August 21, 2013
Our Verdict? Frenemy: a blend of friend and enemy
I purchased a ring for my wife’s birthday and has has worn it about 10 times but it has been a year.Its a small stone that fell out but they said their policy is to bring in the ring every 6 months and have it inspected and if I had done that they would have fixed it.
I took it to another jeweler and had it repaired and while he was cleaning it another stone fell out. I just believe they sell ***, the ring was $1000.00 and if they can’t sell jewelry that the stones don’t fall out with limited or even full ware, they should go out of business. I am telling everyone I know about they crappy policy.
My wife has 20 fine pieces of jewelry and if it had all been purchased from (XYZ JEWELERS) she would not have time for anything else but inspecting jewelry. I hope they go out of business.
I went to go pick up my wedding band yesterday, and they offered to clean my engagement ring for me. Then there was a commotion in the back of the jewelry store and they asked me how long I’ve had the ring etc. I told them a little under a year. Then they told me that one of the little diamonds in the pave setting fell out and they couldn’t find it in the filter. I know the jeweler who cleaned my ring isn’t responsible for my ring since it’s only been a year and it shouldn’t have fallen out from a steam cleaning.
The jeweler where we got the ring from isn’t open today (Monday) and I only have 4 days to get my engagement ring fixed!! So are they responsible for the diamond? Luckily our ring is insured, but who’s responsible? What should I do?! Nothing is going right!!
Just so we all know what kind of ring it is most likely to happen to: Micropave rings. They are super popular, and have teeny tiny prongs that hold the diamonds in the ring. (see right)
I always like to read comments after a heated complaint, and there was quite a range of responses ranging from commiseration, insurance claims, insurance fraud, and general bad-mouthing. I DID like this one to a point…
Pave settings, however, are notorious for losing stones, no matter how long (or short) a time you’ve worn them. Can you check with your jeweler to see how they actually cleaned the ring? If they put it in some sort of ultrasonic machine (which uses tiny, fast vibrations to knock dirt and grime loose into the cleaning solution),
it is almost certainly the jeweler’s fault — any jeweler worth their salt should know not to put pave in an ultrasonic machine.The tiny vibrations can easily knock the stones right out of the pave setting. If they cleaned it more gently, then it was probably about to fall out anyway and not the jeweler’s fault.
It’s hard to say without knowing the details of your setting, but sometimes the maker of the setting will replace the pave stones for free or a nominal cost, since they expect that a few will fall out sooner or later. Check with whomever you bought the ring from to see if this is true.If it’s going to cost less than your insurance deductible to get it fixed, there’s no sense in putting a claim on your insurance unnecessarily.
Let’s look at this in Three Parts: Why Did This Happen? Whose Fault Is It? Ways to HELP Prevent It
- Normal Wear & Tear: Did you know that the prongs are thinner than paper clips and made out of a relatively soft metal (white gold, gold, silver, etc) Each time you wear it, the prongs (especially those on the outer edges and at the tallest points) are getting worn down fractionally. Similar to the wear and tear on tires. No one expects tires to last 30 years, right?
- Common Occurrence: The prong was damaged previously (by wear and tear or hard hit) and was unnoticed because a build-up of lotion, soap, oils, etc was holding it in place like a glue. The heated jewelry cleaning solution loosened the lotion build-up and the stone fell out.
- Common Occurrence: No one, including the salesperson who took in your repair noticed that the diamond was missing because the spot was filled with white paint, lotion, etc. and wasn’t immediately noticeable. It was missing before you came in.
- Prong Pulled/Pushed: Don’t stop wearing sweaters, but prongs can over time get lifted by snagging on blankets, sweaters, your hair etc. A strong enough pull can lift the prong off the surface of the bezel facet,, releasing your diamond
- Thin walls/prongs: many rings on the market are priced to sell. Not necessarily priced to last. The thinner the metal holding the diamonds, the more prone to damage/wear and tear.
- Excessive maintenance: Extremes are problems in all walks of life, and jewelry care is no different. Excessive, repeated polishing can expedite the wear and tear process from gradual to moderate. Don’t worry about occasional clean & polishes. but also don’t get your ring polished every day.
