Have you ever had a ring bend out of shape? The bottom of a ring, or the shank, is the part of your ring most susceptible to bending. I fix bent rings frequently. It seemed like time to share with you what I've told my clients.
Five Causes of Bent Rings
2. Your ring is too large for your finger.
3. Your ring was worn while lifting heavy objects or tightly grasping hard objects. Or your ring collided with something harder than the gold.
4. Your ring has weakened at a connection point.
5. A weaker section of your ring became stressed.
Going Deeper Into the Five Reasons Rings Bend and Crack
1. Is That Ring Shank of Yours too Thin?
The most common reason for a shank bending “out of round” is that it’s too thin. It may have been too thin to begin with or it may have worn down over the years. It may be too thin from the top of the shank to the bottom (the depth) or it may be too thin from one side to the other (the width). Chances are both dimensions are undersized.
2. Are You Wearing a Ring That is too Large a Size for Your Finger?
A lesser known reason for your bent rings is that your ring is sized too big. Instead of fitting snugly around the finger—and being protected by your finger—the ring shank sticks out more and is more vulnerable to pressing against hard objects grasped by the hand.
I've seen a good number of bent and cracked rings that were too large for my clients. One client had been given a ring with a row of emeralds. The top kept sliding around so the emeralds were under her finger. The ring turned at the wrong time, an emerald cracked and the ring bent.
Once the ring was repaired and sized more snugly it has been worn without a problem.
3. Heavy Lifting and Gripping Can Bend Your Ring
Picking up hard-handled briefcases, suitcases, weights and hard edged boxes can concentrate the force onto the shank of a ring and cause it to bend.
I wore my five ring stacking set to the airport. As I pulled my suitcase off the security rolling thing, I felt my rings bite into my finger. "Oh oh," I thought. Sure enough when I wheeled to a bench and looked at my stinging finger I'd bent the weakest of the five rings. The thin 18kt yellow gold 3/4 eternity band. Ugg. I lost two tiny diamonds somewhere in the security area. I didn't go back. Now when I lift things I take the weight on the front of my fingers and not where my rings are.
Activities like golfing and baseball can be hard on any thickness of ring shank, as well. Tightly gripping the hard shaft of a golf club or baseball bat can cause a ring to bend. I’m sure there are lots of other ways!
Going to the gym and lifting with rings on is a recipe for disaster.
4. Your Ring is Weakened at a Connection Point
I've known numerous people who’ve had their rings “re-rounded” only to have the shank crack a little while later. Sometimes the ring was bent out of shape at the time of the cracking and sometimes not.
What’s happened? You know what happens to a paperclip after bending it bending it back and forth four or five times, right? It breaks!
Where a sizing has taken place or where elements of a ring were combined as part of the design these points are the weak spots in your ring.
The reason this can happen is that the solders, (gold and alloy metals) used to connect two parts together on a ring, aren't as strong as the originally cast gold. If something has to give, one of these connection points is a candidate.
In the ring above, this women's diamond in it's setting broke off when she reached into her jeans pocket. Luckily she didn't lose her diamond. That is an example of a connection point. It's a weak point on a ring.
5. Gemstone Settings or Thinner Elements in your ring can weaken your ring
It is normal to drill into the gold to create the perfect 'seat' for your diamond or gemstone to nestle safely on your beautiful ring. However of the depth of your ring at the point where the settings are cut is too thin, you may have a ticking time bomb.
One of my clients had a ring for ten years when it broke apart. It cracked apart at the thinnest point.
The Solutions to Bent Rings By the Numbers
1. Ring Too Thin
Have your jeweler check the depth and width of your ring shank. If it’s too thin, get it re-shanked. This involves cutting out the bottom section of the ring and replacing it with a thicker piece of custom made ring shank. It’s usually a straightforward process. I’ve re-shanked hundreds of rings. See my blog post on re-shanking rings
If you notice that your ring is super thin before trouble occurs, take it in to your jeweler. Consider thickening it before it gets all bent up.
2. Your Ring is Too Large
There are two things you can do. The first is to have a good jeweler check your finger size. If your ring is too big, size it down.
If you have issues with large knuckles and that is the reason your rings are sized too big see my blog post on solutions for large knuckles and ring wearing.
3. Weight Lifting Induced Cracking or Bending, etc.
One client kept wearing and bending her wedding ring. I made her a gym friendly band ring that was much thicker and wider than her delicate wedding ring. That stopped the falling out of diamonds.
Golfing also can cause problems as the musculature in your fingers is very firm when swinging and the golf club handle is also unyielding. So golfing can cause bending and cracking on your ring.
4. Breaking at a Connection Point
If a connection point has given way, metal will need to be added at that point to add strength. In the ring above, one of the rings cracked away and needed to be re-soldered.
5. A Weaker Section of Your Ring Has Become Stressed
Have your jeweler repair the point that is broken. Or if you notice a weak area have it beefed up before it cracks or becomes damaged. Sometimes the ring must be altered a bit to give it strength. In the case of the above ring, a gold section was added underneath. It still looks great from above, but is much stronger.
If settings for diamonds or other gems cut into the upper shank of your ring, causing bending or cracking, a rebuild at that point and possibly the surrounding area will need to be done.
If there is too much damage, a new ring in the same style, can be created with a beefed up design in the area where it broke before. The same gems can be re-set into the new mounting. With the strengthening that went into design of the next ring, there will be no repeat of the previous damage.
Each case is different. If your ring is basically strongly made and a connection point comes apart it is probably possible to fix it at the break.
Don't Keep Wearing Your Ring With a Crack or Bend in it
Whether you know what happened or you noticed it out of the blue, take off that ring and bring it into your favorite jeweler. Don't risk further damage by continuing to wear it.
Give me a call if your ring is too big, bent, or cracked. Let's fix it and figure out what caused it so that doesn't happen again.
Ring Fixing Jeweler,