One of the most common issues to come across a jeweler is that of a bent ring. While it can be devastating at first, most rings can be easily fixed and straightened to look as good as new.
Bent Ring: How Does it Happen?
Many people do not notice their ring is bent until they take it off to clean, re-plated or polished. They are shocked to see that it is misshapen, as they initially assumed gold or platinum are indestructible. However, all metals can be bent under the right circumstances.
A ring can become bent in a number of ways:
- Dropping it on a hard surface, stepping or sitting on it
- Lifting or moving heavy objects
- Playing sports, gardening, camping, housework or dishes.
- Manual labor
- Hitting it against furniture (i.e. a headboard while sleeping)
- Lifting weights or using exercise equipment
- Gripping a steering wheel consistently
- Normal wear and tear over time (particularly the bottom of the ring which gets the most wear)
Bent Ring: Platinum and Gold
How Can A Bent Ring Be Fixed?
Although it may look like a daunting task, jewelers are experienced at creating, fixing and reshaping rings. Most jewelry stores can fix a bent ring very quickly, and often at no charge. That is the beauty of jewelry–it can be fixed the majority of the time. Some of the tools they use are mandrels, pliers and talents (pictured below). They will bend, reshape, solder and polish the ring to get it back to its original state, and it is usually a fast and simple process. As always, be sure to go with a reputable jeweler for repairs.
The only way that a ring might not be fixable is if the shank (band) is too thin or the damage is severe. If the ring has been sized, this can thin out the shank and make it less sturdy. If one can afford to have a thicker band initially, this will save the possibility of a less expensive band bending in the future. In other words, one gets what they pay for and inexpensive rings will be thin since the price of gold or platinum is based on weight.
Note that rings with gem stones (particularly channel set half or full eternity bands) can complicate the repair. Sometimes it may require taking out the stones, re-shaping the band and then adding the stones back into the setting, which can cost more for the labor.
How To Prevent A Bent Ring
- Avoid wearing the ring while doing housework, lifting objects or weights, moving,
- Buy a thicker band to begin with–these have less problems.
- Know that platinum is a relatively soft metal and is more prone to bending and conforming to the shape of one’s finger than any other metal.
- 18K and 24K gold are very soft precious metals and require extra care.
- If finances permit, consider adding more metal to the base of the band to give it more durability.
Just as with other purchases (such as cars, bikes, homes, clothing), jewelry can require maintenance. Fortunately, a bent ring is one of the easiest and least expensive things a jeweler can fix. By taking extra care when wearing a ring, you can usually prevent a bent ring and keep it looking as beautiful as the day you received it.