- Extreme ring sizing: When you adjust the angle of the ring shank (up OR down) by a lot, the angle of the prongs also changes. Sometimes, stones will loosen following a sizing of more than 2 sizes either direction. Many jewelers take precautions to prevent this from happening, but no two jobs are the same, and many times, they cannot make any guarantees.
- Everyone’s Frenemy: the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is a standard part of any jeweler’s cleaning regimen. The wave shake gunk out from behind stones and can speed up the pre-repair cleaning process exponentially. Many people do not realize that jewelry must be squeaky clean prior to heating (with the torch). If it is not completely clean, oils and dirt can “burn” onto the backsides of the stones and inside tiny crevices in the jewelry. Without the ultrasonic cleaning, many jewelry pieces would take days longer to repair or service due only to the cleaning time required. During the gunk shake-up, diamonds can also shake loose and fall to the bottom of the cleaner. Ultrasonics are a necessary evil and often paired with diamond’s #2 enemy (the steamer) which uses high powered jets of steam to remove debris from jewelry. This was probably the real cause of the commotion in the above example as a diamond bounced off the floor and everyone crawled around trying to find it.
It would be great if we could simply point a finger at one party, time and time again. Here is a general breakdown of where fault CAN lie. Each case is individual, and with all human conflict, usually a combination of faults.
- The Jeweler: whether they cleaned it, repaired it, sold it, or looked at it, the jeweler gets a lot of blame in any “diamond fell out” situation. The jeweler is occasionally guilty of extreme sizing problems and overzealous polishing.
- The Manufacturer: Thin walls and teeny prongs are made with the minimum amount of gold to keep their costs competitive with other manufacturers, whose goal is to keep their jewelry affordable enough for end users despite rising metals costs (outside of their control).
- The Consumer: Wearing delicate jewelry while very active (think landscaping) can cause unusual wear and tear issues. Consumers should also limit chemical exposure (cosmetics, cleaners, bleach, and pools) which can weaken metals by eating little holes in it.
- No One’s Fault: Wear & Tear is normal, and just like computers and cars require regular maintenance to keep them performing their best, jewelry also needs occasional check-ups. Accidents happen. Consumers and Jewelers both can get in a rush and forget to thoroughly inspect items prior to cleaning, and it can lead to upset all the way around.
- The Salesperson: I mention this as a separate entity because many times, a sales associate in a jewelry store will have little to no training on jewelry maintenance, repairs, diamonds, etc. It is their job to record client information and sell jewelry. Just like a waiter is not at fault for salty food, a salesperson usually had no hand in your repair. At the same time, if your salesperson is rude or unsympathetic to the unfortunate-ness of your situation, you do have a right to be upset about their handling of the issue.
Nothing is going to be 100% fail proof, but there are several things both jewelers and consumers can do to lesson the occurrence and the impact of losing a stone.
- The Consumer: Maintain your jewelry’s integrity by removing it during heavy activity & chemical exposure
- Yearly Prong Checks: by a trained jeweler (note NOT a salesperson). A trained jeweler will be able to identify heavy wear and can suggest preventative measures to keep jewelry looking its best. It is less expensive to re-tip an existing prong than to replace a missing/broken prong + missing diamond
- Be aware that shared prongs and or thin construction can lead to more stone issues if you tend to be hard on your jewelry
- If you have inherited a ring that you plan to put into daily wear, take the time and initial expense to get it inspected by a trained jeweler, so it will last another generation of wear
- Make sure your jeweler carefully inspects your ring in front of you prior to taking it to the back for cleaning or service. It prevents any weird feelings about whether stones were missing prior to drop off, or any prong damage/wear can be identified proactively.
In the end, it is not a complete disaster. Most jewelry stores across the country will replace diamonds and reset them for less than $50.
A tip: if your stone comes out during cleaning or service work at your local jeweler’s, try to understand it is a bad day for them as well. Most jewelry stores that have on site repair centers can replace the diamond quickly and reasonably. Some jewelers will give you a discounted repair fee if they feel they were somewhat responsible (ie. did not check prongs prior to cleaning) Remember it is easier to lure flies with honey…
If a diamond falls out while you are outside a jewelry store, try to locate it. If you can find it, it will save you the cost of a new stone at the jeweler’s. You can bring it in by using a piece of scotch tape to secure it to a piece of paper.
