SETTING REPAIR - PART 1
Love your jewellery! No one ever told you to stop. But, care for your jewellery, too!
Get the smartest tips on maintaining the setting of your Diamond, gemstones and, most importantly, your Engagement Ring.
Ara L. - November 16, 2021
If there is any piece of jewellery that we take care of the most, it's our rings. We know that the chances of it being knicked or hit are very high. You have countless routines on caring for and cleaning your rings and, no matter how hard you try, it's hard to avoid the inevitable.
Despite how relentless you are with caring for your ring, you will notice natural degradation over time - impacting the structural integrity - forcing a visit to your local jewellery store for repair.
Rebuilding your setting is by far the most common ring repair type. If you started thinking, "MY DIAMOND!" you're right. The setting will naturally wear out, meaning it's not holding your stone in place with 100% confidence.
Diamond rings, engagement rings, or even gemstone rings all carry a specific type of setting. You have to use one over the other in certain circumstances. Sometimes you can have more than one type of setting on your jewels. The styles vary from Claw (Prong), Bezel, Channel, Pave, Illusion and more. Each method is equally reliable. It's long-term thinking that puts the weaknesses of each style into question.
Claw settings are number 1 when it comes to setting types. They are typically made with, but not limited to, 4-prongs. 3-prong and 6-prong settings are also solid choices but carry smaller and larger stones, respectively. If you're trying to determine how your setting is doing, here are some early signs of required work:
- Are the claws flat with the stone?
- Is the top part of my claw broken?
- Is there a bent or non-symmetrical claw?
- Is there a claw missing?
- Do you feel the Diamond moving slightly?
Picture of a ring set with Rubies and Diamonds. Claws in example image are worn down completely with a few broken/missing claws.
While answering some of these questions with the naked eye may be challenging, visit a Goldsmith to be sure. Using their loupe, they can magnify your ring and determine the current circumstance.
When is the right time to rebuild your claws?
It depends on you.
Sometimes we can't control it, but if you're careful enough, the setting can last many, many years. The first claw repair typically happens within 2 to 3 years of wear. It doesn't mean it won't happen sooner, say, within 6 and 12 months. At the same time, it can last longer than the proposed three years. To avoid losing your Diamonds or Gemstones, visit your jeweller for professional review, double-checking the overall integrity and stability of each claw. We suggest every 6-12 months and, while you're there, make sure you score a free jewellery cleaning! At that point, you'll know precisely where your claws stand.
For the Goldsmith, this should be simple and almost a routine. To assess the current situation, a detailed look to evaluate what work is needed. You will find out if you need to rebuild or replace one or all prongs. In rare circumstances, the mount may require replacing, which can build a long receipt during checkout. Everything aside, here's what a professional jeweller will provide you with:
- Scope of work including a detailed explanation of the requirements
- Breakdown of materials to be used towards the project
- Timeline for turnaround and delivery
- Whether the repair comes with a guarantee or not
All this work, and what's next?
The setting is rebuilt, brought back to 100% structural integrity. The routine of taking care of your jewellery starts all over again. While we would like to say this won't happen again, without a doubt, you'll want to visit your jeweller for your routine jeweller cleaning and check-up, making sure you never lose a Diamond.
An expansion to this article discusses Bezel-style and Channel-style settings. It covers the strength, integrity and inherent weakness it has. You will also find Articles discussing unique styles of setting like Illusion and Tension styles in the future.
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