How to Tell When Your Class Ring Needs Maintenance
Written by Anna Currell
November 15, 2022
Your class ring is emblematic of your time spent studying, your years making lifelong friendships, and your growth as a person. Since this piece of jewelry is so unique and special, keeping it in good condition is important. Like all jewelry, class rings carry lasting memories and are also vulnerable to wear and tear over time. In this post, we’ll explore all the warning signs that it’s time to look into class ring repair.
What Makes Class Ring Repair Tricky
Class rings are typically made in a single large batch for each graduating class, and the designs change every year. This means that any replacement parts need to be fabricated from scratch, which makes the repair process trickier than other jewelry repairs. On top of that, class ring designs are normally complicated and intricate, which makes them both beautiful and hard to work on. If your class ring could use a little TLC, be sure to find a jeweler that is well-trained in the specific repairs your unique ring needs.
Signs That Your Class Ring Needs to Be Repaired
Because class rings require special care to maintain and are so sentimental, it’s a good idea to search yours for signs of wear before the damage gets serious. Here are some ways you can tell you need to have your class ring checked out by a jeweler:
If the center stone is loose or falls out
The gemstone is likely the most eye-catching element of your class ring. If you hear a rattling or scraping noise when you hold your ring up to your ear and move it around, the stone could be loose in its setting. You can also tell the stone is insecure if it visibly moves when you touch it, even slightly. If this is the case, you’ll want to get your gemstone tightened so that you don’t risk losing it. If you do lose your gemstone, you’ll want to look into new stone sourcing and setting. If the gem has simply fallen out of its setting but you still have it in your possession, you can go the resetting route to have it put back in place.
If the metal is scratched
Virtually all metals are susceptible to damage, especially if you wear your class ring often. Coming into contact with other metals or hard surfaces can create unsightly scratches, or your ring could tarnish over time; tarnish is a layer of oxidation that develops when residue from soaps, lotions, and bacteria builds up on your ring. The good news is that scratching and tarnishing are both fixable and preventable. We recommend getting your jewelry professionally cleaned every six months to get rid of any residue buildup and polish out the beginning of deep scratches. If you need an extra layer of protection, you can also get your class ring plated. Have your yellow gold class ring coated with gold plating, or have your silver, platinum, or white gold class ring coated with rhodium plating. This extra layer of metal helps to smooth out the surface of your band and it also prevents the base metal from wearing down.
If the enamel is chipped
Enamel is the colored material featured in many class rings; the effect is created by fusing a colored compound, normally a powdered glass, to a metal surface. Enamel is much less durable than the metal it’s adhered to, so things like harsh chemicals or contact with tough surfaces can cause chips and other kinds of damage. Protect the enamel of your class ring by keeping it in a safe place when you’re not wearing it, taking it off before hitting the gym, and getting it cleaned regularly. If the enamel does chip, you can always get it replaced by a professional.
If your ring no longer fits
There are all kinds of reasons why a ring might fit your finger one day and be all wrong the next. Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and even seasonal temperature changes can all mean your rings don’t fit as well as they used to. If you find that you have trouble sliding your ring on, keeping it on, or (worst case scenario) getting a too-small ring off your finger, that means it's time to get your class ring resized. It’s easy to figure out your accurate ring size at home; check out our video ring sizing guide to learn how.
If the shank is broken or misshapen
The shank of your ring is the metal band that fits around your finger (excluding the setting that holds the gemstone in place). If your ring no longer fits and you need to get it cut off, or the shank metal has worn down significantly over time and snaps or becomes misshapen, you’ll need a jeweler to restore the ring to its original state. The repair process can involve soldering the shank together to become a complete circle again, or hammering the shank to bring it back to its perfectly circular shape.
The expert jewelers at Quick Jewelry Repairs can perform any repair your class ring needs: polishing, enameling, gold plating, rhodium plating, shank repair, or resizing. Our professionals are trained to do the very specific work that class rings require and would be thrilled to make your jewelry sparkle again. Select one of the above services to get started on your class ring repair today.