A trilogy of restorations
13th June 2017
Late last year I restored an engagement and wedding ring set for a customer. This month she came back to me for the eternity ring to be remade.
This quite simple job is interesting because it highlights what and why the jewellery chains do what they do to almost every ring they sell and what it means to the life of it.
Thin edge = shorter life
In the photo above both the new and old rings have holes for seating the diamonds that are also used for cleaning. You can see that compared to the remade ring on the right additional gold has been remove from the old ring as well.
Whilst this ring is not as bad as many others this thinning is important. It creates an edge on the inside of the ring. Over time as rings rub next to each other this edge becomes thinner. The result is a ring that can be uncomfortable and dangerous to wear.
Whilst not this customer`s ring, the next photo highlights how a rings outside edge wears down over time when worn next to another ring. If the holes for the diamonds had been smaller, they did not need to be that large, the ring would have had a longer life.
In summary, the thicker the edge (or total absence) the longer the life of rings that are worn and rub against each other. The thinner the shorter life.
The real problem - band thickness
The real problem with this ring was not the inside edge we previously discussed but the thickness, or rather thinness of the band at the base. I was originally asked to resize all three of this customers rings but they were all too thin.
Bands can be a tapered in width for aesthetic or comfort reasons but often it is done just to use less gold. This customer decided to remove the taper when we remade the ring.
The most troubling aspect of the old ring was that is was less than .7mm thick at the base. This meant that the ring was prone to bending out of shape and also limited the possibility of successful resizing.
Thickness in the band gives strength and also some margin for thinning during resizing in the future if needed. Thin rings do not resize well as the joins have less surface area to support them and those weaker joins are exposed to bending that a thick ring is not.
So why do jewellery chains do this?
The answer is quite simple, to increase their profits by using less gold. The old ring weighed 1.8 grams and the new ring I made nearly double that at 3.4 grams.
This happens all the time and is sadlly the norm with jewellery today. Below are some links to other articles I have written over the years about this issue.