Engagement and wedding rings are symbolic gifts meant to last a lifetime. Even though they are made of precious jewels and metals such as gold or platinum and seem indestructible, they sometimes get damaged.  Below are three of the most common types of ring repair.

Chipped Stones -- Repolishing or Recutting

Diamonds are considered one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on Earth, yet they aren't indestructible. A single blow can cause a diamond to chip if it lands in just the right place. In fact, diamond cutters turn raw diamonds into cut jewels by striking at just the right angle to take off excess stone, making facets. The facets are the flat surfaces on a diamond that catch light and reflect it to create that famed brilliance. All it takes for a consumer to chip a diamond is to accidentally hit it against a hard surface, such as a granite kitchen counter. Depending on the severity of the damage, the damaged facet, or facets, may just need polished out. In some cases, the diamond may need to be recut, which is a more intricate process. Other precious stones, such as rubies or emeralds, sometimes get damaged and may require similar repairs.

Damaged Settings -- Reshaping or Replacing

The setting is the part of the ring that holds the stone. The Tiffany setting is one of the most popular because it shows off the diamond's fiery colors. Invented in 1886, this setting is made up of thin prongs that hold the diamond in place, allowing more light to reach the stone. Over time these prongs can twist or shift, loosening their grip around the stone. They can also be bent by an accidental blow. Sometimes a jeweler is able to reshape the existing setting so that the gemstone is once again secure. More serious damage may mean rebuilding the setting.

Warped or Scratched Bands -- Repolishing or Reshaping

Wedding and engagement ring bands sometimes suffer nicks and scratches from just normal wear and tear. Ring bands may also bend or warp, usually from a blow. Higher karat gold is more susceptible than gold with more minerals mixed in. An 18 K ring is more prone to warping than a 14 K, simply because the latter has more copper or silver added. Minor scratches may usually be polished out. Warped bands usually need reshaped. If your ring band has been damaged by a blow, it's always best to check the stone setting to make sure it wasn't affected by the damage.

For more information, talk to a professional like Sol's Jewelry & Loan.