Is there such a thing as a durable diamond setting?
Durability is an important question when choosing an engagement ring. Few people consider just how durable their chosen design will be. Most durable diamond settings are only durable to a degree. Few diamond ring settings will endure regular hard wear and abuse.
Here we will look at several factors to consider—each worthy of note when deciding upon how practical your ring will be for daily wear. Don’t dwell entirely on durability. Few people want an ugly engagement ring, so be sensible. Find a balance but consider some important factors.
Care must be taken with any piece of fine diamond jewellery. Few pieces of jewellery will withstand regular abuse when knocked and scraped. Jewellery withstanding heavy wear will show abuse and neglect through scuffs, scrapes and gouges. The shine and sparkle will fade, resulting in a lacklustre version of the original item.
Refurbishment can often restore a piece of jewellery to its former appearance, but regular care offsets the need for regular attention. Furthermore, consideration of the design itself will help reduce the risk when a ring is worn daily.
Consider each of the following points for durable diamond settings.
Simplicity of design
It stands to reason that there are fewer things that can go wrong with a simple design. Ring settings with elaborate diamond shoulders run the risk of greater damage compared to a simple solitaire style.
Weight of claws
Engagement rings with substantial, heavy or weighty claws will be more durable than rings with fine claws. Strike a balance between the thickness of each claw and the overall appearance. Too heavy and a smaller diamond can appear swamped.
Our main image above shows the substantial Berlin engagement ring design, styled with strong secure claws.
Number of claws
The more claws surrounding the diamond, the greater a diamond’s security. Ring settings with two, three or four claws will be more at risk than a six claw setting. Durable diamond settings tend to have more claws to protect the diamond.
Precious metal type
All precious metals scratch and can be damaged. But some choices offer greater durability. White Gold is typically finished with a hard white Rhodium plating. This outer plating wears with time but gives protection for the gold beneath. 950 Platinum bears its natural grey-white metal surface. Despite scratching and marking over time, it can be restored to the as-new finish. Being less malleable than Gold, Platinum offers greater rigidity for holding diamonds—claws are less likely to bend with under regular wear. Avoid 9 carat Gold. Alloyed with a higher level of other alloys and with a lower Gold content, items made of 9 carat Gold will wear faster. Durable diamond settings tend to be made in better quality precious metals.
Few people consider the practicality of height when buying a diamond ring setting. Higher ring settings sit proud on the finger. They are more exposed and subject to greater risk whilst being worn. Consider setting styles which are lower, nearer the finger for greater protection. Lower settings make more durable diamond settings.
Type of setting
Setting styles vary from claw settings to smooth rub-over bezel settings. If you choose a traditional claw setting, ensure that claws feel smooth. Check that your ring will not snag or catch on materials. A snagging claw might require additional polishing. It can also be a suggestion that the claw has been knocked or has moved. Best to get this checked on an existing ring setting. The smoother rub-over or bezel setting surrounds a diamond’s outer edge offering greater protection. This style of setting is not necessarily for everyone, and choices should be balanced between styling and practicality.
Lifetime Warranty and Jewellery Insurance
In summary, besides the notes made above, we must draw attention to a couple of important details when purchasing an engagement ring. For any valuable diamond engagement ring, a lifetime manufacturing warranty (accompanies all diamond jewellery purchases at SD) is a bonus. Make sure you have an insurance policy for your jewellery in addition to any lifetime warranty. By ticking both boxes, your item will be covered for any potential manufacturing defects, accidental loss and damage for complete peace of mind.