How can you prevent losing your diamond? You should check it regularly to know if it has come loose. Here’s how:
How to Check if Your Diamond is Loose
There are four different techniques that you can use to check if a stone is loose and could potentially fall out of its setting.
- Put the ring close to your ear and hold the side of the band tightly between your two fingers. Tap the band of the ring with your index finger on your other hand and listen for a rattling sound.
- Use your fingernail to feel along the outer edge, known as the girdle, of the diamond. As you do this, try to push the stone to see if it moves – side to side and up and down. If you have a round cut diamond, or brilliant cut, see if the stone rotates or spins at all.
- Another test is to position your ring so the light reflects clearly off the surface. With the tip of a pair of pointed tweezers, push down ever so lightly on the stone. Observe if the light reflected off its surface shifts. This technique will highlight if the diamond is able to move in the setting.
- You can also try to move the diamond by applying pressure with a pin positioned on the girdle. Push lightly in all directions to see if the stone is loose. A magnifying glass can help visualize the position of the pin and any movement it may cause.
What to Do if the Diamond is Loose
If you hear a rattling sound or see any movement while testing the diamond, these are clear signs that it’s loose.
First, it’s important to stop wearing the ring. You don’t want to have it fall out or lose the diamond before you can bring it into a jeweler to get checked. Put it in a tightly closed jewelry case immediately.
Then you will need to take your ring to a reliable jeweler as soon as possible to get the setting tightened or repaired. It’s never recommended that you try to repair the ring yourself because this may invalidate the warranty or insurance policy on your diamond if you have one. You also risk doing more damage to the ring or even to the stone itself.
Why Diamonds Become Loose
The majority of ring settings utilize prongs to hold the diamond securely in place. These tiny bent pieces of metal hug the girdle of the diamond, maximizing the visible surface area of the stone and the amount of light allowed to enter and make it shine. It’s true that diamonds are durable stones, but prongs are much more fragile.
There are a number of things that can cause a diamond to become loose. For example, a hard impact to the stone or catching the prong on something, like fabric, can make a stone fall out of the setting.
Most diamonds, however, are lost because of normal wear over time. Especially if you use your ring often, the metal in the mounting can eventually become thinner and weaker. In particular, the head of the prongs tend to get flatter with daily wear. Not only will the diamond become loose, but this makes it more likely that the prong can be bent or broken and release the stone.
Types of Settings that are More Likely to Lose a Stone
Ring settings with prongs made from less durable materials, including silver and gold, are more likely to lose a diamond because the metal wears down quicker. Particular types of settings, such as pavé or invisible settings, are more at risk simply because there is less metal gripping the stone.
If your ring has a gold or silver setting or a more delicate setting style, you will want to get it checked by a jeweler more often. For all rings, it’s important to be aware that the prongs will wear down with time and it becomes more likely that your diamond will fall out without you even noticing.
How to Maintain Your Diamond
Eventually, all rings will need to have prongs tightened and sometimes they should be replaced to ensure that a diamond doesn’t become loose or fall out. All jewelry owners are advised to get the settings checked by a professional at least every year. If you are an active person or wear your ring daily, having it checked by a trusted jeweler twice per year is wise. The jeweler can check that the prongs holding the diamond are secure and adjust or repair any that have bent or show signs of weakness.
Between checks, we have a few tips on how you can avoid the problem and ensure that your diamond doesn’t become loose. For example, you should take the ring off when doing things like housework, gardening and sports.
If your ring is a bit tight, you may put pressure on the center diamond and its setting when trying to put the ring on or pull it off your finger. This pressure, over time, can increase the rate at which the prongs become weak and the stone loosens. It’s always better to grip the ring on the sides of the band when putting it on or removing it. If this is a persistent problem, it’s probably time to have the ring resized.
If your ring has a high profile or a delicate setting, its best to opt for diamonds set in platinum or white gold prongs if possible. For active people or those who work often with their hands, we also recommend more durable diamond settings.
Read on for more tips on how to a keep your diamond looking shiny and new.
Is it Time to Have Your Diamond Checked?
Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t risk losing your diamond. Bring your ring in to have the setting checked and secured before it’s too late.