Jewelry containing precious and semiprecious stones can be very expensive, and so it can be frustrating when stones fall out of your jewelry. Most costume jewelry boasts stones that are attached to their settings with glue specially designed to hold stones and gems. In pieces of precious jewelry, the stones are generally held into the piece with metal prongs. Both settings can be prone to damage resulting in the loss of stones. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent losing stones from your jewelry.
Ask the vendor about their return and repair policies. Many jewelry stores will agree to repair a piece for you if a stone falls out at no extra charge to you.
Examine your jewelry regularly for loose stones. Use a magnifying glass to look for evidence of prong damage or loosening in the settings. In the case of most fine jewelry, precious stones are held in by metal prongs. These prongs can get very worn and damaged over time. By examining the condition of these prongs you can be assured of getting them re-tipped when necessary and avoiding stone loss. If you do lose a stone and you have examined your prongs carefully it is almost definitely the fault of the jeweler, and most jewelers will take full responsibility. Remember: when in doubt, take your piece to a jeweler.
Test the tightness of your glued-in stone settings. Gently pushing on the stone with the tip of your finger and moving your finger back and forth should not unsettle the stone from its setting. If it does, bring it to a jeweler immediately. If you are comfortable doing so, reset the stone yourself using a specially formulated gemstone glue and following the directions on the package
Avoid exposing your jewelry to conditions of extreme heat, or wearing it in the pool, shower or ocean. Also try to avoid banging your jewelry into hard objects, such as doors, tabletops or glass. The impact of the jewelry hitting those objects can loosen the stone settings.
Clean your jewelry using only the cleansing solution recommended by the jewelry vendor where you purchased the piece. Using other cleansing solutions can do damage to the glue or the integrity of the jewel settings, resulting in stone loss.
Wrap wire around the stone. If glue does not keep your stone in its setting, wrap thin jeweler's wire around the stone, circling it three times and securing it at the base of the setting.
If you do decide to reset your own stones you are taking a risk. Jeweler's are professionals who have years of experience in resetting stones. If the piece you are dealing with is not of great value then taking it to a jeweler might not be worth the money or effort. However, with precious stones, it is always advisable to take the piece to a professional immediately.
Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience writing about education for a variety of organizations and educational institutions as well as online media sites.