Buying a Beautiful Ring & Breaking It
I bought a beautiful sterling silver ring from a store online because I am absolutely in love with green amethysts, and I just had to have one.
I wore that ring for almost a year, and I guess I was a little too hard on it. One day while I was cooking, and cleaning, the stone fell right out of the ring!
Thankfully it fell straight onto the floor, so I heard it drop, and didn’t accidentally feed it to anyone. I found the pale green stone rather easily since it sparkles.
I wondered whether I should try and put it back in it’s original setting but I had wanted something that matched my other rings a little more anyways.
So I still had the sterling silver setting without a stone and I was wondering what to do with it. My amethyst was sentimental and I hadn’t wanted to lose it but other stones aren’t so precious. See what I did there?
I went on Etsy and bought a 7mm synthetic cushion cut corundum ruby from Instagems. I was so happy when I found out I could easily place orders for stones in different sizes and in a variety of cuts.
For about $10 I got a sparkly synthetic stone to put in the empty setting, and now the ring is wearable again!
It was not easy to get the stone to set in the ring. I didn’t put tape or felt on my pliers so I did end up scratching the prongs some. I would definitely recommend covering the plier tips with metal if you are attempting this. I could buff out some of the scratches on the prongs but unless you get very close it’s not that obvious. For a kids ring I’m not messing with it!
*Disclaimer: You might break off a prong, scratch your metal, scratch your gem or break it attempting this! I’ve told you some of the risks, and there is probably more I haven’t thought of. You accept the risks and consequences if you decide to attempt this project, so choose carefully!*
FYI not all metals are created equal. Sterling silver is fairly easy to work with and is relatively the same throughout. If you had a plated ring I wouldn’t attempt this because you would probably scratch the plating off during the setting process and the final result wouldn’t be ideal.
I was ok with possibly messing this up, as I couldn’t figure out what to do with the original setting other than toss it in a drawer or throw it away. I was willing to gamble that I could get the stone set it the setting without breaking a prong. If I had broken the prong it wasn’t a huge loss.
I’m not sure how well the ring will hold the stone as it dropped the original stone and my setting job certainly wasn’t professional. It certainly beats having a useless item in my jewelry box, or throwing a sterling silver setting in the trash.
I plan to give the ring to my daughter, ruby is her birthstone. Shhhhh, it’s a secret! She has a tendency to lose things anyways and this will be a relatively inexpensive practice ring for her.
I will let her know if she loses the stone it’s not a big deal because I don’t want her freaking out if my jeweler skills don’t hold up to her climbing trees with the ring on.
I can honestly say that getting a new stone, in a new color, is almost just as fun as buying a ring! So if she loses this stone we can get another, or find a different type of ”gem” to set in the ring.
Trying to set the stone had me wanting to pull my hair out a little, but as it was my 1st time that’s to be expected. I widened all the prongs enough to let the gem drop in. Then I held the stone in place while I squeezed the prongs with even pressure. If it wasn’t tight enough the stone would twist and fall out, but if you squeezed the prongs too tight the stone would also twist and fall out. I messed with it for a good 45 minutes to an hour before I felt like it was relatively secure.
I don’t think my stone placement was perfectly straight but it could have been worse! Since I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I’m probably lucky I got it to hold at all. Plus the way I understand it, some jewelers are better at cutting precise groves in the prongs in order to hold the stones. Sometimes the cuts will not provide enough stability and won’t hold the gem as well.
I’d probably watch a tutorial or two before attempting it next time. This time was more about seeing if it was possible, and it is!
Creating a Custom Ring with the Stone
I went to the jewelry store to figure out whether to buy a new green amethyst ring or to get my green amethyst placed in a new setting.
They didn’t have any green amethyst in stock. I imagine it isn’t the most popular stone at a find jewelry store, as they heat treat purple amethyst to get it to turn the pale green color. They do carry created opal as well as natural though, so I don’t see any reason why green amethyst wouldn’t make the cut.
I really like the subtle color of the stone and it intrigues me that it could turn purple again if exposed to enough heat and sunlight. Will it happen? I don’t know!
The jewelry store did offer custom settings for real gemstones, and since a heat-treated amethyst is still an amethyst they could set my stone. The manager at the jewelry store said the shop, that does their custom work and repairs, won’t set created gems.
I can’t remember exactly why she said they only set real gems, but I think it was something to do with hardness and stability, not them just being picky. If anyone else has any knowledge as to why, please enlighten us.
So my green amethyst was a 7mm cushion cut and they only had the one setting available at the time.
Lucky for me it did match my other rings quite well, and I’m happy to have a sturdier ring that comes with free inspections, re-sizing, and repair. The only thing it won’t cover is if I lose the stone itself, which I don’t plan to, if I have any choice in the matter.
Have you ever thought about replacing a stone in a ring? What do you do with your broken jewelry? Do you have a favorite repair technique or craft you use it for?
Thanks for reading with me today. I hope you feel inspired to do something creative!