A client had purchased three custom jewelry rings from me over the course of a year. She is a very alive “lust for life” persona, frequently enjoying the many performance opportunities in her city. In fact, she once invited me to a front row-center Leonard Cohen performance at Radio City Music Hall. We clapped a lot that night.
I saw her a lot that year, and noticed that her new rings, which she didn’t wear every day, were suffering more damage than I’d ever seen. After just six months, the shank bottoms had big patterns of concussive dents and my shanks aren’t skimpy!. I repaired them, and we talked any behaviors that could be causing the damage, yet were both puzzled as to the cause.
Soon after, she purchased a spectacular 18 karat yellow gold cuprian tourmaline and red spinel ring and 1.5 months later, while at a concert, the cuprian tourmaline fell out. Astonished, I couldn’t rest until I understood how the stone was lost, and why.
With the ring setting back in my hands, I could see the prong’s gauge, consistency and form were more than sufficient to hold the stone. Curiously, all the prongs were deformed. If only one prong had loosened, it would be understandable that it got caught on something and pulled away. Yet in this case, all the prong tips were pulled back or were not in the correct position, showing a universally applied traumatic event.
I went through a lot of techie forensic steps to find the answer. Sparing you the nerdy details, the bottom line was: Enthusiastic clapping with a ring on each hand leads to a force that dents both rings. This force transfers through the rings as an initial action and an equal and opposite reactive force. In this case, the clapping force repeatedly slammed the tourmaline against the prongs, then pushed it down into the setting with a backlash that eventually broke the gem allowing it to fly out.
The solution is to wear your rings to performances, but to clap with cupped hands where the rings don’t slam into each other. I’ve worn some of my rings for 20 years with little wear and I’m an ardent clapper. With proper knowledge, and care, you rings will “dance me til the end.” We can start, and end, with a little Leonard Cohen.
Helpful? Sign on for our weekly newsletter keeps you in the know.