Jogia Diamonds' Blog

Help! My Engagement Ring is Broken!

August 11th, 2020

Every so often, one of our clients come back with their ring in need of repair. It is usually a quick fix, such as tightening the setting or bending the ring back into shape. However, what I find interesting is the reaction by our some of our clients when their ring does break. Whilst most clients are happy for us to repair their ring, some clients let their emotions get the better of them and accuse us of manufacturing a faulty ring, even when the damage is clearly their fault.

One of the most common misconceptions is that the metal and diamonds used in manufacturing fine jewellery are indestructible. However, this far from the case. One of the reasons the most popular gold and platinum alloys are used is because they are relatively easy to work with, which includes the fact that they bend easily. Similarly, whilst diamonds come in at 10 on Moh’s scale, thus are almost scratch proof, given enough force, especially on a corner, they will break. Therefore, to clear the widespread confusion, I have made a list of four reasons why an engagement ring (or any other piece of jewellery) may break.

Design Fault

With so much jewellery designed with CAD (Computer Aided Design) nowadays, it is entirely possible for design errors to occur.

When designing a ring, there are “engineering standards” that are pretty much universal amongst the industry. Most of these standards relate to the amount of metal required, thickness, width or diameter of a certain component. Therefore, if the ring is designed outside of these standards, then this may well be the cause of the ring breaking.

Likelihood of this happening: Very rare. The design process is the first step of making a bespoke engagement ring. After design, the manufacture may involve up to four more people who will generally check for anything amiss. This may also happen if the ring is entirely handmade, however, I’ve yet to meet a bench jeweller who does not make their rings overly bulky.

Manufacturing Fault

These faults occur during manufacturing. Some examples include:

  • Bad solder join, causing parts to break off.
  • Bad setting job – may cause the claw to break or easily catch on clothes.
  • Bad metal – either contaminated or badly cast metal.

Likelihood of this happening: Rare. Whilst not unheard of, such mistakes are usually easily identified during manufacture and then quality assurance. Even if missed, should the ring come back for repair, they are usually very easily identified. In my experience, these faults usually occur when manufacture is rushed due to deadline, or the client pressuring the manufacturer.

Design Not Suitable for Wearer

The overwhelming trend nowadays is for rings that are narrow and dainty as possible. The truth is, there are a lot of people spending hours drooling over jewellery seen on Instagram and Pinterest which some may say is way to dainty to be used for an engagement ring that is worn on a daily basis. Whilst 20 years ago, a 2.5mm wide band would have been considered narrow, now people are requesting 1.5mm wide bands. This ultimately leads to some people buying engagement rings that, for whatever reason, do not suit their lifestyle and come back for repair over and over again.

Likelihood of this happening: Somewhat common. Whilst I know a lot of bench jewellers who flat out refuse to make anything that is narrow and dainty (in an attempt to avoid dealing with repairs), the truth is that this trend will likely continue for many years to come and therefore, jewellers must cater to the trend. Whilst this “ring breaking behaviour” can usually be identified and stopped, we do get one or two re-models each year where we are simply making the band thicker or wider as the ring has previously come back for repair multiple times due to mis-use.

Accidental Damage and Wear and Tear

This is by far the most common cause of damage. In most cases of accidental damage, I suspect the damage to be the result of multiple incidents, rather than just one “knock”. Likewise, given that alloys used in fine jewellery are fairly resistant to corrosion, what is commonly known as “wear and tear” is usually caused by multiple incidents of accidental damage.

Above: A ring bent out of shape. The client obviously damaged it but blamed us for the damage!

Likelihood of this happening: Common. As mentioned earlier, some people think that metal and diamonds are indestructible when that is quite clearly not the case. In my experience, a lot of accidental damage occurs in the first year of wear (surprise, surprise!).

What to do in the Case of a Broken Engagement Ring

Firstly, don’t stress or get upset. It is not the end of the world and is usually easily fixed.

Secondly, take it straight back to the jeweller who you bought it from. Given they are reputable and experienced, the jeweller will be able to easily assess the damage, determine the costs involved and subsequently repair it.

