As a jeweler, a large portion of the repairs that I perform on Women's Rings, are re-tipping prongs. To a lesser extent, prong replacement.
I like to take time with a customer and try educate them on caring for, as in this example, their engagment ring. A majority of engagement rings are set with a center diamond. Over time, wearing the ring every day, working, playing etc., the gold or platinum tips of the prongs, that cover the diamond are going to wear off. This happens very gradually, and is almost not noticeable to the person wearing the ring.
I ask that every woman who wears a ring on a daily basis, should have the ring checked annually to find out if the prongs or tips are starting to wear.
The dangers of not checking, are of course that the diamond or gemstone may fall out of the ring, and become lost forever. Obviously, it is much less expensive to have your ring re-tipped then it his to have a gemstone or diamond replaced. Even if you have insurance, remember, the insurance company is going to ask you many questions about how you wear your jewelry, if you've taken the time to have it checked, and to prove that it was lost. The latter, mostly because of fraud.
So, what is re-tipping? The process of re-tipping prongs on a ring is very simple. As the gold wears off the top of the prong, that covers the diamond or gemstone, a jeweler can add gold to the warn prong tip, building it back up to its original level. This adding of material, allows the stone to be held in place, as if it were new, or even better some time.
Yes, there are times that re-tipping prongs is not practical and any good jeweler, including myself, will explain why, and go over the costs of replacing a 4 or 6 prong head with you.
When is re-tipping good?
Re-tipping a prong or as much as all the prongs is still less expensive in most cases, due to the fact that it is less labor for a jeweler then it is to replace the entire head. If your prongs are worn out to about 30% of the material remaining (as a whole), and the gemstone or diamond is seated and secure, it is always a better option to re-tip. If you have a solitaire diamond that has six prongs, and all of them are worn, and have become bent or damaged, they it is likely that you will need to have the entire gold or platinum head replaced.
What does it Cost?
This is almost impossible to asses in this article. However, keep I'm mind that re-tipping a ring, can cost as little as 15% of the cost of a head replacement to as much as 75%. A good, reputable jeweler can examine your jewelry, and review your needs with you. This usually is a free service to customers, we never charge for it at our store, and a quick way to know if you have any damage or wear to something so precious to you.
Come visit Rocks & Clocks Custom Jewelers, and we'll review your ring or other items with you. Our review and cleaning will not cost you a dime, and is safe peace of mind.