This leads into the next issue of whether to claim it on your insurance (usually jewelry is covered as a rider on your homeowners or renters policy). Most clients have reported that only center stones are usually worth the hassle of submitting claims to their insurance company.
Losing a diamond is one of the most emotional problems consumers face at the jeweler’s, and there is a lot of emotional misinformation out there. Hope this helps you keep your cool if it happens to you.
July 5, 2013
Q: Can I add a halo setting to my current engagement ring?
A: Yes, there are now peg settings that have a halo on them for almost all diamond shapes. Some have diamonds on the sides and some just on top. The cost of adding a halo is usually under $1000 (depending on stone size, number of stones, etc.). It usually takes a week to complete (ordering the parts, diamonds, and setting)
Q. My watch stem fell out. Is this worth fixing?
A. It depends on you. A detent repair is usually around $75. It can be more if you have lost the crown, stem, or both. Most of you know we run on the practical side of things. We think watch repairs (in general) are best suited to fancier/expensive watches or watches with sentimental value (Grandpa’s watch). Expect watch repairs in general to take a month or so to complete depending on parts availability.
Q: I saw something on Pinterest. . .
A: While this was not exactly a question, Yes. We can make this. Look around for any scrap gold or diamonds you want to use in your project.
Q: How should I take care of silver jewelry
A: Store it away from moisture (kitchen and bathroom) and avoid chemicals (lotion, cosmetics, perfume, bleach of any kind). We use polishing cloths for routine maintenance, and a stronger silver cleaner for deep cleaning. If you don’t want to hassle with it, bring it into the shop, and we can restore it for you. Trick of the trade: store in a ziplock bag to reduce future tarnishing.
March 21, 2013
Have you gone through a recent bout of spring cleaning? Here are a few quick ideas to update your look for spring keeping your budget in mind.
The side ways cross necklace has been a pretty hot trend lately. Your jeweler should be able to drill a hole in the bottom of your childhood cross and attach it to a chain where it sits on the side or in the center of the necklace. Smaller crosses work best for this type of project. You will see this trend with curved crosses as well as straight ones. Don’t try bending your cross to get this look though. If you have the cross and the chain, this project should take one to two business days and cost less than $50.
Another trend is combining tiny charms (that have meaning) on a single chain. This can help smaller pieces (think tiny birthstone charms, puffed hearts, pearl pendants, etc) have more of an impact. Combine sizes, metal colors, shapes, etc to give depth.
If you have some diamonds that are too small to be “impressive” on their own, consider adding them to necklace as stations. The chain can be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet (if you don’t have many) and you can use contrasting metal colors (like rose or yellow) to add interest. Uneven spacing will look more artistic than even spacing. Doubling the chain or combining them with other layered necklaces can also add to the look.
December 29, 2012
Following any big holiday, we see an influx of people looking to “adjust” their gifts. Here are some of the most common issues we see after Christmas:
Problem: New Ring is too big/too small
Solution: Ring Sizing or ring guard. Price will vary depending on the thickness of the metal and what kind of metal it is (silver is less than gold. gold less than platinum). Sizing up costs more than sizing down. Problem/sensitive stones (amythest, citrine, tanzanite, opal, turqouise, mother of pearl, emeralds, etc) may have an additional cost if the jeweler needs to remove them or use a more elaborate set-up to protect the stones from damage from the jewelers torch $$
Ring Guards are a less expensive version (at time of publication $5) and take two minutes to install. They are slightly adjustable, but they are not as comfortable as getting the ring to the right size. $
Problem: Chain is too short/too long
Solution: Obviously, we can replace the chain with one of the proper length. If your chain is too long, it can be shortened (same day usually) for $15-30. We do this by removing links and then soldering the chain back together. If it is a round chain, we usually removed the endcap (endpiece) and shorten it seamlessly. $$
If your chain is too short, we can add an extender to the back in the form of a chain segment. If you want the chain to match exactly, we can order in a bracelet of the same link to work from or we might
have your link in stock. This may not be the best choice if you have short hair as the chain extender will show in the back. Round chains (rope, singapore, snake, and box) do not have a way to seamlessly add matching links, so in these cases many people choose to replace or add a standard extension chain to it. Price on this depends on how much chain (length and width) you are adding. We might be able to use one of your old chains, bracelets, anklets, etc to do the extension. Bring it in and ask $$$
Problem: Pendant won’t go through the chain I want to use.
