Posted by: alenegeed | October 9, 2012

Tips on Buying Sterling Silver & Gemstone Rings

Red Creek Jasper Antiqued for ring blogI spent last week in Sedona .. enjoying the gorgeous weather and scenery. Most of our group had never been to Sedona before and so wanted to take in a lot of the shops in the downtown area. One particular shop featured very high end sterling silver with gemstones. The sales person was singing the praises of a particular lighter colored turquoise… which was beautiful!

However, when she had us try on the ring, I was struck by the scanty construction of the shank… considering the value and beauty of the gem.

This illustration shows what I am referring to. Only The tips of the sterling shank were soldered to the back. This particular ring is the first one I ever made when beginning my metalsmith activities. (so forgive the imperfections please!)

With wear, the solder will erode eventually thus partially detaching the shank from the stone backing. I had this happen to a ring I purchased several years ago. And it is almost impossible to repair this.

Now look at the illustration to right. The entire width of the sterling shank is soldered to the backing for the stone.  Yes this required a little more sterling and more solder, but the long term effects are so worth it!

Would you rather pay an additional $50 to $75 more NOW and own a ring that can you can wear and pass down to your children?       or pay less and have to scrap the piece for the value of the silver? Not much of a choice, is it?

Just a little food for thought the next time you go shopping for sterling and precious gemstone rings!

Stop by Alene’s Adornments to see my ring styles.


  1. Thanks for the info 😉

    Sent from my iPhone

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