Jewelry Repair – Native American Cast Bracelet

Hi Paula,

I have a split band Sterling Silver Tufacast cuff with one turquoise stone set in a bezel that is soldered to all 4 bands.  There is a fine crack almost all the way through one of the bands due to opening and closing the bracelet (which I no longer do). Should I have it repaired or leave as is?  Will the stone need to be removed?  What if I just melt silver solder over the crack as a patch to camouflage it?

Thank you, Lenora

First some definitions so all readers are on the same page here.

A split band bracelet can have 2 bands or as many as, well 20 or more. Lenora’s bracelet is a cast bracelet with 4 bands.There are also split band bracelets that are not cast.

Split band bracelets might also be referred to as a 4 Wire bracelet or sometimes a Spread Wire bracelet and yet that would not be correct as there are differences.

A split band is a bracelet made of one strip of sterling silver whose mid section has been sliced lengthwise into the desired number of bands so that the bands are open in the center (such as the plain sterling silver cast bracelet below) or can reach out and attach to the centerpiece, usually a nice turquoise stone.

Sterling Silver Split Band Bracelet

Sterling Silver Split Band Bracelet

3-Wire Navajo Bracelet with Emerald Valley Turquoise Stone

3-Wire Navajo Bracelet with Emerald Valley Turquoise Stone

8-Wire Zuni Bracelet

8-Wire Zuni Bracelet

A wire bracelet is similar in end result but is made by joining the desired number of sterling silver wires together at their ends to form the end pieces of the cuff bracelet.

3-Wire Navajo Inlay Bear Bracelet

3-Wire Navajo Inlay Bear Bracelet

Tufa Cast and Sand Cast are basically the same procedure and you can read about the Sand Cast process in a previous post.

Lenora doesn’t say where the crack is exactly but most likely it is where one of the bands is attached to the back of the stone setting.

When a repair is made to sterling silver, heat is involved. Usually the stone would have to be removed or your risk at the least, the stone losing its adhesion to its setting and at the worst, the stone cracking or otherwise being damaged.

I would not advise camouflaging the crack with silver solder unless you are an experienced silversmith but then if you were, you wouldn’t be asking me !

But you bring up an excellent point – many Native American bracelets are damaged when people repeatedly open and close the bracelets to put them on and take them off. This can not only loosen the stones, especially with inlays, but it can also crack the silver.

Here is the jewelry repair service we use and we are thoroughly satisfied with their work:

Diane Radeke
P. O. Box 55935
Phoenix, AZ  85078

Read more about selection and care of sterling silver bracelets.

Choosing a Cuff Bracelet

Cuff Bracelet Fit Tips Including Putting a Bracelet On Properly


11 thoughts on “Jewelry Repair – Native American Cast Bracelet

  1. Thanks for your response Paula, your information is always helpful. I wish I was aware of your site when I first started collecting! Since the crack in the band (which is near where the bezel holding the turquoise is soldered to the band) decreases the value of the bracelet, I will have it repaired.


    • Are you referring to the Preview window that appears on top of the web page when you mouse over a photo or link in the article?
      If so, I also like that feature that WordPress provides. What a very cool site WordPress is – makes blogging a real pleasure. Thank you WordPress ! And thank you Barby for taking a peek behind the scenes.

  2. Hello, I have a wide and very beautiful Native American cuff bracelet with a great many turquoise stones. Unfortunately, the bracelet cuff has been bent to fit the size of my wrist many times and it has broken. Can it be re-soldered? If not, can you suggest how I might have this stunning bracelet repaired? It was purchased in the late 1970’s. I am more than happy to take photos and send them, as I think photos are essential to understand both the nature of the problem and the value of the piece. Thank you so very much. I really miss wearing this piece. Best regards ~ Beth in Sonoma

  3. Hi Paula

    I have a Squash Necklace with silver beads, and it needs to be restrung again is that something you do, and redesign a necklace another necklace so that it’s comfortable to wear.

    Is that something you do, and do you have any referrals or contacts in the Tampa Florida area?

  4. Hey paula i have a split on a bracelet im buying its just on the band no stones are near it, should i take it to a jewlers to fix and is it going to run me alot of money?

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