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Frequently we encounter customers who are surprised that the metal holding their diamond or other gemstones in place, has worn or broken away. Unfortunately for some the surprise is accompanied by the horror of having lost a diamond or gemstone because the stone has dislodged from the setting.
Rings that are worn on a regular basis encounters the same bumps, scrapes, knocks and hits that our hands receive. While each small bump and scrape will not cause your ring to need repair, the years of bumps and scrapes add up to metal loss and fatigue that eventually lead to failure of a setting to hold it's gem.
Bent prongs can occur for a number of reasons, whether its because you’ve accidentaly dropped a heavy object on your ring, the prongs have been caught by cloth, you closed the door on your ring or it was slammed against an object. In these situations, you run the risk of one prong or several prongs being misshapen, pulled off of the diamond or broken off entirely. Harder knocks can cause the prongs that hold your diamond to bend and move, allowing a once firmly secure gemstone to begin moving. In the worst case scenario the knock if severe enough can break worn tips and release the gemstone from the setting.
When you realize that you have ptotentially damaged your setting, you should bring in your ring for us to assess it, and if needed, have the repairs performed.
There are varying degrees of repair required for settings that show wear, dependent on the design of the ring, and the extent of the damage.
When a jewelry item is worn, the knocks and bumps of life can move the metal that holds a diamond or gemstone. The gem is often left loose and able to wiggle in it's setting. This movement poses risk to stone loss particularly with harder gems like diamond. The edges of these harder gems begin to cut away at the metal and if left long enough, cut all the way through.
Usually the metal that has been moved simply needs to be realigned to make the gemstone snug in it's setting once more. Occasionally a more forceful bump can lead to fracturing of the metal that must be repaired more extensively.
A set gemstone is held in place using metal that traps it from moving or being dislodged. The wear on this metal holding a gemstone is inevitable. Given enough time, the daily abrasions will gradually remove metal from the exposed surfaces of each tip, bezel and channel making them thin and able to break easily. Once the metal that traps a gemstone breaks away, the gemstone is free to fall out of it's setting.
If caught early enough, new metal can be added to the tip, bezel or channel, providing an extension to the life of the setting. If the metal on a prong or crown has received extensive wear, a prong or crown replacement might be recommended.
Extensive wear requires extensive repair. Once the integrity of the metal trapping the gemstone is weakened extensively, the proper repair involves replacing part or all of the metal prong. Additionally, a setting that has a fitted crown may benefit from it's replacement. The following are situations where prong or crown replacements should be considered or will be required:
The best preventative action is to take advantage of our FREE JEWELRY INSPECTION AND CLEANING service! We clean and inspect thousands of jewelry items every year, and have averted numerous close calls as a result of these inspections. On one occasion we were able to alert one fortunate lady that her diamond was being held by only one remaining prong on a setting that had at one time had six prongs!
We have jewelry professionals ready to help.
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