Jewellery is one of the most expensive things many people own, but it's also one of the most at risk of damage. When you have a nice piece of jewellery, you can either wear it or stash it away in a safe place, but doing the latter means you don't really get any enjoyment from owning it.
Of all the things that can happen to jewellery, losing a stone is the most upsetting, and it can also be the most costly part to replace. This shouldn't put you off wearing your favourite ring, brooch or necklace, but you should make sure you're aware of the most common ways stones are lost.
The most common reason for stones falling out of jewellery, particularly rings, is that the prongs holding them in place have come loose over time. This is most common in metals like gold, which are quite soft and easy to bend.
Many people don't notice the prongs are becoming loose, only realising there was a problem when it's too late and the stone has already fallen out.
Even gentle knocks and scrapes can be enough to make a stone fall out. If you wear rings, make sure you remove them for any activities that risk them being damaged. Put them somewhere safe until you've finished.
Wear and tear
Prongs and other types of jewel settings can gradually wear away over time. When they reach a certain level, there's nothing holding the stone in place any longer, and it will fall out.
You can help slow this process down by preventing chemicals from coming into contact with your jewellery and taking care with how you store it when it's not being worn.
Jewellery collects a lot of dirt, most of which you're unlikely to notice unless you're looking at it closely. This dirt causes stone settings to wear away faster and pushes its way into gaps, which can make prongs bend.
In some cases, a build-up of dirt is the only thing keeping a stone in place, so when the jewellery is cleaned, the stone comes out. Having jewellery properly cleaned on a regular basis prevents many problems from occurring.
Lack of regular checks
Tying into everything else on the list, regular inspection and maintenance stops many of the cases where stones are lost.
Noticing any developing problems allows you to have your jewellery fixed or adjusted so the stones stay where they are and you don't have to worry about them getting lost. Contact a jewellery repair service to learn more.