Rings take a lot of beating when worn, and if you have a ring with a prong setting, you should know that its most vulnerable parts are the prongs. But do you know how to check your prongs for damage? Let’s see how you can spot problems with your ring’s setting as early as possible.
The First Symptom: Does Your Ring Snag?
If you ring catches on your clothes or hair, this may be a sign that something is wrong with your prongs.
Usually, when prongs are worn, they become thin and their tips get slightly raised above the stone. This is when they may start snagging your clothing.
Don’t ignore this symptom as once a prong is worn out, it is easy for it to break. If that happens, your stone won’t be as tightly held and it may easily fall off the setting.
Checking for Worn Prongs
The heads of prongs that are worn down become flat, and one of the best ways to check their condition is to touch them.
If your prongs’ tips are rounded and thick, then you have nothing to worry about.
However, if they feel too smooth and pointed, this is most likely because they are worn. In such a case, the best you can do is to take your ring to a jeweler, who will rebuild or replace the problematic prongs.
Don’t Forget to Check for Bent Prongs
Sometimes, prongs bend, and this usually happens when you bump your ring. The problem is that you might not even realize that this happened and your prongs are no longer straight.
To find out whether your prongs are bent, examine them closely and see if the spaces between them are even. If you notice that there are prongs that are closer together or farther apart than the others, this is a sign that some of them are bent.
It is even better to use a loupe to take a good look at your setting and check for any signs of damage, especially after you happen to hit your ring.
Bent prongs are problematic as they can leave parts of your stone exposed to accidental hits that may cause it to chip.
What’s more, if your prongs are bent, the stones they are holding may become loose and even fall out at some point.
To make sure your gemstone is not at risk, you should check regularly whether your prongs are straight and have them fixed by a jeweler if they are not.
How to Check for Loose Stones
A giveaway sign that your prongs need fixing is when you notice that your stone moves in its setting. As we already saw, hitting a prong accidentally can cause it to bend and loosen its grip on your gemstone.
One way to check if your stone is loose is to touch its edge very gently with your finger or fingernail and press lightly against it. You can also use tweezers.
Be careful not to loosen the stone, though. Look for signs of slight movement, and if the stone is even a little loose, you should have your prongs tightened.
Otherwise, the problem may get worse with time, and you risk losing your gemstone down the road.
Have Your Ring Professionally Inspected
To make sure you haven’t missed any potential problems with your ring, you can have it checked by a jeweler. In fact, it is good to do so regularly, at least once a year.
If your prongs are bent or worn down, the jeweler will spot these issues pretty quickly, and they can be fixed at the store.