Are you sure that the gemstone or diamond in your ring is not loose in the setting? Let’s see why this is important and what you should do if your stone is not held tight in its mounting.
Checking Your Ring for Loose Stones
So, how do you know if your gemstones are loose in their setting? A lot of people realize that something is wrong when they start hearing the stone rattle in the mounting. However, even if the problem is not so obvious, that doesn’t mean everything is fine.
To test your ring, put your finger on the edge of the gemstone, and see if you can move or turn it lightly (be gentle so as not to loosen it further). The gemstone should be tight in the setting.
If you detect even a slight movement, you should have your ring checked and probably its stone tightened.
Let’s see why stones get loose and what can be done about it.
Are Your Prongs Worn?
One of the most common reasons stones loosen is that the prongs holding them get worn down. With time, they become thinner and their heads get flatter, holding your gemstones less and less tightly.
This problem is seen more often in prongs made of softer and less durable metals such as gold or silver, which wear down more quickly.
When your prongs get thin from wear, they can easily break and your stone may fall off.
So, if your gemstone is loose and you have a prong setting, check if the prongs are thin and if their ends have become flat. If that is the case, remove your ring immediately, and take it to a jeweler to get it fixed.
Bent Prongs: Another Common Problem
Very often, prongs bend and their grip on your stone loosens.
Every time you hit or bump your ring, or when it gets caught on your clothing, your prongs are at risk of deforming. If one or more of them do get twisted, you will be able to see them – the problematic prongs are usually slightly raised above the stone.
When prongs are bent, they also catch on your clothes more easily. So, if your ring starts to snag your blouse more often, check whether its prongs are bent and see if the stones are loose.
You shouldn’t wear rings with problematic prongs, so take off your ring before the problem gets worse.
Fixing Loose Gemstones
Whenever you detect any loose stones in your rings, take them to a jeweler to get them fixed. How much the repair will cost depends on what is causing the problem.
If your prongs are bent, then fixing them is pretty straightforward. The jeweler will move them back in place and make sure the stone is held tight in the setting.
If your prongs are worn down, then they will most likely have to be rebuilt – partially or fully. This will cost you more than the rate for fixing bent prongs, and the price will depend on how worn the prongs are and what metal they are made of.
Sometimes, if your prongs are in really bad condition, the entire mounting may need to be replaced.
Have Your Rings Inspected Often
It is always better to detect any problems early, before your prongs break and your stones fall out.
That’s why you should have your rings checked regularly. And whatever the cost of the repairs, it often pales in comparison with how much your stone is worth, especially if it is a diamond.
So, how often should you have your rings inspected?
This depends on how often you wear them. A good rule of thumb is to have your rings checked a couple of times a year.
However, for pieces that you wear every day, you might want to do that more often – every three months or so. Nothing is stopping you from checking your ring yourself once every few days, though.
Settings Without Prongs
If you lead an active lifestyle and need a ring that has a more robust construction, consider getting a piece in which the gemstones are set without prongs.
For example, a bezel setting is a good option – it encircles your stone in a band of metal and makes it harder for the gemstone to get loose. Click here to see a selection of popular rings with bezel settings.
Not all prongless settings are safer, though. The so-called “invisible setting” doesn’t have any prongs but is actually more prone to loosening than prong settings.
Make sure the non-prong setting you are considering holds your stones more securely than prongs would.