A damaged engagement ring likely isn’t a problem you’ve anticipated, but sometimes things happen that are outside of our control. Wear and tear with age, an accidental bang against the kitchen counter, or a change in ring size is inevitable over time. Get ahead of accidents before they happen by understanding the common types of wedding ring repairs.
4 Most Common Types of Wedding Ring Repairs
- ring sizing and soldering
- prong re-tipping or replacement
- loose stone replacement
- polishing and cleaning
The Process of Ring Sizing
The most common wedding ring repair is sizing. When a groom makes his best guess on your ring size or makes the purchase online, you might need to take it in and get the size adjusted. Your engagement ring must properly fit to avoid getting it stuck on your finger or risk it sliding off and getting lost.
When taking your diamond ring to get professionally sized, the jeweler will measure your finger to ensure the band fits accurately. Wedding rings come in half and even quarter sizes, so you’re guaranteed to find a perfect fit. Even if your engagement ring fits on the day of the proposal, finger size can change over time.
Having the right size band is ideal for a long-lasting piece. It will prevent the center stone of your engagement ring from sliding to one side and ensure that you can remove it every night before bed. We suggest removing your rings periodically, such as while you sleep or in the shower, to give your fingers a rest.
Do You Need to Adjust Your Ring Size?
How can you determine if your band fits properly? It should slide right on but require a bit of “wiggling” to remove it. The ring should feel comfortable on your finger, almost as if you’re wearing nothing at all. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s time for a wedding ring repair.
What to Do if a Ring Gets Stuck
If you’re struggling to remove the ring, a simple trick is to take water or some type of oil-based product and use it as a lubricant. Surprisingly enough, butter and cooking spray work wonderfully. Once you spray your finger, the diamond ring should glide off with ease. However, if you still can’t remove it, you might need to visit your local jeweler for some assistance.
On a rare occasion, we may have to cut an engagement ring off using a small tool that slices the bottom of the shank.
Don’t panic or rush to remove your ring just yet; it’s infrequent for a band to become stuck beyond removal. You’ll likely start to notice your band gliding off or feeling uncomfortably tight and schedule a wedding ring repair before it gets to such an extreme.
How Jewelers Adjust Engagement Rings
If you’ve taken your jewelry in for a size adjustment, the first thing experts will do is cut a small opening at the bottom of the shank, just like they would if it got stuck. When the diamond ring needs to go up a size, jewelers will spread the shank open to the appropriate size, add the perfect amount of metal, and flow it into the ring using soldering tools.
Suppose your ring size is loose. Professionals will remove the appropriate amount of metal and then solder it back together. At the end of the wedding ring repair, it will be shaped and polished as needed.
Wedding Ring Repair for Damaged Prongs
Prongs are claw-like pieces of metal that hold stones of a ring in place. They often tend to snag on things like sweaters and blankets, wear down in the water, and, in some cases, break off altogether. Understanding the prong re-tipping and replacement process is a crucial part of owning a diamond ring.
When prongs are damaged, it will be easy for you to spot them on your ring. If one prong seems to be looser or stand out from the others, it’s time for a repair. Another indication that prongs are damaged is a “flattened” appearance instead of their standard round shape.
How Prongs are Repaired
Depending on the level of damage, skilled jewelers will be able to bend the prong of your engagement ring back, retip, and replace it. In the case of an overworn or flattened prong, experts will ball up a piece of metal, heat the prong, and solder the new metal on. After applying the new metal, they will shape the seat and tip accordingly.
In rare circumstances where all prongs in a diamond ring are extremely worn, replacing the head entirely might be more effective. The head is the part of a band that primarily holds the diamond or gemstone in place. If your wedding ring repair requires a new head, most jewelers will replace it with one that is the same size and style as the current one.
Replacing a Loose or Damaged Stone in Your Ring
A diamond ring owner’s biggest fear is noticing a loose or missing stone within their band. Loose gems aren’t uncommon, and, over time, you might see them start to spin or bounce back and forth within the setting. Diamonds may also become loose due to a hit against something hard.
If you spot a wiggling diamond within your piece, take it off immediately and keep it in a safe place until you can get a wedding ring repair. The only thing worse than a loose diamond is a missing one. You may not notice a loose stone right away, so be sure to get your band professionally inspected regularly.
In some situations, repairing a loose stone is simply a matter of tightening the prongs. However, you might take it as an opportunity to upgrade. While you’re at the jeweler getting the repair, ask them about adding a larger, brighter, or higher quality diamond to your engagement ring.
Diamond Ring Polish and Cleanings
While getting your engagement ring cleaned and inspected isn’t necessarily a repair, it’s a necessary step in assessing the current state of your ring. As previously mentioned, sometimes there are minor imperfections that you may overlook, but experts will notice. We recommend getting your ring serviced professionally at least once a year.
If you’ve purchased a diamond ring from Fink’s, it’s backed by our Lifetime Guarantee. Given that you bring the piece in for inspection once a year, we will always repair it in the unfortunate event that it gets damaged. Plus, the engagement ring will look good as new each time one of our expert jewelers cleans it.
There are ways you can keep up with diamond ring maintenance at home, but they don’t substitute professional cleanings.
Things You Will Need for At-Home Ring Cleaning
- a soft cloth
- warm water
- jewelry cleaner (optional)
When residue from dirt and lotion starts to build up, take a damp, soft cloth and gently rub the band until the diamonds shine once again. In some cases, you may want to use a jewelry-safe cleansing soap.
Now that you’re familiar with each type of wedding ring repair, you’ll know what to do if anything happens to your piece. Don’t stress over a damaged band or loose diamond. Once you bring your diamond ring into Fink’s, our experts will make it just as stunning as when you first purchased it.