A piece of high-end jewelry is something one can admire for decades—perhaps even centuries as families pass jewelry down to future generations. However, even the highest quality pieces can lose a stone. So, what causes diamonds to fall out of their settings, and what can you do to prevent recurrence?
Allow us to enumerate the causes of diamonds falling out and the steps you should take to keep each stone in place.
Reasons Why Your Diamond Fell Out of Its Setting
- Damage to the gemstone
Though diamonds are one of the hardest substances, they can break with enough force or when subjected to impact. A buildup of pressure inside a stone (known as strain) can also result in the diamond breaking to let the pressure escape.
- Damage to the setting
Accidental damage to the setting is the primary cause of missing stones in jewelry. The claws or prongs holding a gemstone in place can bend or break depending on the severity of the damage. Over time, thin and, therefore, weaker claws become more prone to damage.
- Loose gemstone
A diamond can be loose in its setting for a long time without you knowing. Since diamonds are a hard substance, a loose stone will continue to wear the setting down until it eventually falls out and goes missing.
- Wrong gemstone size
If your gemstone is too small or too large for the prongs, it will affect how secure the stone is. In particular, a small diamond can easily fall out while a big diamond can put additional stress on the claws, damaging the setting.
- Worn ring setting
Claws and settings are prone to wear, especially in pieces used regularly. It will take a significant number of years, but platinum and gold jewelry do thin over time.
- Resizing jewelry
In engagement rings, tension settings use compression to secure a center diamond, making the stone appear as if it is floating between two metals. These rings, as well as rings with gemstone shoulders, are at greater risk of loss when resized.
- Cleaning and polishing
Ultrasonic cleaning devices paired with intensive polishing may harm jewelry settings and cause diamonds and gemstones to loosen. Whether you clean and polish your jewelry yourself or have them done by a professional, ensure to check your pieces following any cleaning and refinishing work. This is especially true if it has been years since you last cleaned your jewelry. Grime, oil, and dirt can adhere within a setting, and removing them may cause diamonds and other stones to loosen.
What to Do if a Diamond Falls Out of Its Setting
Missing a diamond is like missing a tooth—unless you have poor eyesight, it is impossible not to notice. Knowing your jewelry is now “incomplete,” you may lose interest in wearing it and banish it inside your jewelry box. Instead of letting your beautiful piece of jewelry collect dust, take it to a reputable repair shop.
If you manage to locate the detached diamond, bring it to your jeweler. The process of resetting a gemstone typically involves repairing the damaged prongs and placing the stone back into the setting.
For diamonds and gemstones that vanished into thin air, you will have to pay for a replacement. Most jewelry boutiques have loose diamonds available for purchase, which you can fit into the space where your stone fell out. However, for rubies, emeralds, and other gemstones, a jeweler may need to source the proper stone. This process might take some time, but it will be worth it in the end.
For the repair or maintenance of pieces from top jewelry brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Bvlgari–you can book appointments for repairs.
Insurance policies are a godsend when diamonds fall out of their settings. Insuring fine jewelry is always a good investment since diamonds and other gemstones are some of the finest, most expensive things in life. However, if you had a tight budget or did not think to insure your jewelry upon purchase, then it is twice or thrice as important to keep a watchful eye on them.
How to Avoid Losing Diamonds From Your Jewelry
There are many ways to check for loose diamonds, particularly in engagement rings. Try the tips below to determine whether your stone is safe and secured or in need of maintenance.
- If your stone is in a four- or six-prong setting: Place the edge of your fingernail along the diamond’s girdle (outward unpolished edge) and gently move the stone back and forth or up and down. If your stone makes the slightest movement, it is likely loose.
- Place your jewelry between two fingers and hold it close to your ear. Then, use your index finger to tap the bottom of the stone. If you can hear the diamond shifting and hitting the surface of the metal prongs, then your stone is loose.
- Hold the diamond near a bright light source and use a pair of tweezers to push the stone downward. If the light reflecting off the stone shifts in any way, the stone is loose.
In general, you should have your jewelry professionally serviced every six months, even if there is nothing loose or broken.
You should also remove your diamond jewelry while doing housework, chores, or playing sports to reduce its susceptibility to damage and missing stones.
What to Do With Loose Diamonds and Damaged Jewelry
Are you no longer interested in repairing your damaged diamond jewelry? Let Biltmore Loan and Jewelry buy them! You can sell diamonds online with these quick and easy steps:
- Fill out our online appraisal form
- Wait for our response within 24 hours
- Answer additional questions about your diamond jewelry (if needed)
- Complete the transaction by visiting our office in Phoenix or Scottsdale
- Receive your money upfront
For competitive prices and professional GIA valuations, choose Biltmore Loan and Jewelry.