Is my antique pearl engagement ring repairable?

artvandelady

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My fiancé proposed to me with his grandmother's 200+ year old natural pearl, titanium engagement ring. The pearl was loose and we went to a jeweler to fix it, but they only glued it back and didn't adjust the post drilled into it -- and today it popped off again and fell into the sink. we were looking for it everywhere in my car and outside, and my fiancé found it after he turned on the garbage disposal.

I'm not totally sure of the extent of the damage - is it possible that the interior of the pearl, where the hole was drilled, is so damaged that trying to salvage it by drilling it in such a way (maybe horizontally?) to actually secure it to my engagement band will break the pearl irrevocably? what kind of damage should I be looking for to figure out if i'm able to repair it and my ring?

And is there any way to repair the nacre where it's so chipped? I don't want to replace the pearl... I'm devastated at the thought that i might not be able to wear it again. Even if the nacre can't be fixed, I want to keep wearing it -- but i don't want to risk it breaking entirely (i haven't seen much about pearls cracking utterly into pieces, but is it possible?)

Any advice would mean the world to us.
 

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Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that happened. It does look like the pearl has been destroyed. The nacre will continue to come off and nacre cannot be repaired.

If the nacre does come off in a clean layer, you may have another whole pearl under it that could be set into the ring. There is an old technique called peeling that was used extensively with natural pearls years ago. It involves removing layers of nacre with the hopes of finding a better pearl under the outer layer. But it's difficult to tell from your photos whether the damage is too extensive.
 
Such a sad thing to happen!
If the pearl is no longer suitable for the ring, another way to wear it would be to place it in a little cage-type pendant.
 
Part of the problem with setting it is that you are -literally - setting a round hole onto a square peg. I would recommend you find a new pearl for the ring. You can set it yourself easily. Use epoxy or (my preference) gel superglue. Vital you clean all that old glue off. Glue does not stick to glue.
As for the old pearl..if there is part of the surface unchewed by the waste disposal you could find a working silver or goldsmith and have them devise some sort of high bezel setting into which the pearl can snuggle down with the damage hidden and have that as a fully separate ring.
 
I agree with Jeremy on this...only way to salvage that pearl is to "peel it", but it won't be easy to find someone to do it.
So sorry!
 
Jewelry and drains are mortal enemies.
I recommend a new pearl to represent your new life together as a married couple. Keep the old pearl for sentimental reasons.
 
Jewelry and drains are mortal enemies.
I recommend a new pearl to represent your new life together as a married couple. Keep the old pearl for sentimental reasons.
I like your idea!
 
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