Fixing Bent Rings and Cracked Rings
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
1. Your ring shank is too thin.
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,
Calla Gold, I this information is really helpful. Most people would think that it’s only thin ring shanks that bend. But there are, as you explain here, other reasons why rings bend.
People should so read this if they wear rings.
It has come up a number of times recently, so it was like slap upside my head, I should blog this! So I did!
Calla-thanks for this great information to be aware of with bending rings. Find out the problem, fix it, then best of all-WEAR it!
I’m glad you liked it.
Thank you for this information! It has helped me identify why my wedding band has bent after only 4 months! It’s 2&half sizes too big!! Most helpful!!
I’m glad to illuminate the mysteriousness of ring bending for you!
Hello Calla Gold, I have an old Gold signet ring that has been in the family for some time.
It has cracked completely across and is of course too thin.
CAN THIS BE FIXED ????
Hi David, It can be fixed. The question is what is the best way to fix it. A band-aid repair would be to solder it at the breaking points so it was whole, but for how long. Another method that’d be more lasting which I used on a man’s wedding band who wouldn’t give up his super thin and cracked in half wedding band, is to cast up a replica is shape to your signet ring. Then I’d mount your thin signet on top of it and make it seemless at the connection. So you are still looking at your… Read more »
hi can you give me an idea on how much to repair a bent wedding ring thankyou
Hi Jackie, Seeing a picture of your ring would help. If I can straighten it on my ring pole with heat and gentle working of the metal it’d be under $50.00. If it’s bent because it’s too thin, your ring may need to be re-shanked. Check out my blog about that with a video – https://www.callagold.com/repairs/re-shanking-your-rings-what-why-and-when/ Re-shanking costs more and is bid on a case by case basis. If your ring is too large for your finger, that can allow the bending to take place. Your ring may need to be reshaped and sized. That would entail the reshaping charge… Read more »
Do you have any suggestions about how thin is too thin? I’m very active (carry my bike up and down stairs, garden) but I do like the look of a thinner band, and I’d a ring I could wear every day. Is 2mm enough to resist bending?
Hello Hanah, Thank you for your question. Lifting a bike would certainly stress a too thin ring shank. (Portion of the ring coming down from the main design to the underneath of your hand.) When I speak of too thin I also include the depth measurement of your ring. Not just the width. I have custom made thin/narrow rings that I made thick in the depth measurement department. That thick depth can stabilize a ring design that otherwise would be too fragile for your lifestyle. Two millimeters is too thin normally, but if it is important enough to you, have… Read more »
My ring is crack on bottom of my ring. Should I just get it soldered together? Or get the new shank?
Without seeing your ring I am not sure which way to go. In case you haven’t read it this is my blog post about re-shanking with pictures.
I’d need to see pictures of your ring to know which way you’d be advised to go.
I’d also want to know what your ring is made of.
Comment back here with a bit more information.
Your Personal Jeweler,
I recently had my child which led to an emergency C section. I had to have my wedding band and engagement ring cut before surgery. So the nurse had to cut my rings and she did a good job at cutting them both. Would you be able to put my rings back together or what would you recommend?
Dear Mrs. Mitchell,
Congratulations on the birth of your child. I’d like to figure out your current finger size and then put your rings back together.
I have done this many times. Are you local to Santa Barbara?
Your Personal Jeweler,
I have a white gold ring which has split at the bottom. how much do you think the would cost to be fixed?
Hello Hannah, I can’t see your ring. But let’s assume you’ll need it to be rhodium plated after the soldering or laser welding is done. This would need to be done since you have white gold. And white gold is rhodium plated when manufactured and that needs to be reapplied now and then as maintenance. Heat work necessitates re-application. I’d say for costs, $30.00 for the fix and $25.00 for the rhodium plating. It is possible that it split because it is slightly too large for you. That is a frequent cause for ring splitting, as is a too-thin ring… Read more »
My daughter was taken to ER to have her wedding ring cut in 2 places due to a swelling finger. It is a platinum ring.
I am looking for a top jeweler as mentioned above as yourself that can repair rings such as these.
Do you know what repair generally run to repair such a process. I can send pics, if you provide an email where I can send them to.
Thank you for finding me.
Between spider bites, medication reactions and accidents I’ve had a lot of opportunities to remove rings and repair them. I’ll email you privately.
Your Personal Jeweler,