When some things in life get worn out, it’s easy to tell. The color fades from the bristles in your toothbrush. Your tire tread becomes smooth and flat. The sleeves of your sweaters stretch out, or the fabric pills. These changes are easy to see, and we replace these items to help keep our teeth clean, our cars safe, and our wardrobes sharp. But when it comes to our jewelry, changes aren’t so easy to see – and without proper attention, those changes may lead to missing diamonds.
Prongs are the little metal claws that hold diamonds and other stones in place in many jewelry settings. They can be flat, round, pointed, or V-shaped. They can be used in almost any piece of jewelry, but they’re most common in rings, and they also take more of a beating in rings than in necklaces or brooches, since rings are worn on hands and many people wear the same rings every single day, especially in the case of wedding or engagement rings. Most ring designs that feature prongs have either four or six of them – having four allows more of the stone to show, but having six is safer and more secure.
Prongs work hard to keep your beloved stones in place, but they get rubbed, snagged, knocked against hard surfaces, and submerged in all kinds of substances while you wear your rings. Over time, prongs can become bent or flattened, which can weaken the metal and make the gemstone less secure. Prongs can even break off entirely, leaving stones free to fall out of their settings at any moment in any place.
For these reasons, it’s very important to examine the prongs on your jewelry on a regular basis with a magnifying glass. Examine each prong from all angles – if there’s any space between the gem and the metal, you have a damaged prong, and you should stop wearing the piece until you can get it repaired at Copeland Jewelers. And even if you frequently examine prongs yourself and don’t find any issues, it’s important to periodically bring pieces into your Austin jewelry store to be exmained by experts, just in case you missed something.
No one wants to lose a gemstone from a piece of jewelry that means the world to them, so do yourself a favor and stay ahead of problems with prongs before they occur. And if you do notice damage or a missing jewel, Copeland Jewelers is ready to help you understand your options for repair and/or gemstone replacement!