Jewelry Laser Welding – Prongs Repairs
What Are Jewelry Prongs and What Is the Prong Setting? The prong setting or claw setting, is the main area in a ring that is required to hold the stone(s) in place. It usually has four to six metal prongs that extend up from the ring’s basket and over the gemstone. This effectively secures the diamond in place and allows more light to enter the stone.
At Federal Way Custom Jewelers we have invested in a Laser Soldering Machine which focuses the heat to a more pin-point area of the prong thus alleviating the integrity of the stone(s).
The most frequent repairs we see are those pertaining to prongs in rings. Sometimes a client notices the ring is catching on clothing, which indicates that a prong has lost contact with the gem it is holding. Other times the client looks down and sees a prong has been totally worn or broken away.
In the case of the above ring it was not immediately obvious that there was a problem at all. The worn prong was holding one of the smaller accent diamonds, and simply due to its small size was difficult to see with the naked eye. Furthermore the prong was worn down but had not quite disappeared all of the way. It was still a bad situation because one knock would displace the prong and cause the diamond to fall out.
A typical prong repair involves adding gold solder to the existing prong and using a torch to heat and bond the new metal. This poses a risk to the other stones around the prong in question, so we have invested in a laser soldering machine. The laser focuses the heat needed to melt the metal in a much smaller area so that the repair is more precise, leading to less risk to the stones overall.
While we were repairing the prong we took the opportunity to polish some of the flaws in the metalwork. Older repairs tend to show their age. In this case there were visible darkened solder marks, pitting (also called porosity) in the metal from badly applied solder, and some lumpy areas. Luckily it was nothing a little bit of expertise and elbow grease couldn’t fix. The end result is gorgeous!
If you have some jewelry where the stone in the ring has worked loose or is not fitting correctly, why not contact us so we can advise on the best way to get your ring expertly repaired and back onto your finger again.