Solution: We are practical types, so we usually recommend the path of least cost to you. In most cases, this means that we will adjust the pail of your pendant. There are cases where we remove the endpiece to your chain to slip it on (this means it won’t accidentally come off, but you won’t be able to switch pendants this way) Cost will vary depending on whether we are simply re-shaping an end or removing and re-soldering. Larger replacement bails are also available. $$
Problem: Tiny, Tangly Chains
Solution: Tiny chains come with many pendants or are available at promo (cheap) prices so people aren’t overwhelmed with a pendant price AND a chain price (it can work out to doubling the cost for a nice chain). To keep a tiny chain untangled, store it clasped. Storing the chain hanging (a panel nail on the inside of your closet wall will do) or notch a business card/scrap of paper and wrap the chain around it to prevent tangling when not wearing it. There are several chains that resist tangling more than others. If you are thinking of replacing your chain, we usually recommend at least a 1mm diameter. Replacement chains (appx 18′ with a 1mm diameter) run from $100-250 depending on the style/weight in gold. Silver replacement chains are from $15-35.
Problem: Watch too big
Solution: We can adjust the links of most watches while you wait for a flat fee ($5 at time of writing this). Notice we did not mention lengthening watches…the only way to handle this is for you to find your replacement links (look in your button drawer) or for us to replace the watchband (leather runs around $25 while a stainless or two tone option runs around $35)
Problem: What are all these dials for. Is my watch even running?
Solution: Everyone loves the “complicated” look of a chronograph. First things first. A chronograph is like a stopwatch. It has two second hands. The general one is in one of the small dials. The large second hand only sweeps when you push the top button on your watch. Here are a couple diagrams for your convenience on the most common issue peple have with resetting their chrono.
December 14, 2012
Our new commercial for Rose Diamonds Custom Design & Repair in Springfield MO.
November 27, 2012
This comes up quite often since we do our fair share of gold buying these days. As people clean out their jewelry bin of broken pieces, tokens of past relationships, and inherited mishmash, there are inevitable leftover diamonds (usually not big ones).
Here’s some ideas:
- Add it to an existing piece of jewelry you already like (use it on the bail of a favorite pendant or add it to a cross or charm)
- Create a new piece of free form jewelry with it and partners. Jewelry has evolved. Don’t be afraid to combine stones from separate pieces–think “all my grandparents” ring
- Add as a charm to a bracelet/anklet
- small stones can make a big impact in stacking rings
August 3, 2012
We have a healthy collection of jewelry on consignment from local collections, so we decided to create a separate gallery for their pictures and descriptions. Our main website here will remain an educational site. Feel free to peruse the selections periodically as they will be changing over time.
Consignment questions? Just Ask! 417-823-3778 main, 417-883-5644 RD2, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The new site also details Options B and C.
July 27, 2012
the addition of Pintrest, people are becoming more design conscious. With all of the drool worthy pins out there, it can make a diamond ring you received a decade or so ago look tiny. Thus, the need for an upgrade.
Not everyone has the budget to replace a diamond with a larger one. If you do, I usually recommend you go up by at least a full millimeter so you can SEE the difference since you are paying the difference. A 1/4 carat to a 1/3 carat is hard to tell apart unless you have your calipers on you… Remember, carat refers to weight, not size, so not all 1 carat diamonds are the same diameter. Old diamond (they are all old technically) can be moved over as a side stone or made into a pendant.
It may be that you do not WANT to replace your original diamond at all. It has been my experience that men are many times more sentimental about keeping the same diamond throughout the marriage. Not necessariy because they are being cheapo, but because they beleive in “luck” and “streaks.” Ask a man to tell you about the time he wore the same socks to every ball game for an entire season without washing them…
To preserve the peace without breaking the bank, there are several ways to boost your original diamond’s “presence.”
- Add a halo. It adds approximately 2-2.5mm of sparkly to the center of your ring. I personally don’t like this term–I like “booster ring,” which sounds way more Star Wars–but who can argue with DeBeers? The final look will depend on your original diamond size. The diamond in the center can be situated above or level with the other stones. For those of you in the healthcare industry, a low bezel set center can reduce the nnormal snalling on latex gloves. Lifestyle matters too! There are halo versions with varying stone sizes (usually .01-.03ct each) This new setting can usually be added to your original engagement ring with some slight modifications. By adding the halo in white, you can update the look of a yellow gold ring and help your jewelry “blend” in more with your other sterling and white gold/platinum pieces. Also look for expanded halos and double halos. I personally find the triple halo to be too much… An expanded halo means there is empty space between yur center stone and your diamond making it look even bigger. Also check into different prong styles. Exposed mini prongs have a very different look than the channel set and cocktail setting of the past. Also there are faux channels with mini milgrain that can lend a vintage look to your ring. Some halos have stones on the sides of the halo as well. These add cost, but can be super pretty as well. Have a fancy shape diamond? Don’t worry…they make halo heads for them as well! Estimated cost $850 (depends on stone size and style of course).
- New head. Usually a thicker one, perhaps with double prongs or tulip prongs. Some people don’t like the look of halos, so they opt to boost their center diamond by thickening up their prongs. 8 prong heads (octet heads) give a designer finish to the ring that isn’t available “off the rack” at most stores. Tulip heads are named for their obvious resemblance to the flowers. Another advantage to the thicker prongs is more durability for everyday wear and tear. By the way, if you have had your ring for a decade and never had your prongs retipped or at least checked, you may want to consider a replacement head or service work (retipping) anyway. Its like getting your oil changed–not glamorous, but necessary for the longevity of your ring..Wide and narrow bezel settings also boost the “spread” of your ring, but I find they tend to make an engagement ring look more casual that its prongy cousins;) Estimated cost $150
- Have an old set of diamond earrings? Add them as side stones. Different shapes? Doesn’t matter! This one is a little more tricky as there are three options. Option one: reset original diamond and two earrings into a new setting. There are a lot of combinations to three stone rings (some of which have way more than three stones lol). If your original stone and earrings fit into a standard configuation, an off the rack mounting will do the trick. Estimated cost $750. Option 2: Add a wrap to your original ring. This usually only works with solitaires (no side stones). The wrap extends over the solitaire shank making it look (kinda) like one ring. It may need to be soldered together to prevent slippage. Estimated cost $700. Option 3: Add smaller earring diamonds in a custom bridge. This one is more tricky to estimate a price on since every ring is different. Adding them in a bypass style can also affect how your wedding band (if you have one) will fit next to your new altered ring. Estimated cost <1000 difinately, but talk to a pro about the feasibility of this one. Fun alternative to this is adding a pair of gemstones instead. Sapphires, blue topaz, etc all look gorgeous next to diamonds! Same price for labor.
- Illusion head/plate. This used to mean white gold diamond cut plate that was used to accent a teeny diamond in a pretty noticeable setting. There are more modern options to this! One option is to recreate the vintage box setting. This illusion setting makes a round stone look bigger, more square, and more vintage. Estimated cost: Starts at $150. A free form ring doesn’t make your diamonds look bigger necessarily but by combining it with other medium sized diamonds, it can make the impact of the ring look bigger. The estimated cost depends on the finished weight of the free form ring (there are stock options and custom options) and how many heads/stones need to be set.
- Narrow or pinch the shank. There is always more than one way to skin a cat, so now we will take our focus off the diamond and put it on the ring it sits in. A good rule of thumb is this: the wider the band, the small your diamond will look. Think about a shift dress. It looks like a straight column. If you were to add a belt, it would make your waist look much smaller. The same thing holds true for rings. If you use a razor (tiny narrow band) shank, your stone will look bigger no matter its size. Your jeweler will be able to tell you if your original engagement ring shank can be slimmed down (without causing stability issues) or if you can simply transfer your center head and stone to a more narrow base. Another fun alternative if you don’t want to give up a wider ring is to get a pinched shank that narrows near the stone. Use caustion because narrow rings fit differently than wider ones so make sure you are fitted for the new ring style and width (there are different s sets of sizers for this reason). Also, a narrow shank ring is more likely to rotate on the hand if you have big knuckles. Most people do…A flared or European shank may help counterbalance to solve this issue.