Is your diamond safe? If you can’t recall the last time you had the prongs checked, then it’s time for some ring maintenance!
We so often admire the jewelry we wear many times during the day, yet just as often, we fail to think of the safety of our most prized possessions. What could possibly go wrong with a piece of jewelry you have worn every day for weeks, months, years, even decades? Prongs. Those sneaky little, indispensable prongs.
What are prongs you say? They are those itty bitty, almost invisible (by design) little pieces of metal that hold those beautiful precious gemstones in place that you wear every day. If you are like me, it may have never occurred to you to even think of them as important, or even think of them at all. When was the last time someone ignored your diamond and said “But LOOK at those beautiful prongs!” But those little guys are very important—they are the proverbial glue that holds it all together. It’s not a sexy comparison, but think of them as you do the tires on your car. I mean, who loves getting new tires? Personally, every time I have to put new tires on my car, I think of how many more exciting ways I could have spent that money—a new purse, new shoes, a mini-vacation. But alas, adulting is rarely one big ongoing party.
Okay, so back to those prongs. You know how much you work with your hands every day? Doing dishes, writing, shopping, a thousand little actions every single day that mean your rings touch, scrap, bump, or otherwise have physical contact with the wide world. As much as we value gold, it is not indestructible. Those teeny prongs wear down over time—unless you have eagle eyes, you typically can’t see the wear and tear on your own. But visit your local jeweler, and they should have equipment to show you the condition of your prongs.
Some tell-tale signs that your prongs are need immediate attention that you can look for include:
- Catching on clothes. Does your ring get caught on your hair or clothing? Do you pick fuzz out of your ring on a regular basis? This is what we call, in jewelers terms, NOT GOOD. It means the prong has pulled away from the stone and the hooked end is free to reach out and grab things it shouldn’t, rather than doing its job of holding your stone in place. You looked really close and can’t see it? Take it to your local jewelry or look at it under at least 10x magnification and you will see. We may only be talking about 1 -2 mm, or even less, teeny for us giants, but a world away from the stone it should be snuggled up to protecting.
- Jingling-If you slightly shake your ring near your ear, do you hear (or feel) a little tinkling noise? This is VERY BAD. Your ring is loose in its setting, but not (yet) so loose it will fall out.
- Flat- Are your prongs uneven looking or flat on top like __? They should not be flat, this means from the day to day use, your prong has worn down (totally normal, we all wear down over time). A healthy prong should be a happy little half “O”, nice and rounded on top, meaning there is plenty of metal and thus strength present to keep your stone secure. As Sir Mixalot would say about prongs, we like them round! Oh, maybe that’s not a great example…
- What prongs? – You have no idea what we mean because you’ve worn your ring every day for years and don’t see these little prong things on top? While unusual, and a thing of legend in jewelry stores, it’s possible you’ve worn away/shorn away/ just plain ol’ vanished your prongs over time and they are being held in place by a magical combination of good luck, almost gone prongs, and, what we affectionately call people gunk (lotion, skin cells, and other funk that is likely living under your stone if you haven’t had is professionally cleaned lately ) . You should see a jeweler immediately or bid a goodbye to your stone.
“OMG. I have a prong problem, what do I do???” No worries. Find a local independent jeweler. Most of us can do the repair in our shop without having to mail it off somewhere (we don’t like mailing piece off and neither should you). Find a jeweler you trust, and who has bench jewelers in the shop who are qualified to inspect your ring and willing to show you exactly, in detail, what maintenance you’ll need to keep your ring in tip-top shape. For a little extra convenience fee, many jeweler can even bump you to the front of the line and fix your beloved jewelry while you wait so you don’t have to be parted from it.
We are always happy at Mountain Song Jewelers to clean your ring and check your prongs. We’ll give you a magnified view of your ring so you can see exactly what we are talking about and be involved in the process. We always want our clients to understand their jewelry and its needs so that they can enjoy it for years to come. Not local to Mountain Song? Our prices are so competitive, we happily offer repair by mail! Just send me a message, email, or even give us a call!