Whilst not common in our industry, we do not charge for minor repairs (eg: claw tightening), and charge only cost price for more complex repairs.

How to Prevent Damage

It is important to realise that it is not good practice to wear your ring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Whilst more specific advice exists, my very general advice is to not wear your ring when:

  • The activity puts pressure between your hand and a hard surface.
  • The activity carries any risk your ring may get knocked.
  • You would not be able to easily find your ring if it comes of your finger.
  • You are more than three months pregnant.

Technology Revolutionising Jewellery Manufacture

October 22nd, 2018

10 years ago, I wrote about handmade engagement rings. Back then, in times some may say were simpler, jewellers could merely listen to what the client wanted, or prepare a hand drawn sketch before manufacturing a piece of jewellery. During the handmade manufacturing process, seemingly minor details of the design may have been overlooked – attributed to “jewellers discretion”. When finished, the client was presented with the piece of jewellery. Whilst most of the time the client loved the finished product, sometimes the whole piece needed to be remade due to a minor detail. However, as with a lot of things in life, technology is changing how business is done and how products are manufactured and bought. Gone are the days of hand drawn sketches and handmade jewellery. Nowadays, CAD/CAM is what fine jewellery consumers are demanding.

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Ditching White Gold for Platinum

October 10th, 2018

In 2013, I wrote about the differences between white gold and platinum. Back then, 18kt white gold was still cheaper than platinum, however, for the past four years, platinum prices have been steadily falling and have come down to record lows compared with gold.

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White Gold vs Platinum – What Jewellers Wont Tell You

June 6th, 2013

Last week I received brochures from both The Platinum Guild and World Gold Council, espousing the benefits of their respective metals. However, during the purchasing process many consumers take advice from a jewellery sales person and end up bereft of any useful facts on the subject.
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The Death of Australian Diamond Grading Laboratories

May 13th, 2013

The early to mid-2000s proved to be the heyday for Australian diamond grading laboratories. At its peak, there were five major labs – ADGL, Auscert, Bauer Gem Labs, DCLA and GSL. Diamonds certified by these five labs dominated the Australian diamond industry – from chain stores to high end retailers. Nowadays, the popularity of these certificates have dramatically declined, at least one of the aforementioned labs has closed and no new labs have opened, including the much hyped, or some say maligned, EGL Australia.
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A Couple of Changes

February 3rd, 2013

Over the past year, we’ve been taking heed of customer feedback, and today, we have introduced a couple of changes.
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Analysis of Diamond Analysis Equipment

October 31st, 2012

For nearly six years now, we have been analysing every single certified diamond we sell above 0.30ct. This analysis is designed to be complementary to GIA or AGS lab certificates, and includes a photo of the diamond, an Ideal-Scope or AGS ASET image, OGI Firetrace output, a hearts image and a couple of videos. All of this analysis can be seen for any one of our Crossfire or Signature Series diamonds.
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What I’ve Known for A Long Time But Meanwhile, Poor Hadassin Get Stuck in the Mud

May 24th, 2012

Last week, a furore erupted in the Australian jewellery industry over The JAA promoting Rapnet. Essentially, this promotion of Rapnet (which is a website which allows buyers and sellers from all around the world to trade diamonds) was seen by many as a way of bypassing local diamond wholesalers and giving business to diamond vendors overseas – certainly not what the JAA should want to promote?!
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Why Jewellery Valuations Are Worthless

January 26th, 2011

A recent editorial in Jeweller Magazine calls for the banning of jewellery valuations on new jewellery, arguing that a piece of jewellery bought for $700 one day can then be mysteriously valued at $4000 the next day. The article then goes on to say that jewellery is the only everyday consumer product that valuations exist for, since TVs or furniture don’t have valuations.
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Five Myths About Fancy Cut Diamonds

December 5th, 2010

A fancy cut diamond, is defined as anything other than a standard round brilliant. The most popular include: Princess Cut, Emerald Cut, Asscher Cut, Cushion Cut, Pear Shape, Oval Shape, Radiant Cut, Heart Shape and Marquise Cut. However, many diamond buyers are still confused, especially when it comes to the cut quality of fancy shapes, as to what they should buy.
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