How To Determine If A Ring Is High Quality
Things to watch for are:
- High Casting Quality
Rings that are not cast well do not handle the stress of everyday wear.
They often scratch, break or wear out quickly.
Look at the quality of the casting and the amount of metal
that was used.
Verify clean casting: Well casted rings have no pits (often from air bubbles in the casting process).
Determine that enough metal was used: The ring band should be thick enough around the whole ring so it will not wear out or break. Low quality jewelry often has really thin bands around the back of the ring.
- Good Prong Settings
Gemstones set in rings with prongs need at least 6 prongs
to ensure that the gem will stay in the ring.
Stones should NOT wiggle in its setting.
Prongs should be evenly spaced around the gem. These prongs should be strong. If the stone has corners (such as a marquis cut stone), the corners of the stone should be protected.
Rings with prong settings should be checked yearly to be certain that the gemstone hasn't become loose.
- Real Channel Settings
Channel settings are one of the most misused settings in the
industry. Be certain that there is a real channel that the
stones are set in -- rather than an impression with a thin
additional bit of metal holding the stone in place. When
there is a real channel, the stones will not come out under
- Marked Metal Quality
Finely made rings have a quality mark imprinted on the inside.
Examples of such etched markings are: 14K for 14 Kt gold,
925 for sterling silver, and 950 Pt (or 850 Pt) for platinum.
While I prefer 18 Kt gold, others prefer platinum, 14 Kt gold
or sterling silver. 24 Kt gold is considered too soft.
Platinum tends to show very little wear as it is more durable
Electrolyzed or plated metal will often wear out on rings.
High quality rings can be re-polished by a jeweler if they get scratched.
- Nice Gemstone Quality
Jewelry Care Gemstone Buying Advice
If you do not know someone's ring size, see if you can manage to borrow one of their rings. You can then measure it or have a jeweler measure it. Alternately, if you are using a ring sizer, be sure to use it at the end of the day when your hands are not cold to get the most accurate size. When measuring ring size, the sizer should easily slide over the knuckle. Feel free to use our Free Ring Sizer to measure yourself or your rings.