I must say now, that I love repairing jewelry, old jewelry, new jewelry and even art objects! That was not always the case! I stayed away from repair for some 20 years before I decided to get into that part of jewelry making.
One day I decided that I had enough experience to be able to discern which pieces I could repair or not. I have had my challenges in doing so and I call those challenges “Graduate School”! That was some 10 years ago!
The following is an example of a piece of jewelry that is well worth repairing! It is a “Castillo” pin that has lost some of the sterling elements. I was intrigued about this brooch and wondered what the background material was. I realized that I could not damage it in any way because I could not replace or duplicate it if I broke it. After some time doing research in some of the books I own about Mexican Silver I found out that the background of this brooch is a type of polyester resin.
Time to get to work!
I took a tracing of the voids and cut out some sterling, with careful measurements, to fit the design and reset the sterling back into the pin. I then carefully filed the silver down without damaging the resin surface, sanded it smooth with many different grits of sandpaper ending with a finished piece of Los Castillo jewelry.
This pin is made with a thin sterling silver backing and a bezel that holds some sort of the dark green flecked resin. The silver elements were held in place with the resin.
The end result was a wonderful example of an old Mexican piece of jewelry that will add many more years of enjoyment to a person’s life.