Diamond rings get a lot deal of daily wear, so it is no surprise that stones can loosen up in their settings. Snagging, bumping or accidentally dropping a ring on a hard surface can slightly loosen or bend delicate prongs holding diamonds in their place. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions and ways to prevent this problem–and keep your ring as beautiful as the day you bought it.
A Loose Diamond: How Does it Happen?
It takes less than most people think to loosen or weaken prongs on rings. Rings get a lot of wear and tear, and they hold up remarkably well considering how much they are worn. It may come as a surprise to know that a simple bump can bend a prong. Anything ranging from catching a prong on a sweater, zipper or seat belt to dropping or bumping a ring on a hard surface can cause prongs to bend ever so slightly. Why? The small gold or platinum prongs holding the diamond are simply not as hard.
A diamond may also become loose if the prongs holding it are worn down from years of wear, so be sure to have the prongs checked frequently (every six months) by a jeweler. Eventually, most rings will need their prongs replaced due to the sheer amount of wear they get throughout the years.
What to Do When You Notice a Loose Diamond
Fortunately, tightening prongs on settings is a fast, simple and reasonably priced fix. Once you notice a diamond loose on your ring, it is best to take care of it as soon as possible. Take it into the store it was purchased (or any reputable jewelry store) and they will be able to give you a quote and time frame of how many days it will take. Depending on how busy the jeweler is that day, you might be able to get it tightened while you wait.
Insist on a reputable jeweler, as stones can be chipped and damaged in untrained hands when the prongs are being tightened. Also, check to see if your diamond ring is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Insurance will often cover a missing stone and even some repair costs.
How To Prevent a Loose Diamond in a Ring
While there is always going to be some normal wear and tear on frequently worn jewelry, one of the best ways to prevent a diamond from getting loose in its prongs is to remove the ring while doing activities like housework, washing dishes, gardening, and sports.
You may have to pay a little to have the prongs re-tipped with gold once in a while, but it will be well worth it. Prongs can also break or weaken with normal wear, and it would be unfortunate to lose your precious diamond.
Loose Diamond: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: I have a micro pave setting with hundreds of small diamonds. How can I know if any of them are loose?
You can inspect your small diamonds and the setting by using a pin or sewing needle to touch the sides of each stone. If any of the stones are loose, you will be able to detect some movement. Pave settings are very delicate and notorious for loose stones. Take extra precautions if you have this type of setting.
Q: If I get prongs tightened on a loose diamond, what are the chances that it will happen again?
A: The odds are the same as with any other stone in a setting. Once prongs are tightened correctly, they should be at the same level of strength as before.
Q: If I have my ring with side stones on the band re-sized, will that cause stones to pop out or loosen?
A: A size up or down will not usually cause any problems. The loosening or popping out of stones most likely occurs when the ring is sized beyond one size.
Q: Can diamonds wear out the prongs in my setting?
A: Technically–yes–but only when a diamond is loose in a prong setting and spins back and forth for a considerable length of time.
Q: Do princess cut stones require more care while getting the prongs tightened?
A: Princess cut diamonds have very sharp, pointed corners that can get chipped. It’s a common misconception that diamonds can’t be broken, and it’s more likely to happen to a princess cut stone when tightening the prongs if the jeweler isn’t careful.
Q: How much does it cost to have prongs tightened? How long does it take?
A: Some jewelry stores offer free repairs as part of their warranty, while others may need to charge for the labor and any materials used (averaging $25 per prong). Depending on how busy the jewelry store is, it can be taken care of while you wait.
Diamond rings are a beautiful part of every wedding and engagement, but they do get a great deal of wear and tear. By keeping your ring inspected and taking the proper precautions when performing daily activities, your diamond ring can last a lifetime and be a daily reminder of the love that it symbolizes.