Jewelers

Jan 2003

Has anyone ever gone to Aura in Walnut Square in Berkeley for jewelry repair? I've been there once, but they didn't carry the item I needed and suggested someone else. They were very nice. I have a broken gold chain that I need fixed, nothing fancy but it's valuable enough that I want it done right. I've looked at the website, but this particular jeweler isn't mentioned. robbie

My husband bought me an expensive gemstone (beaded) necklace from Aura Jewelers which broke within 3 weeks. They VERY reluctantly agreed to fix it for free after trying to charge me for re-stringing. The necklace came back 6 beads shorter, and 3 months later broke again. This may not be relevant to your situation as they likely have someone different doing gold repairs vs. beading. Chris

Restringing an inexpensive necklace

Jan 2003

I have several inexpensive necklaces that are broken. Now that my son is past the yanking-on-everything-in-reach stage (mostly! yes, that's how they all got broken in the first place) I'd love to get them fixed. The thing is, they aren't really good enough jewelry to take to a regular jeweler; they're just wooden beads and things like that, purchased at places like Mervyns. But I like them, and would prefer not to just toss them and have to hunt for similar replacements. I also don't really want to have to learn how to do it myself. Is there anyone or anyplace out there that could do this? I've asked at one bead shop but they were not helpful. I'd be happy to pay a reasonable fee -- or maybe work out some sort of trade with a hobbyist who could do it? Grateful for any suggestions. Holly

I make jewelry as a hobby and a part time business. One of the reasons I got into it was because when I looked into getting a fake strand of pearls restrung and I was quoted $50.00 to do so. I took a class for the same amount of money and learned to do it myself. I recommend you do the same because it will cost you more to have them repaired than the jewelry originally cost! Check at Baubles and Beads on Shattuck. If you go in at a quiet time (morning during the week) they might be able to quickly show you the basics. Even if you're not crafty, you might enjoy it as an hobby. If you want to know more, you can email me directly. Good luck. Mollie

Getting a locket engraved

November 2002

I want to engrave a sterling silver locket with a particular design. Does anyone have a recommendation for a quality jewelry engraver? Thanks! leigh

Anne of Edelweiss Jewelers on College near Ashby is a great jewelry maker. I think she owns the small store and she designs beautiful jewelry. I'm sure she would be happy to do an engraving for you. The phone number is 644-5544. Dianna
I feel like I have to follow up on the listing of Edelweiss for engraving. First, let me make clear that Anne is a wonderful jeweler and does beautiful work. We've bought several things from her and would happily do so again. However, engraving is not her forte, in my experience. It's unclear whether she was just really rushed when she did a job for us and trying to finish by the date she had told us. We only had it done once but did not find it to be anywhere near the caliber of her other work. So, by all means, consider buying beautiful things at Edelweiss, but at least ask to see a sample of engraving before you get your own done there. Anonymous
Morrison O'Hara on 5th St. in Berkeley is an excellent choice for engraving. I took some of my daughter's keepsakes there. Not cheap, but excellent work. Liz O.

Where to get a 10th yr wedding ring

July 2002

Our tenth year wedding aniversary is approaching and we wish purchase some new wedding rings and we don't know where to go to get them. We would consider custom rings if they are nicely made. Please give us some ideas, advice or experiences positive or negative. Thank you! Greg

A personal favorite: Old Gold in Mendocino. You can take a romantic trip AND get lovely rings. Becky
I love the selection at 14 Karats on College Avenue in Elmwood. They have a diverse selection of rings and other jewelry that they design themselves (some traditional, some more unusual). The owners are really nice -- they're a husband and wife team, and they do all the work right there on-site. Their prices seem quite reasonable, too (not cheap, but fair). Kathryn
I can strongly recommend Anne of Edelweiss Jewelry on College Ave., near Ashby. She is an artist who designs jewelry, as well as having many other older pieces for sale in her small store. She can work with you closely to give you what you want, at a reasonable price. Dianna
Pavi on College Ave. has excellent customer service and a good collection of unique jewelry. We got our wedding rings there -- we picked out the bands and stones and had them custom made. They did a great job. Now I go in there to get our rings cleaned for free. I've also had my ring sized up after pregnancy and birth. They are very nice to deal with. Hae
My partner and I just had some rings made for us at Pave on College Ave. We are very happy with the results! We worked with Leanne. archie
I highly recommend Pave on College Avenue in Rockridge. My husband and I, my brother, and about a 1/2 dozen of our close friends have had our wedding rings made there. They do fabulous work, offer great design consulting and service, and have a collection of beautiful/original pieces. I have also had other pieces of jewelry custom made there. Maya Byrne McBride
Greg, There is a jeweler in Alameda, David Allen Designs, who is wonderful! He primariy does custom work for other jewelers, this should give you an idea of his talent. Because he designs and creates his pieces for other jewelry stores his prices are well below retail. I just had a ring made in platinum with over 50 1/2 point diamonds pave set and it was appraised for 3 times what he charged me. Not to mention other jewelers comment on the quality of the ring. maria
Fisher's Jewelers on Solano has a nice selection of rings. They can also design something special and unique for you. Burr
Someone else recommended the 14 Carats on College @ Ashby, and after this weekend, I need to pitch in with my comments. I lost my engagement ring in February, and with a heavy heart went back to the store to buy for myself the same ring that my finace bought last year. When I told the owner my story, he not only remembered my unique ring design exactly, but told me that he would only charge me material and labor. He said, ''I can't charge you full price twice.'' He seemed to feel almost as badly about it as I did.

