September 1, 2014

Bent Ring? How to Fix and Prevent

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)
Sometimes it can seem as though the ring became bent overnight or was suddenly noticeable. This is a common complaint in the jewelry industry (particularly with platinum) and it is not always the case of poor quality but rather damage done without realizing it.

Bent Ring: Platinum and Gold

Wedding and engagement rings put up with a great deal of wear–and are not indestructible. Some platinum alloy mixes are softer than others and one of the most common blends jewelry stores sell is platinum (95/5 Iridium) which is more soft than consumers realize. It is used because it is the least difficult of blends to cast and does not cause as many problems as the stronger 95/5 Ruthenium. It may surprise consumers to know that gold is less prone to bend or conform shape to one’s finger than platinum. While platinum is a heavy and dense metal, it is softer than one thinks. Some may confuse it’s strength with that of titanium, which is stronger than steel. Gold is lighter and more brittle and prone to breaking if the band is thin enough. The strongest choice for gold is generally 14K or 18K, with 24K being too soft to use for jewelry.

How Can A Bent Ring Be Fixed?

Tru-Seat Setting SystemAlthough 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.

 

Speak Your Mind

*