DANGER! – 8 Reasons Why Diamonds are Lost From Ring Settings


8 Reasons why diamonds are lost from engagement rings

Some of the work we carry out, involves replacing lost diamonds from ring settings which unfortunately happens, despite best efforts to safeguard against such occurrences. Despite great care it might well be something that happens to your own ring.

Our first piece of advice is to arrange adequate insurance for your jewellery. Insurance can never be purchased when you need it, so please keep this in mind and act sooner rather than after the event.

Most jewellery insurance will cover loss or accidental damage. (Please read your policy or speak to a specialist for details of your cover).

The following are 8 of the most common reasons why diamonds are lost from engagement ring and diamond ring settings. Some of the following reasons overlap, but break down into 8 main areas of risk.

1. Damage to ring setting

Accidental damage to the setting can result in the loss of your diamond. Claws can bend or break depending on the extent of damage. Over time, claws that are thinner and therefore weaker, are far more susceptible to damage. Solution – seek advice from a qualified jeweller to quote for repair work.

2. Damage to diamond

Contrary to popular belief, despite diamonds being one of the hardest substances diamonds will break. Diamonds are extremely hard but also brittle. With enough force, a diamond will break. A complete break across a diamond can sometimes result in the parts of the diamond being lost from the ring. Solution – replacement of the diamond by a qualified jeweller.

3. Worn ring setting

Over time, claws and settings can become worn. Gold or Platinum can thin. I have seen claws that are barely a flake of gold, ‘securing’ diamonds within a ring. Solution – claws can be replaced, repaired, built up or complete settings can be made faithful to the original design.

4. Loose diamond

Diamonds can rest loose within settings for a long time without the wearer knowing. Since diamonds are the hardest substance, a loose diamond will wear the setting slowly over  period of time, becoming looser with a greater risk of loss. If you’re unsure try the tap test. Hold your ring to the ear and tap the ring to hear if your diamond is loose. Solution – re-tensioning the claws is sometimes all that is necessary.

5. Incorrect diamond size

If you’re diamond is just too small for your ring mount, this can affect how secure the stone is. For this reason we work with specific size tolerances for settings, suited to the diamonds we use. If your diamond is too large, it can put additional stress on the claws causing damage to the setting.

6. Resizing

Engagement rings with tension settings or rings with diamond shoulders, are at greater risk once re-sized. When we undertake sizing work, it is important to check the security of the setting after any size adjustment has been made, to ensure the diamond is secure before it is returned to the client.

7. Cleaning and refinishing

Cleaning and re-finishing can sometimes cause diamonds to become loose within settings. Ultrasonic cleaning and intensive polishing can disturb settings. It is very important for settings to be checked following any cleaning and re-finishing work. Over years of wear, grime can become impacted within a setting, and removal can result in diamonds that were once secure, becoming loose in the ring.

8. Displaced claw

It is not always damage that causes a claw to fail and for a diamond to be lost. Engagement ring claws or prongs can be moved out of place during wear. If this claw no longer secures the diamond, there can be a risk of loss. You will likely notice some movement from the diamond if this happens. Don’t poke your diamond—this can make matters worse. Instead try the tap test and hold your ring to your ear. Tap the ring with your finger, and listen for the ‘clink’ of a loose stone.

For additional support and guidance contact us with any questions and we will do our very best to help.

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

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