Prongs are narrow pieces of gold, platinum, or silver that resemble a claw for “clutching” or holding a gemstone in place either in a ring, earring, or pendant. They are integral to a gemstone’s safety, regardless if the stone is a synthetic birthstone or a diamond. Among the signs that indicate a problem with prongs is a stone that has become loose. Consequently, the stone might fall off and then get lost, most especially in the case of rings. Additionally, prongs help keep stones set in position because a stone that’s misaligned could break more easily when hit.
Can Prongs Be Repaired?
First off, prongs typically get broken due to two things; when they naturally wear out over time and when they get stuck on something and become misaligned, explains an expert in jewelry repair in Boise, ID. The unit of four or six prongs is referred to as the crown or head and this could be replaced individually or completely. Prongs can be repaired in different ways depending on the problem, repair methods can include:
- Re-tipping – Because the prong’s tips are the first ones to wear out, only the tip will need replacing if the rest of the prong is still durable.
- Crown Replacement – Exactly what it is; a new crown. The damaged crown will be removed and a new one will be soldered in place. The stone will then be reset.
- Complete Prong Replacement – In the event that more than two prongs in a crown with four prongs or more than three prongs in a crown with six prongs require repair, it’s best to just replace everything.
Some Jewelry Care Tips
Jewelers recommend that you have your jewelry cleaned by a professional every four to six months, depending on your usage, and have them inspect the prongs. In case a stone becomes loose, it’s definitely better to know about earlier when it could still be repaired, instead of later on when you notice that you’ve already lost your stone. Lastly, if you think something’s amiss with your jewelry, just resist wearing it until you have it checked professionally.