Broken Ring Prongs and Worn Goodyear Tires, They Don’t Last Forever


Wedding ring with empty broken ring prongs

Four of the Six Prongs Broke off of this Ring

When you glance at your Goodyears, your tire tread, it’s pretty easy to tell if they have become worn and need to be replaced. However those delicate  broken ring prongs which get worn daily and go everywhere with you aren’t so easy to check.

I understand that it’s not easy to tell when your prongs are worn out. So we’ll get real and talk about how to spot and handle worn down prongs.

Mandy’s Sister Trudy and Her Near Miss With her Wedding Diamond

I was minding my own business delivering Mandy’s custom charm bracelet with the grandkids initials and birthstones. It was really gorgeous if I say so myself. And for the record, I never mind my own business.

Case in point Mandy went to grab something in the other room and I’d just been introduced to Trudy-from-out-of-town, when I asked to see her wedding rings to check her prongs.

A couple of minutes later;

“Oh my God!” shouted Trudy, causing Mandy to run into the living room. Trudy was looking at her wedding ring under the loupe I’d just shown her how to use.

“Mandy, I’m missing two prongs.” Trudy looked red in the face.

“It’s a miracle you still have a diamond in your setting.” I agreed.

“Oh my, I’d be just devastated if I lost this diamond.” She was truly shaken. “Mandy, I’m so glad you had Calla come.”

Another diamond saved. But how many go missing? Every day.

Jumping on my Calla Gold Soap Box About Getting Your Prongs Checked

After seeing hundreds, if not thousands of rings over the last couple of decades, I shouldn’t be surprised at the number of broken, cracked and worn prongs I’ve seen.

The majority of the time, my clients brought me their rings to get sized, or for gemstone replacement, or for polishing, or for a dozen other reasons. But to get their prongs worked on? Not often.

Check Your Prongs!

Platinum prongs

Check These!

Most women don’t examine their wedding ring prongs closely—much less…frequently. Before I was a jeweler, I didn’t check mine at all. I just assumed they’d magically stay the same. Nor did I look at the tread on my tires, same assumption. But I’ve grown up a bit. I even check my oil these days!

The only thing between you and the loss of thousands of dollars worth of gemstones—and heartbreak—is one or two delicate little prongs. So please check your prongs!

How to Check Your Prongs at Home


Using a Loupe to  Check Your Prongs

Always check all the prongs on your ring with a loupe (see my blog post on how to use a loupe) or a magnifying glass.

Look at each prong from different angles.

Make sure they’re completely in contact with each gem. You shouldn’t be able to see any space between your gem and the prong.

Bent Prongs

Occasionally, your prongs catch on things or bump into hard objects and get bent out of place.

Bent prongs should always be readjusted or repaired. Immediately!

It may only need to be straightened out and buffed up, but a bent prong is a danger to your diamond!

Broken Off Prongs

Now and then, prongs break off—either completely or at the tips.

In either case, your ring should be repaired right away.

Don’t even think about wearing it with that broken off prong.

What to do About Worn Out or Broken Ring Prongs

Diamond Head with no diamond in it, broken ring prongs

A Replaceable ‘Head’ That Lost its Diamond

You have two main choices with worn out or broken ring prongs. You can re-tip (re-tipping prongs post) each prong or replace the head.

If the ring is old and all the prongs are worn, I often recommend replacing the whole head. The prongs on a new cast head are typically stronger than re-tipped ones. If the ring is newer and the other prongs are OK, re-tipping a single prong is usually the way to go.

Pancaked Prongs

Broken and Pancaked Prongs on old Ring

Two Pancaked Prongs and Four Broken Ring Prongs

Worn prongs often look flattened out, or what I like to call, “pancaked.” The nice original rounded form of the prong has been worn away and what is left is a weakened, flat substitute.

Pancaked prongs should definitely be replaced.

The unfortunate thing is that many people say, “I like them low like that they don’t catch on things anymore.” Yes, but they won’t hold your diamond reliably either.

Goodyear Tires and Good Marriages

Close up of Center Diamond Head on Engagement Ring

A Happy Ending for the wedding Ring from the Top of the Page

You’ve got miles to go in your happy marriage, make sure your prongs get checked just like your tires!

Your driving-around-to-check-your-prongs kind of a jeweler,
Calla Gold

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Jackie Ruka
12 years ago

Fantastic information ! Can’t tell you how many times I have lost precious gems due to loose prongs. Something we often overlook . Thank God, we have Calla Gold Jewelry!

Dr. Lynn K. Jones
12 years ago

Wow, Calla. This is helpful and a wake up call–it’s easy to forget these types of ring prong check up issues until it’s too late. Thanks for the informative article! Appreciatively, Lynn

10 years ago

Great post on rings with stones. I just had a near miss with my diamond when the prongs had worn down and two prongs broke off. Fortunately I found my diamond in my house after searching all day. My jeweler took great care of us. Great advise.

10 years ago

I am happy to have come across this article. I have a prong that is sticking up and while inspecting that one I noticed another one was broken. I am taking my ring tomorrow to the jeweler. My wedding ring belonged to my grandmother and very dear to my heart.

10 years ago

I have a question

I received my cluster diamond ring back after a home town jeweler replaced two diamonds. Now the ring looks dark (black) in certain lights. The diamonds look good, but the ring has a different hue when looking at it. What could have happened?
I walked out pleased but within 4 hours of wearing it and looking at it over and over again, I know something was wrong.

10 years ago

I have sheared the prongs off of my wedding rings three times now in 8 years I have had it, the latest time Sunday. I am devastated!! I have never taken my rings off in the past but after the 2nd time my jeweler advised me to remove it daily. He says it can get snagged. Also having long hair he says can snag the prongs & gold is very soft & can loosen the prongs over time. It sounded logical so once I got my ring repaired & back (jeweler built the prongs up this time)I got in the… Read more »

9 years ago

I just had my wedding ring sized down from a 10 to a 7 after I lost a lot of weight. Within a week of getting my ring back the entire head sheared off. I did not hit it on anything or get it caught on anything either, it just fell off. The jeweler I had resize my ring rudely said it was not their fault my ring broke. They said that they went nowhere near the head of the ring. They then gave me a quote of almost $200 to just put the head back on. My question is… Read more »

8 years ago

Hello, I am recently engaged and received my mothers wedding set my father gave her 42 years ago. He passed in 1991 and my mother never remarried and has wore the rings until this month. The set has 3 diamonds in the engagement ring and 4 in the wedding band and are hand cut diamonds set in white gold. I couldn’t be more excited to have something so sentimental to my mother. Today I took my set to a local jeweler to have it cleaned and left afraid to even wear the wedding band. They told me I need all… Read more »

Violet Murakami
Violet Murakami
8 years ago

Dear Calla,

I have a silver ring that I’ve had for ages – almost 40 years that I had to have cut off my ring finger since it wouldn’t get past the knuckle without extreme pain. My husband had to cut it to get it off my finger. But I still really like the ring and wondered if there’s a way to repair the cut and resize the ring so it fits my finger (to where it’s not pinching it) and get it past the knuckle? any advice would be greatly appreciated on how this could be done.

8 years ago

Could you fix my wedding ring its bent really bad. I don’t want to lose it