Engagement Rings – Problems and Issues with Wear
Anyone purchasing or owning an engagement ring can encounter issues with their ring over time, irrespective of where they purchase this. Here is a run-down of a few potential problems, with a few comments and solutions to how best you can overcome them.
Even within a short space of time, engagement rings made in most metals can scratch. Even opting for a more expensive metal, eg. Platinum will not mean you can avoid this.
Basically, the more wear, engagement rings receive, the more they are likely to scratch as the come into contact with everyday objects. Despite alloys such as Tungsten being included, to harden the metal, if they encounter rough objects, they will scratch. The Rhodium plating on 18ct White Gold is very hard, and slightly more resistant than Platinum in this respect, but Platinum is generally favoured owing to the natural whiteness of the metal and the ability to restore, re-flat, and refurbish the metal back to “as new.”
With a satin finish, since the metal has a very non reflective even finish, any mark or scratch will, in effect, polish the metal in one small area. This results in a very visible mark on the ring, and for this reason, a satin finish can require much more maintenance to keep the finish, as with wear, this does not tend to wear. In fact, within a very short time, such marks can become apparent. A much more intense matt, or sandblasted finish can be more wear resistant but this results in a more coarse appearance to the metal’s surface. Polished finishes, as standard, tend to matt down over time, as they build up scratches, wearing to a natural finish.
When the settings of engagement rings are not tight enough around the diamond, this will usually result in the diamond being loose. This can be caused if the setting is not tight enough to begin with. Setting a diamond can be precarious, and so setters can be more cautious when setting the stone, not wishing to over-tighten the setting which in some cases can cause the stone to chip. Most commonly this can occur where a natural inclusion in the diamond breaks the surface near the setting edge or corner of the stone. It is important to contact the retailer straight away to arrange for the setting to be tightened, since any movement over a period of time will wear the metal, and this movement will be come more pronounced. In the worst instance, this could even result in the stone coming out of the setting itself. Choosing a ring that is surrounded by a greater amount of metal, such as a six claw setting, can mean more security for the diamond, but this can very often result in the loss of that minimal, floating look that some people strive for in their preferred style of engagement rings.
Engagement ring too loose / too tight.
Let’s face it, we all put on weight, but we can also lose it (not always this lucky, but yes it can happen.) As a result, and engagement ring can become too tight or too loose, and it is important that you can arrange these adjustments to the ring, with a qualified jeweller. To increase the size of a ring, for a small adjustment, provided the band is not too thin, it can be gently stretched by the goldsmith, or should there be a risk of thinning the band, metal can be added, “piecing,” the ring to the correct size. When reduced in size, where a significant adjustment is needed, this can result in the opening up of the setting, which requires the diamond to be re-secured, an essential part of such work. Such significant size adjustments are best avoided unless the ring design is such that it would be possible to resize the ring, re-shape the band, all without compromising the stone itself. Platinum tends to be lasered (but not something done by all jewellery workshops) to ensure a seamless joining of the metal, and results in the size adjustment being quite literally invisible to the eye. For rings where no regular adjustment can be provided, such as full eternity rings, it might be possible to increase size, by polishing the inside fractionally, provided there is enough distance between the diamond culets and the inner metal surface. Alternatively with full eternity rings that are too large, it can be possible to insert small pips in the same metal, thereby filling out the ring for a more snug fit.
Ring appears tarnished.
This is almost certainly a comment that many jewellers receive, and this usually relates to a worn white gold jewellery. Due to the gold content within the ring, the natural white gold has a slightly tinted colouration, hence the use of a very hard, white Rhodium plating following polishing. This can however, over time, wear and the “tarnished” colouration of the ring is merely the natural metal showing through. It is a very simple process of re-polishing and re “dipping” the ring in the Rhodium electrolytic solution to bring the ring back as new. This is always a good idea to arrange once in a while, so that the jeweller can perform a “health check” on the ring, ensuring that there is no further work required on the ring.
We hope these brief notes help with any such issues experienced, but we will always advise contacting an experienced jeweller who can advise on your specific circumstances.