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How To Check for Loose Stones in Your Jewellery

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
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March 12, 2022
a close up of a diamond engagement ring on a black background

Did you know that over time, your precious gemstones and diamonds can gradually become loose in their setting, simply due to daily wear and tear on your jewellery? Without timely discovery and corrective action, you potentially run the risk of losing your stones for good.

How Can a Stone Become Loose in Its Setting?

For a piece of jewellery with great sentimental value, such as an engagement ring or a treasured family heirloom, losing a stone can be an upsetting matter. Sadly, this is a common occurrence where, if left unchecked, gemstones sometimes drop out of their settings and are then lost forever.

This can be caused by a number of factors, but usually boils down to the following:

  • Metal prongs holding the stone in place have naturally worn over time (in and out of gloves, rubbing up against things, etc.).
  • Frequent snagging of jewellery on clothing has damaged the setting.
  • Jewellery has been poorly worked, placing a stone which does not fit ‘snugly’ in its setting.
  • Frequent pressing of the stone.

To expand on the very last point, this is easily one of the biggest mistakes that people unintentionally make when removing rings. If the ring fits a little too snugly, the tendency is to put one finger on top of the stone and one on the bottom of the band to then pull - this action can put enough pressure on soft metals (such as gold and silver) to gradually buckle the delicate prongs, causing the stones to loosen.

Pro tip: the best way to avoid this is to simply remove your ring by placing your finger and thumb on the sides of the band instead.

How to Check Your Stone’s Setting

Many people only first realise that something is wrong with their stone’s mounting when they begin to hear it ‘rattle’ - a clear indication of a loose stone. Even if the problem is not quite as obvious though, that doesn’t mean that everything’s fine.

It's always good practice to check the stones yourself once a week or so. Though, if you feel you hit your jewellery hard on something, check the stones immediately.

Secure gemstones should be tight in the setting. To check for loose stones, place your finger on the edge of the gemstone and see if you can move or turn it lightly - remember to be gentle though so as not damage any loose stones any further!

If you detect even the slightest movement, bring your jewellery to a professional. Depending on the amount of movement of the stone, they may need to add additional metal to the prongs, or simply need to tighten the stone in its setting.

Minimise The Risk of Losing a Precious Gemstone

You should never experiment or try to fix loose stones in jewellery by yourself as you may void any jeweller warranties. Worse still, if you attempt to tighten loose settings at home, you run the high risk of chipping the gemstone or damaging the soft metal prongs in the process.

To avoid any possible issues, minimising the risk of losing a stone, it’s always important to have your precious jewellery checked by a professional jeweller at least once a year.

At Martin Gear Jewellers, we can help. We’ve been manufacturing, selling, cleaning, and repairing jewellery for decades, right from our Dublin City Centre workshop.

Simply drop into our store on 5 Mary St, Dublin 1 for more info, or alternatively, just give us a call now on (01) 872 8726 and we’d be happy to help.

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