Jewelry Repairs & Maintenance
Just like anything precious, a ring is subject to the normal wear and tear of everyday activities. Some people are harder on their jewelry, and others may wear things more gently. Over time, a prong may loosen, the metal will scratch, or a ring could get a dent with a heavy blow, etc. These things are not due to poor workmanship, it is just normal wear and tear and should be expected over time.
*Jewelry is meant to be decorative, not indestructible. For more tips on how to properly care for your MiaDonna fine jewelry, please review the Cleaning & Care instructions.
All precious metals are vulnerable to scratching, regardless of whether it is platinum, palladium or gold. Unfortunately, these metals aren't scratch resistant. The normal abrasions of clothing, sheets, seatbelts, paper and towels, to name a few culprits, all work to gradually wear away the metal in our jewelry. Rings are especially susceptible to damage as they endure all of the wear and tear that our hands do. Normal wear on the surface of a ring will include superficial scuff marks that can be made by hard leather, wood and plastic (such as purses, briefcases, dishes, steering wheels) and small dents made by steel objects (such as doorknobs, pots & pans, car doors).
Did you know that Platinum, while incredibly durable, is also malleable? It is hard to say, for sure, the exact event or chain of events that would cause a Platinum ring to change shape. A force has to be applied to the side of the ring to bend the form; in the activities of daily life somehow a pressure is put on the ring, either a single pressure or a repeated pressure of less force over a period of time. This can happen from something as simple as a tight grip on the steering wheel of an automobile or similar experience. Once the bend begins, and the circle is no longer a circle, the bending is much easier to continue to an oval or triangular shape. Most people do not remember when something like this happens, as these are events which are not significant enough at the time to be noticed. It’s important to note this is not a quality issue with the metal as most often it does not take an extreme and memorable event to do the damage.
When comparing hardness, the Diamond Hybrid® is a 9.1 on the MOHS and a natural diamond is a 10. While we have perfected the optical properties of our beautiful simulant, we have not been able to perfect the hardness just yet, so our stones are the same hardness a precious gem, such as a Sapphire, and should be treated the same. Being a 9.1 on the MOHS means that our Diamond Hybrid® is incredibly hard, but it is not indestructible and is susceptible to the same types of peril that could damage any fine jewelry with earth-mined stones. If your ring/stone comes into contact with a surface with just the right amount of force then it is possible that your stone will chip or crack, and if it comes into repetitive contact it could scratch or abrade.
Please note: Even though a natural diamond is the hardest substance known to man, it can still be damaged if struck hard and against the grain. A diamond's crystal structure is similar to a grain of wood; there are growth lines as well as a "hard" and a "soft" direction. A blow against the grain of a diamond can cause it to crack, chip, split or even shatter.
Abrading (Diamond Hybrid and Lab-Created Gemstones)
While abrading is not common and does not happen to everyone, when it does happen it is considered normal wear and tear, as abrading only happens when the stone has repeatedly been rubbed or bumped against a surface.
The amount of time a ring is owned and the amount of time a ring is worn does not dictate whether or not a stone will loosen or how often it may occur. Mounting a diamond is a balance between security and beauty, so a center stone may loosen from time to time which is not considered uncommon.
Please note, when a stone does loosen, it is something that needs to be taken care of right away to maintain the security of the stone. We never recommend touching or moving a stone with your finger. This can actually cause the loosening to worsen and may damage the stone.
Testing for loose stones
Generally when are checking to see if a diamond is loose in the setting, we hold it by the base of the band close to our ear and gently shake it - if we can hear a rattling noise then the diamond is loose and needs to be sent in for tightening.
Most often when a center stone loosens it is a Princess Cut; this is due to the sharp corners of this cut, which require a 'softer' setting for protection of the stone, should you accidentally bump your mounting.
Additional information on the ‘main factors’ that contribute to a loose stone:
- Amount of wear - While there is no formula, a ‘rule of thumb’ is...a ring worn regularly will need stone tightening/maintenance more than a piece of jewelry worn a few times a year. Most people require center stone tightening every six months to a year for a ring worn regularly. Those that wear their rings more infrequently usually need it once a year or once every two years.
- Style of setting - Some rings styles can cause stones to loosen more frequently, such as a tension setting, different styles of prong heads, or high profile settings (where the center stone sits high off the finger).
- Size - larger center stones (those over 1.0ct) tend to loosen more often than smaller ones due the increased likelihood of an accidental bump/hit. Most of the time this happens without the wearer even noticing.
- Shape - Princess cuts loosen more often than other shapes; this is due to the sharp corners which require a 'softer' setting for protection of the stone, should you accidentally bump your mounting.
Accenting stones falling out
Some people are harder on their jewelry and unfortunately cause damage sometimes without even realizing it. Jewelry is meant to be decorative, not indestructible; it can be hard to protect our beautiful jewelry, especially if we are not aware of the damage we are doing. Most commonly, diamonds fall out of their mountings when people hit their rings inadvertently. Some settings are not as sturdy as others, and a stronger bump can knock a stone out of its mounting.
Even if your setting is designed to be relatively secure, as is the case with prong and bezel settings, you are not 100% protected. With time, metal wears down, and mounting parts become less durable. For example, if the prongs on your ring are too worn, they can bend, loosening your stone(s), which may cause it to fall out next time you hit your ring.
Pavé or Micropavé Settings
Pavé style rings are more delicate designs, and although these pieces can be worn on a daily basis, they should be worn with more care than non-pavé jewelry. Many pavé settings use indentations in the band rather than more secure prongs; it is natural for a stone to fall out occasionally. Pavé style rings may need more maintenance than designs with more secure setting styles.
Ring setting warranty
You receive great warranty coverage on your Diamond Hybrid center stone. However, we do not offer a warranty on the mounting itself. Most jewelers that offer this kind of warranty require you to bring your ring in every 6 months for maintenance. Because we are 100% web based, in order for us to offer this same type of warranty, this would mean our customers would have to ship their rings into us twice a year, which would cost about a $100.00 in shipping. Rather than make this a requirement, we have opted to offer all maintenance and repairs at cost. We have found that our customers spend far less by just sending into us ‘as needed’ versus spending the $100 per year on shipping costs.
That being said, we are happy to offer free cleaning services as well as complimentary center/side stone tightening, with the only cost to you being shipping to and from our location. Other repairs, such as accenting stone replacement, resizing, polishing, prong repair, etc. usually have costs associated with them and most often require evaluation for pricing.
Insurance: theft, loss & damage
We highly recommend that you add your rings to an existing policy or purchase insurance to cover theft, loss, damage, or disappearance. We are willing to provide you with any necessary paperwork needed in order to cover your jewelry through insurance you already pay for. For loss or theft of your Diamond Hybrid, Lab-Created Diamond, Lab-Created Gemstone, or finished good, please contact your insurance agent. If your insurance company should deny your claim, please contact us and we will do our best to help you through this process.