So you lost a gemstone from your ring, now what?
So you lost your favorite gemstone from your ring. Missing a stone from your favorite ring is not fun; however, it cannot always be due to a manufacturing defect. If your ring came with a manufacturing issue, you'd find out within two days of wearing it or maximum within the first week.
When it comes to natural gemstones with different hardness, if you don't take time to learn how to care for your specific stone, even the sturdiest setting is of no help. But, in this fast pace world, who has time to read the tiny care card that comes with jewelry?
Some of the reasons your gem may fall off or become loose are -
- Not understanding the gemstone hardness, aka MOHS scale, and where your gemstone stands on the scale. This is crucial! For e.g., Opals tend to change color, and Mother of Pearl tend to shrink in water. At the same time, Moonstones & Labradorites have a hardness of 6-6.5. They are suitable to wear as a ring but not for everyday use. A diamond is 10, perfect for everyday wear and tear.
- Accidentally hitting a hard surface may move the prong from its place and make the stone lose. Likely to happen during exercising, doing the dishes, etc
- Pressing down the stone or continuously fiddling with the ring, eventually causing a crack.
- Exposure to Chlorine or similar chemicals that may rust the metal or shrink the stone.
- Heavy machine work or strain on the hand that changes the shape of the ring, causing the prongs to stretch.
- Ring stuck in clothes/thread and then pulled out, which may loosen the prongs.
Image Credit: gia.edu
Prong set rings are delicate compared to bezel set, so special care is required, even for solid gold set with the hardest stone. Ring set in sterling silver/vermeil may cost a fraction of the price of solid gold; however, it is important to remember that gold is a denser metal than silver and can hold the setting for a much longer time than silver. Your stone can still come off if care is not taken. But that's what extended warranties are for, and you end up paying that extra $800 for the warranty, which may or may not cover!
When it comes to natural gemstones, with a little bit of research & knowledge, you can easily create a beautiful collection that can be passed down through generations with proper care.