Are your prongs worn and broken?
Do you even know where to look?
Do you even know what a prong is?
A lot of people don’t.
And that’s where the problem starts.
Retipping, or rebuilding prongs is necessary for maintaining jewelry. But people have a nasty habit of wearing their jewelry until a prong breaks off or they lose a gemstone or diamond. And then, everyone wants to know how and why it all happened?
I’ll tell you why…
It’s because you didn’t do any preventive maintenance.
Jewelry is like a car, you have to take it in to a jeweler to have them inspect and clean it a couple of times a year. Just like oil changes, tune-ups and filters, your jewelry needs the same tender loving care.
Prongs wear down:
Most people don’t realize that prongs wear down. Prongs are those little pegs that fold over your gemstones or diamonds and hold them in. These prongs will wear down over time, just like tread on a tire. They’ll get low and thin making them catch on things and snap off.
Gold is malleable:
Gold is actually pretty malleable (especially when it’s thin). It’s like bending a paper clip back and forth, it’ll get brittle and eventually snap in two. When prongs rub down and smooth out, there’s not much holding in your diamond but luck.
Prongs can get as thin as paper:
I’ve seen this… Paper-thin prongs are not good protection. You’ll be able to tell if they’re thin if you run your fingertips over the prongs and they feel flat and smooth to the touch (do it now). If you can barely feel them, then it’s time for a retipping.
It’s PAST time for a retipping!
So what do you do?
If your prongs get so low that you can’t feel them anymore, then beware…
It wouldn’t take much to hit that prong on something and break it off.
I’ve seen customers bring their rings in for a retipping with prongs so low and broken and flat, you almost can’t see them.
Sometimes I’m shocked that they’re still wearing their ring.
The real question becomes:
Why would anyone still wear them in that condition?
It truly amazes me… Don’t people realize how close they were to losing their beautiful diamond? Or do they just not care?
When you run your fingers over your prongs you should be able to feel those little domed nubs sticking up.
If you don’t know for sure, or can’t tell…
Visit your local jeweler!
Have them check it out. Prongs wear down so slowly over time that most people wouldn’t notice…
Until it’s too late.
I would advise getting them retipped about every 5-10 years. It all depends on how often you wear your ring and what finger you wear it on. Rings on the pinky finger or index finger take a little bit more abuse and wear down quicker.
Get it cleaned and inspected often:
Whatever you do, take it in for a routine cleaning and inspection (Set a reminder in your smartphone).
It won’t cost you anything for the jeweler to check and make sure your prongs are strong, straight and holding in your stones. They’ll use a microscope or a 10x jeweler’s loupe to check for cracks or stress marks. They’ll also make sure your prongs aren’t lifted above the stones. Checking is free. Getting the work done is not!
Prongs should lay flat and flush on top of your stone’s surface. This keeps them from snagging. Prongs that are raised tend to get caught on everything; gloves, sweaters and even hair. Eventually they will bend back and snap off. And if that happens, there’s a good chance you’ll lose your stone.
Get your prongs retipped:
Have your local jeweler retip your prongs when they’re low.
Normal pricing is about $10-25 a prong.
And here’s something you won’t think about… when you have them retip your low prongs, make sure they retip ALL of the prongs at the same time.
Because if you only retip a couple of the lowest prongs, then they will be built up unevenly, making them noticeable and even odd looking. Some prongs will be high, some low… It won’t look balanced! So get them all retipped together at the same height so your prongs will look alike.
And get your prongs checked a couple of times a year.
Prongs take a lot of abuse:
People are always knocking them and catching them.
I’m actually surprised they hold up as well as they do.
Having your prongs checked regularly is NOT a guarantee that you won’t lose a stone…
But it will give you more peace of mind.
P.S. Make sure you get your diamond rings fully insured as well.
Just in case…
Because in life, you truly never know.
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