The moral of the story is, insure you jewelry (mine wasn't) and make sure the ring really fits (mine didn't and I didn't take it back to be resized). But also the 14 Carats is a great place. The people there are eager to work with you to make sure that you are happy with the design, and will also work with you to help you come up with a design, even if you just have a rough idea of what you want.

Repair beaded earrings

March 2002

Anyone know of a good jewelry repair person, and/or someone who can repair beaded earrings, North Berkeley location preferred. Alice

I would recommend Margo Lowe of M. Lowe & Company. In my opinion, you'll never find a better jewelry company. Margo and her fellow jewelers are warm and friendly people and they do exquisitely beautiful work. They are located across Shattuck Ave. from the French Hotel. Phone = 486-0613. A real community treasure. Melissa
I have used the Oaks Jeweler's at 1783 Solano Ave regularly for many years for repair, rebuilding and maintenance of all my antique jewelery. They made several pairs of my grandfather's gold cufflinks into gorgeous earrings and take wonderful care of my inherited items which I love dearly - rings, pearls, watches, and fobs. They are a family owned and operated business, totally professional, honest and reasonable about prices. I don't go anywhere else for repair and care. Nuckypuff
When a stone fell out of the beautiful diamond ring my mother gave me, I took it to Morrison's Jewelers in Orinda, (is it 925?) 253-9227. They are at 35 Moraga Way. They were very pleasant and professional. They went to some trouble to find a good match for the missing stone and didn't charge an arm and a leg. They had also reset the same ring a number of years before, making some good suggestions to make it more wearable without changing the original style. Louise
I had several very special antique pieces repaired at Pave on College Avenue in Rockridge. (They also designed and made my wedding and engagement rings). They do beautiful work. I would absolutely trust them to take good care of your special pieces. Christine

Older recommendations

June 1999

I couldn't help but react to the recommendation for 14 Karats. I am glad you had a good experience with them, and I guess they are certainly successful, given their location, etc. However, the owner melted my father's wedding band, which had great sentimental value for me. My father had died, and this was the band he had from marrying my Mom (my Mom had since remarried and had lost her original wedding band). 14 Karats' owner (whose name I have driven from my memory) told us he could cast a replica and make a smaller band for me (my husband could wear my father's band perfectly). Then, not only did he melt it, but he was afraid to tell us and I found out 2 days prior to the wedding that I had no wedding bands! That was 19 years ago, and to this day I give a little Bronx cheer every time I go by that place.

I also couldn't help but remark on my experience with 14 Karats. I had taken some assorted pieces of gold into John (the owner). I asked John to melt this gold into a nugget ring for me. So this he did, but it came out looking like a stupid glob on top of a band like no time was really put into it. Keep in mind I would come into the shop frequently to admire his rings and imagine which one I would pick for my wedding set. So I took the ring and years later about 10 years, I went back into the shop to have him do something else withthe ring for me. So one of his workers looked at it and said that there were wires in the gold and he could work it the gold like that. So I told him that the ring was made there and he acted surprised. So I just left because once the damage is done to somethings there is not turning back. I live by the bible and it saysthat those things which are seen are temporal but those things which are not seen are enternal Which interprets as the ways you treat a person goes a heck of a lot longer of a way than diamonds or gold. Treasures in heaven will never fade away but those things that man can manipulate like trust comes and goes. You reap what you sow no matter if it is good or bad it's going to come back around. John's location of his store stands for the things which are seen and the way he treats people and conducts his business are those things which are not seen ( by passers by)! Think about it! Anita
I wanted to add my comments to the bunch. Personally, I had a wonderful experience with John. My husband and I had my engagement ring and our bands made there using the gold from a set of cuff links my husband inherited. John was well aware of the significance of the cuff links and the reason we wanted to use them for our rings. As a result, he took extra labeling precautions to avoid them getting loss mixed up with other items.

One of the things we especially liked about John was his willingness to trust people. When I looked at a set of estate rings, John needed to know if I could where white gold (which most vintage wedding sets are made of). Since I was not sure, he gave me a white gold band out of the case and asked me to wear it for a week. He did not ask for a deposit or even for my driver's license number. When we returned to look for stones a week later, John demonstrated additional trust. We were looking at color-changing sapphires. He placed three or four stones on my hand (worth somewhere around $3-5000) and told us to step outside in the light. The shop was rather busy so he turned his attention to another customer as we examined the stones. My husband and I truly appreciated this behavior because, frankly, it is very refreshing in our society of security cameras, undercover security guards, etc.

As for John's work, we are most happy. John helped us design a beautiful, unique engagement ring that best complements my personality (I'm not a Tiffany-setting kind of gal) and accentuates the beautiful stone we purchased. The wedding bands were also nicely done and made to look like antiques. As for the quality of John's merchandise and craftsmanship, an independent appraisal of my engagement ring (done for insurance purposes) resulted in an assessed value higher than the initial price indicating the piece had risen in value.

I highly recommend John and 14 karats. Using his services made one area of our wedding planning 100% stress-free. I think it is unfortunate that the other members had a poor experience with him. Hopefully, my comments and theirs will help you decide if John is a good fit for you.

I had happy results also. An antique platinum ring whose filigree dome had been crushed. It was beautifully restored and sized - they did a great job.
Although it sounds like some people have had horrible experiences there, I've had several different jobs done by them and done well, with no problems. They have pierced my daughter's ears (thank heavens they didn't screw that up!!), sized (made larger) an antique ring, advised us on the best kind of chain for my son for a medallion which cannot be replaced (and made a special effort to obtain the chain from their supplier in SF at a modest markup), and stretched a very valuable diamond ring for me for no charge. They seem like the kind of people who would stand behind their work and I'm really surprised about the problems encountered by others.