Let’s Dive Deeper into Your Choices for Ring Prong Repair
In Ring Disasters, Part 3 – Ring Prong Re-Tipping Pro’s and Cons, your Santa Barbara Jeweler explained what a re-tip repair is, how it’s done and why if it took ten years to break that prong, the re-tip won’t last another ten years.
Sharon’s ring, pictured down below, had two intact prongs barely holding her diamond. Miraculously Sharon found her diamond when it fell out. It was on the floor mat of her car. This was a jewelry repair I was happy to do.
Is Re-Tipping the Only Way to Repair a Broken Prong?
No, if more than one or two prongs need to be re-tipped, I would probably choose to replace the whole head.
The “head” is a three to six pronged gemstone setting. It’s cast separately from the rest of the ring design.
What Heads Are
In the ring pictured with the pearl and diamonds, the mountings for the diamonds are called heads.
They were cast separately and then connected, (soldered) to the rest of the ring design.
When Are Heads Used and Why?
Some rings have a basic design that is cast up to be modified with heads after it is cast.
After the design is cast the heads are put on to accommodate the size and shapes of the gemstones for that particular order.
The Perfect Scenario for a Re-Tip
Scenario: Your ring collides with a door or something and knocks the tip of your prong off or cracks it. The rest of your prongs are thick and strong. This is the perfect time to have that prong re-tipped.
When To Replace Your Head Instead of Re-Tipping
If five or ten years have gone by and a prong just broke off, it may not be the only troubled prong.
If the other prongs are worn down also, which with a daily wear ring they very well may be, re-tipping that one prong isn’t going to cut it.
Replacing the Head is a More Lasting Repair than Multiple Re-Tips
If you’ve broken more than one prong on a head, I’d recommend replacing the whole head instead of doing multiple re-tips. You’ll get a stronger and longer lasting repair that way. Sharon’s ring above needed a new head not re-tips for the safety of her diamond.
If only one prong was damaged on her ring, I’d recommend the re-tip.
Think About the Lifetime of Your Ring, Choose a Lasting Repair
On an older ring, with cast in prongs, not heads, the other prongs next to the broken one, will be to varying degrees worn down as well and perhaps ready to crack off if they get hit just right.
For frequently worn rings, I recommend you visually check each prong under magnification before signing off on a single prong re-tip.
You may wish to do multiple re-tips for aesthetics as well as the safety it offers for the rest of your gemstones.
Don’t Let Your Ring Prongs Stray Into the Red Zone
Check your ring prongs at least once a year on your daily wear rings.
Whatever repair option you choose, do it sooner than later.
The Rest of the Series About Ring Prong Repairs