Quite true, they can be repaired. I’ve had many of my rosaries repaired, and some more than once. And if a bead is lost, I think it is OK to use another bead (even if it looks a little different).
The rosary I sleep with in my hand is the one where the beads don’t match. And it no longer has the original crucifix (I think it broke off one night in my hand).
I figure it is like Holy Water – as long as half the original blessed rosary is still there then it is still a blessed rosary. And besides that, it has been prayed with a lot. And sometimes I baptize my medals or rosaries by immersing them in holy water. I think that refreshes them somewhat.
I am still much like a young child in my faith and perhaps my beat up rosary is much like a child’s very worn teddy bear – probably it is precious both to me and to Mary.
If anyone has not tried it yet, please consider it – hold a Rosary in your hand as you fall asleep. Say at least a few Hail Mary’s each night as you fall asleep. When I do so, I think it is an invitation to Mary to watch over me while I sleep – and I think it is an invitation she does not refuse, so long as I want to become a better Christian.
In the past few years, I’ve had a few minor operations and procedures with anesthesia. And each time the staff was cooperative and allowed me to hold a Rosary in my hand. Sometimes taping it in place so it would be sure to stay out of the way.
The Rosary is such a comfort at times.