Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 10:44 am by Debbie
The Thomas Fire in Ventura County burned at a very high temperature, incinerating homes and almost everything in them. But some people are sifting through remains and finding jewelry. This is easier if your jewelry was in one area of your home on a ground floor, and especially if it was in a “fireproof” safe. Make sure you use protective clothing, heavy gloves and boots, and a high quality mask.
There are not many options if your jewelry has melted jewelry except to refine it. If the pieces and the metal is sentimental, we can make new jewelry with your metal. Or, we’ll give you the value of your metal that exceeds the refining cost. There must be enough estimated value to warrant the refining cost. Fox Fine Jewelry is researching refining alternatives with lower prices for those who lost their jewelry in the Thomas Fire. Currently our option is a few hundred dollars and we’d like to be able to offer you a lower priced alternative.
Some jewelry can be refurbished! Often these pieces were in a fireproof safe. From what we’ve seen, the contents of fireproof safes were partially protected. But in the Thomas Fire the heat was so intense that most items we have seen were heavily damaged or disintegrated. Good candidates for refurbishment:
1. High value items that were charred and/or warped, but not melted
2. Platinum jewelry (melting temperature of 3,215 degrees)
3. Gold rings (because of the thickness of rings compared to other jewelry, more of them withstood the fire)
Refurbishment costs vary, but for example we can restore charred ladies rings for about $50 each (excluding damage to stones, if any).
Refurbishment of silver jewelry depends upon the extent of the damage and the sentimental value. Silver jewelry is often more damaged than gold or platinum because it has a lower melting temperature and for some pieces the refurbishment cost exceeds the value.
Most people recovering diamonds have the best success finding diamonds when they are set in rings. Rings are thicker and melt more slowly, so they can be easier to find than other jewelry like pendants, for example. People also find diamonds when they were in a box or safe.
Some diamonds we’ve seen from the Thomas Fire are absolutely fine. Others are burnt with a chalky frosted appearance. Burnt diamonds look almost like an ice skating rink’s thick white ice. But this damage is only surface deep! We can polish your diamonds and they will look like new.
Diamond repair pricing begins at $320 plus resetting so this is an excellent solution for sentimental or sizable diamonds. Burnt small accent diamonds are best kept as mementos as the cost to repair them exceeds the value.
Not sure how to proceed with your damaged jewelry? You are not alone! Please bring your charred, melted or damaged jewelry in to Fox Fine Jewelry and we’ll advise you on your options.
See more jewelry restorations.