Join our list and get 10% off your 1st order! FREE DELIVERY | HANDMADE IN UK | CONSULTATION AVAILABLE

How to Fix a Broken Necklace Chain

To repair a broken gold or sterling silver necklace, you can learn how to do it yourself with a few simple tools, take it to a professional jeweller, or sometimes you can use the clasp to do a temporary fix depending on the necklace and where the break has happened.

Here are the steps to fixing a broken necklace yourself

Feel free to check out our Contemporary Handmade Jewellery.

1. Buy the tools you need

You will need the following tools. We recommend ordering from Cooksongold

  • Safety glasses
  • Jeweller's saw and saw blade
  • A range of fine sandpapers
  • Silver or gold solder
  • Tin snips
  • Flux
  • Small paintbrush
  • Firing brick and/or heatproof mat
  • Jeweller's torch and butane
  • Soldering pick
  • Brass tweezers
  • Heatproof bowl for water
  • Safety pickle
  • Brass bristle brush
  • Polishing cloth
  • It's also important that you find a table to work on that you don't mind getting dirty or worn.

2. Saw the link so the ends of silver or gold align perfectly

It’s likely your necklace link didn’t snap in a perfect straight line, so you’ll need to remove the snapped link and carefully saw the next available link to create an opening with both ends cleanly cut before moving on to the next step. The finer the necklace, the harder it will be to saw the link and solder it back together, so with medium to fine necklaces, it may be best to visit a professional jeweller to fix the break as there's more chance of breaking more links or melting the thin links during the soldering process. 

It is really important to make sure the solder can run between the two ends of the link when it’s heated to the correct temperature. If there’s a gap between the two ends, the solder won’t run and the links may melt.

Tip: When sawing, don’t remove many of the links as this will shorten the length of the necklace chain.

Have a peek at our Ethical Necklaces.

How to Fix a Sterling Silver Ring
Our founder, Esme, using her jeweller's saw.

3. Sand the ends so they're free of grease

Solder will only run onto a perfectly clean surface. You have to make sure the piece is completely clean of grease before soldering by using a fine sandpaper to rough up the surface. Don’t touch the solder join once it’s been sanded as this will put more sweat and/or grease onto the piece.

Why not also learn How to Store Jewellery and How to Look After Your Jewellery while you're finding out about fixing necklace chains?

4. Connect and solder the link

For this you’ll need most of the equipment. Here are the steps you need to follow in order

a. Set up your space

Find a spot to work which is near an open window. Place the firing brick and/or heatproof mat onto the flat surface. You will be soldering onto this heat proof material. Then get your heatproof bowl filled with water, the brass tweezers, jeweller's torch filled with butane, soldering pick, silver or gold solder, tin snips, flux, small paintbrush and safety pickle. Make sure you tie your hair back if it’s long and don’t wear any clothes that dangle while soldering.

b. Set up your chain for soldering

Connect both sides of the chain by looping the last link of the one side through the saw cut in the link on the other side of the chain. Close the gap in the sawn link and have a last check to make sure you have a good solder join with no gaps.

Lay the chain flat in the centre of the firing brick and/or heatproof mat, being careful not to pull on the two sides of the chain as this could open the link. Be careful to watch the sawn link as you lay the chain down, so you don't lose the link that needs to be soldered.

Use the tin snips to cut a tiny piece of solder. You only need a tiny piece for most solder jobs, usually a 1mm by 1mm piece will be plenty. For fine chains this could even be too much so it could be best to use a very small bead of easy solder paste. If using sheet solder, use the paintbrush to paint a small amount of flux on and around the solder join, this will encourage the solder to run. Then, using the tweezers, pick up the piece of solder and lay it over the join, making sure that it is in contact with both sides of the link that you’re trying to connect. If using paste, use the paintbrush to paint a small bead of easy solder over both sides of the link that you’re trying to connect.

How to Fix a Sterling Silver Ring - solder
Our founder cutting solder using tin snips

c. Now solder your link

Make sure you’re comfortable holding the jewellers torch in one hand and the soldering pick in the other. We advise holding the pick in the hand you usually write with. Light the jeweller’s torch and begin to heat the chain near the link you're soldering. You need to use the hottest part of the flame which is at the tip of the inner cone, but work quickly to ensure you don't melt any chain links. Use the pick to keep the solder in place, ensuring it’s in contact with both sides and the solder will run when it’s at the right temperature.

d. Quench

Wait for the chain to cool slightly and then using the tweezers, pick it up and drop it into the bowl of water.

Tip: Consult a professional before trying to solder a necklace that has any gemstones. Depending on the type of stone, these can crack and break under the heat of the torch.

Handmade jewellery - How to Fix a Broken Necklace Chain
Every piece of Duxford Studios jewellery is lovingly made by hand from quality ethical materials, so that each piece will last for generations if looked after with love. Like our Sterling Silver Bone Necklace from the Memento Mori Collection.

5. Clean off impurities

To remove all impurities that are made during the soldering process, use the tweezers to pick the chain up from the water and place it into the safety pickle solution. The pickle should be added to a ceramic bowl and for best results, warm the pickle in a bain-marie.

Tip: Read the pickle instructions before handling it, do not get this solution on your hands and make sure you dispose of it safely.

6. Polish the chain

Depending on the finish you want, work your way through the different fine sand papers, going from course to fine. Play around with using the brass bristle brush too as this can give a great finish. For a high shine, finish with a jeweller’s polishing cloth.

How to Fix a Sterling Silver Ring - polishing
Polishing our Bone Earrings with a brass bristle brush.

Here are some more tips on looking after your jewellery and How to Fix a Sterling Silver Ring.

Take your broken necklace to a professional

The finer the chain, the harder it will be to saw the link and solder it back together, so with medium to fine necklaces or sentimental and expensive necklaces made of gold or platinum, it may be best to visit a professional jeweller to fix the break. There's more chance of breaking more links or melting the thin links during the soldering process with fine chains, so it can be a stressful and risky job for an inexperienced jeweller or craft enthusiast. Make sure you do your research and find a reputable jeweller who has experience with fixing jewellery.

How to Fix a Broken Necklace Chain
Our Nunc Sterling Silver Statement Necklace from the Interius Collection. Made of high quality ethically sourced sterling silver, this chain is built to last.

The temporary fix method

Sometimes it is possible to do a temporary fix with a chain without investing in any equipment. To do a 'quick fix' using the clasp, your chain will need to have broken near to the bigger link at the end of the chain which connects to the clasp. Your chain will also need links that are big enough to slide on to the clasp. This option isn't usually possible if the chain has broken in the middle or has very small links.

To do the quick fix, save the short extra bit of chain which has the larger link on it, so that you or a professional jeweller can reconnect it at a later date. Now use the link at the end of the chain and link this through the clasp before closing the clasp. This will make the chain shorter but will enable you to wear the chain while you decide how you'd like to fix the chain more permanently. If the chain usually has a heavy pendant on it, we would advise removing this while you're using the 'quick fix' method, as it will put extra weight and pressure on the smaller end link which could lead to further breaks. 

Duxford Studios creates ethical handmade jewellery inspired by the human form, modern culture, and the sensation of touch. All of our pieces are cast from hand carved wax in recycled sustainable sterling silvergold vermeil, and other ​precious metals. Shop our full collection on our website or get in contact about custom jewellery design commission. Need help choosing a piece? Read our full guide on what to look for when buying jewellery on our blog page.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun