I haven’t been wearing my wedding ring for the past month, because my diamond is loose. That got me thinking… Did I look after it well enough? Why is the diamond loose? Can it be fixed? I spoke to Nadine Westermann from Tailored by Heart and Stunning Silver Jewellery in Pretoria, and she shed some light on the matter.
Choose the right diamond ring setting
Although my wedding ring’s diamond did not necessarily fall out, it probably would have, had I not noticed that it was loose in its setting. It did fall out once – just after we got married – when I dropped it on a semi-hard floor and we had to have it reset.
According to Westermann, wear and tear is one of the reasons a diamond might loosen in its setting. The ring’s claws become too thin and they can’t hold the diamond that well anymore.
As you wear your ring on a daily basis, you will evidently bump it against something here and there. This causes pressure on the claws holding the diamond steady, sometimes making the claws give way or move out of place. That is why a tension setting will often see diamonds loosening and why Westermann suggests that diamonds should always be seated within the design.
Choose a reliable jeweller
Truth is, I haven’t been getting my ring cleaned or checked as often as I should, because I find it difficult to drop it off and leave it with a complete stranger for an hour, let alone days. You hear horror stories out there about diamonds being swapped for Moissanites and I definitely don’t want to fall in that trap. Westermann suggests that you opt for a jeweller who has something to lose. Choose big names like Jenna Clifford or CH Diamonds, or opt for small businesses like Tailored by Heart – someone you have a good feeling about.
Know your wedding ring (and your diamond)
Westermann says you should always check your ring and your diamond with the jeweller you’re entrusting with it. Check it when you hand it over, and check it again when you get it back. Know your diamond’s size and unique inclusions, and check that it’s still there when your ring is returned.
(I bet you’ll see some proper diamonds on the Real Housewives of Pretoria’s hands. Read all about the brand-new kykNET series here.)
Understand the cleaning process
Depending on the metal of your ring, jewellers would usually put it in a solution that dissolves the grime that’s gathered on your ring over time. Tailored by Heart cleans rings in an ammonia and ultrasonic solution, with a special machine that vibrates, removing all the dirt from your wedding ring. During this process, any loose diamonds or stones would fall into the solution, keeping it safe and making it appear clean and spotless.
Your wedding ring is then dried thoroughly, and all diamonds and stones are inspected to ensure that there are no risks of them falling out.
White gold rings are rhodium plated again and scratches are removed with a soft sandpaper, after which it gets polished for that shiny appearance.
The cleaning process should not take longer than an hour or two. It’s usually the bottleneck to get your ring on the bench that causes the process to take longer.
Know how to clean your wedding ring at home
You can use a soft toothbrush (like those we buy for babies) and Sunlight Liquid to clean your wedding ring. White toothpaste also works wonders for any silver jewellery. Merely rinse it with Sunlight Liquid afterwards and your jewellery will be good as new.
Alternatively, pour 5ml Jeyes Ammonia into a cup of hot water and rinse your ring in it.
Another recipe to use for jewellery cleaning, is to take a Pyrex dish and line it with aluminium foil. Place your silver jewellery inside and pour baking soda, a little salt and boiled water over it. After you let it soak for a few minutes, take a soft toothbrush and white toothpaste, brush it clean and rinse.
A polishing cloth and polishing solution also work well for simple silver jewellery like pendants.
Westermann says she would not recommend using jewellery cleaner. It’s supposed to be used as a jewellery dip, but people tend to leave it for twenty minutes or more and it then damages the metal. If you do decide to use jewellery cleaner, she says you should ensure that you only put true metals in it, and literally just dip it.
Warning: Do not pour boiling water over jewellery like a wedding ring with small diamonds or stones, as they will fall out.