Golden Creations, located at York River Crossing Shopping Center, Hayes, recently added a state-of-the-art laser welder to repair jewelry.
Todd Cooke, a goldsmith who owns the shop, said he previously used a welding torch to perform some functions now done with the new equipment. He said that the weld joints with the new apparatus are over 70 percent stronger than soldered joints.
"The laser welder is simply a concentrated beam of light with added voltage that can cut and weld almost any metal so smoothly that even an expert can’t detect the repair work once it is polished," Cooke said.
The laser welder is a simple, environmentally safe alternative to conventional solder welding, he said. The jewelry is placed in a cuff in the front of the machine and then the jeweler puts his hands into the cuffs to position the laser beam exactly where he wants to make the repair. The jeweler lines up the beam and positions the jewelry by looking in a microscope.
Golden Creations is one of only a few jewelers in the region who uses the new laser welder, Cooke said. Besides repairing fine jewelry, he said, the apparatus can be used to repair semi-metal such as costume jewelry.