The Guide to Ring Prong Maintenance After Repair

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You’ve just fixed the prongs on your favorite ring, and now your stone is nice and secure, right? Yes and no! Just because your prongs are fixed doesn’t mean you can carelessly bang your ring around. Learn more about ring prong maintenance after repair below.

Ring Prongs and How They’re Repaired

Prongs are the little itty bitty pieces of metal that hold your stone down. They can be decorative, or specialized for specific stone cuts, but at the end of the day they all serve the same purpose- to securely keep your precious gems where they should be.

After some time, however, they’ll wear down or snap off. You might be thinking; “But why? Aren’t they made out of metal?” That’s certainly true, but keep in mind that most jewelry precious metals are very soft, such as silver, gold, or platinum. Think about your ring; it’s on your hand all day, and you open doors, grab onto items like shopping bags and subway poles, and bang your hand against countless surfaces. All that abrasion and contact will definitely break your prongs over time.

When you send your ring in to a jeweler like us, the prong repair is fairly simple. The jeweler assesses the prong; is it completely gone, or does it just need to be re-tipped so that it covers the stone? Depending on the damage, the jeweler takes an appropriate amount of metal wire, and simply solders it to the ring to either rebuild or lengthen the prong.

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This yellow gold ring with a white gold head has several prongs that need retipping.

It’s important to note something here: the solder the jeweler uses is a soft metal that matches the metal type of your ring. It’s basically metal glue, and it’s softer than the metal that your ring is made out of. As an example, think about something you’ve broken and repaired with glue- it’s not going to be as structurally sound as the original. The same principle applies to ring prong repair.

How to Keep Your Repaired Prongs in Good Condition

With the understanding that your repaired prongs are fragile (and even more so in comparison to the original prongs!), you’ll need to keep a close eye on your ring and how you behave with it on. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Rings that have a higher “head” are more prone to damage. This is because they protrude farther from the surface of your hand, and as a result they’re more likely to catch on other surfaces. We recommend being more cautious with your hands when you wear a piece like this to avoid any damage to the stone and surrounding prongs.
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    This vintage white gold ring has a very high head- see how it sits on the mandrel.

  2. Don’t do anything strenuous like lifting heavy boxes or cleaning with your ring on. Heavy, hard objects may break the repaired prongs and knock the stone loose.
  3. Don’t exercise with your ring on! Hand weights and other exercise equipment will bang against your ring, and also bend the back out of shape.
  4. Don’t cook with your ring on. Abrasion from handling pots and pans will wear down the prong and break it again
  5. Twice a year, just have your ring checked by a jeweler to ensure all the stones are tight and all the prongs are intact. Think of it like taking your car in for maintenance; if you love your ring, you should have it cleaned, polished, and checked on a regular basis.

Now you’re all up to date on ring prong repair maintenance! If you have something that needs work, comment below.

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