Platinum setting broke! Shoddy Workmanship? Please help

Discussion in 'Jewelry Forum' started by LolaRVA, May 3, 2018.

  1. LolaRVA

    LolaRVA
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    Would greatly appreciate any expert or layperson input. Pictured is my platinum engagement ring, which up until yesterday housed a 2.64 ct emerald cut diamond. The ring is barely two years old, was reset with the emerald 7 months ago (previously held a 1.4 ct round). Yesterday after light laundry and a walk I discovered that the entire center mounting and stone were gone (and not just detached, but disappeared). I can't believe that just 1/2 year of normal wear could cause such catastrophic damage. There was absolutely no impact to the hand that could explain this. Short of me welding or smashing it off myself, how could this have happened? I am absolutely certain that the work was faulty and/or the stone was put in a setting that could not properly support it. The jeweler who sold/serviced the ring has been less than helpful so far (said "these things happen..." or that there must have been significant impact for this damage to occur, which there absolutely was not). I was not satisfied with that response and will be meeting with a higher-level manager on Monday. Has anyone seen an incident like this with such a new piece? Could properly-welded platinum seriously fail like this? Suggestions/input for how to proceed? Thank you!
     

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  2. mmascall

    mmascall
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    OMG! I am certainly no expert so I can't help you with determining if it was faulty workmanship, but I sure do hope you had insurance on that ring!
     
  3. LolaRVA

    LolaRVA
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    Yes, insured (thank goodness). However before I access my coverage and raise my premium (and jeweler somehow manages to make money by selling TWO stones!) I want to figure out how to explore my suspicion that the initial jeweler work was bad.

    I can understand this happening after several years or in a circumstance with some signifiant trauma to the ring, however my case just seems too extreme to be a simple "accident."
     
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  4. Emily

    Emily
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    I am so sorry that this has happened to you!

    I am by no means an expert, but do have a ring setting very similar in design (also in platinum) to your's, which I have owned and worn daily since 2007. I have been pretty abusive towards it, including catching the prongs on a shopping cart and then using, ahem, my husband's pliers to reposition the prong in order to resecure the diamond...... o_O:eek: Accidents do happen..... :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I believe that the head of my ring is attached in the same way as your's was, with a rod running from the base of the claws to through the shank/band (you can see the outline of this in the picture below).

    20180507_183640.jpg

    It might be worth asking another jewelry WORKSHOP (a "manufacturing" jeweler will have more in-depth knowledge of metallurgy and hands on experience than a sales associate) in your area to take a closer look at your ring setting to see whether they can determine any underlying issues with the ring. For example, when the new head was attached in order to accommodate your emerald cut diamond, was a sufficient amount of platinum solder used, was there any porosity present, etc.....?

    For more on porosity: Porosity: The Jeweler's Nightmare

    If the workshop does discover anything amiss, please get it in writing as this could help to substantiate your claim with the original jeweler.

    I really hope that this helps and GOOD LUCK!
     
  5. talk-admin

    talk-admin
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    Hi Lola,
    Very sorry to hear about your ring but I can definitely shed some light on this. Your ring was made by combining a shank (the round circle with the side diamonds) and the prong head - i.e. two seperate parts. They were attached by using a peg - this is where the prong head (that holds your Emerald center) has a rod that extends out below the base, and that fits into the hole in the shank.
    The parts are then welded together using solder.

    The problem is that the solder can wear/crack/corrode over time - small hits to the ring during wear, exposure to chlorine, bleach or similar, and the simple flex of the ring band from daily wear can over time weaken the solder to the point that it has a sudden catastrophic failure.
    When the solder fails,then the entire prong head including the center stone can come out, resulting in both a broken ring but also a possibly lost diamond/Amora center.

    Ultimately, there is no really good fix to this except to ensure you get a unibody or 'one piece' ring. This is where the entire piece is designed and cast as one solid ring - thus there are no seams/weld points to fail over time.

    This is not normally done because it's expensive to do - you have to make a seperate mold for each and every center stone size to do it, vs. by welding in the prong head, you only need one shank design and then can freely plug and play varying center stones.

    We have done this unibody or one piece ring work for our Timeless Regal and now our Timeless Arista. Having a one piece ring also ensures perfect alignment, no solder lines, and of course maximum strength so you don't have a single point of failure in your ring.

    I'd recommend you try and get your jeweler to redo the ring as a unibody design and thus avoid this issue for your replacement ring.
    Hope that helps!
    Less
     
  6. Jen Hollywood-Showell

    Jen Hollywood-Showell
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    Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry that happened! Very happy you have insurance, although it's still very frustrating. With a center stone that size, you really should have a basket head with a gallery bar, rather than a peg head, as Less mentioned. And perhaps when the head was changed out, the workmanship wasn't where it needs to be. Although I do find most rings are cast as one solid piece, unless it is a two tone ring (2 metals), or a band and peg head are soldered together, then the center stone is set. Very good that you are meeting with a manager, I seriously hope they do right by you, they truly need to step up.
     
  7. Jen Hollywood-Showell

    Jen Hollywood-Showell
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    One other thought! Platinum is not as strong as 14k white gold, so perhaps switch over when they do the re-make? It's a misnomer than platinum is the strongest metal.
     

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