How to Reset Your Engagement Ring (and Why It’s Okay to Change Your Mind)

You thought you could never be happier than when he first slipped that ring on your finger! You had your ring, and your love…forever!

But now it’s 14 years later, and that Marquise cut in 14kt yellow gold has snagging prongs and a certain, how shall we say, patina about it. Your love hasn’t changed, but your style definitely has, and the jeweler is saying that the setting, worn faithfully through vacations, dinner parties, desk jobs and diaper changes, needs some maintenance.

Engagement rings incorporate diamonds primarily because their beauty and durability represent a symbol of eternal love. The reality is that there can be a finite life for the metals that the diamonds are set into, due to wear and tear. But there’s another little secret: maybe style is a finite entity, too. Perhaps the ring design never really {ahem} reflected your taste to begin with. Or maybe it’s just that your style has become more defined as the years pass. At some point in your married life you might catch yourself gazing at your ring and wondering…what if?

Have a Marquise (or Pear or Oval) shape? This Danhov Halo Setting can make this cut look its elegant best. Style ME160 available from Samuel Gordon Jeweler.

Every relationship is different, but I think it can be a good thing to change your setting, or even your whole ring including the center stone, to reflect who you are. The important thing is what the ring symbolizes: you may change your ring, but the sentiment attached stays the same.

Want something more than a basic solitaire? This Annalise setting by Erica Courtney is a modern take on a feminine curved setting. Added bonus is that your diamond will look lots bigger surrounded by those accent diamonds.

First Step: Research

Once you’ve broached the subject with your significant other–highly recommended–then it’s time to do some research. Pay attention to people’s rings as you go about your daily life. If someone has gotten engaged recently, make a note of whether you like the style or not. Or check out the Top Engagement Trends or Beautiful Bezels articles on this site, there are some great designs to start your day dreaming, and lots of Jewelry Designer links to explore in our Trusted Links section.

This Nicholas James setting is sleek, sculptural and practical. Shown in Platinum with round accent diamonds, contact Nicholas James for more information.

Try It On!

Once you have a few ideas or tear sheets, GO SHOPPING! It’s kind of like the wedding dress, where you dreamed of a particular style, then you tried it on and realized it was as flattering as, well, Bjork’s Swan Dress. Just like clothes, you must see diamonds and rings in person and try them on. This is not a decision to take lightly, it’s probably the most sentimental and costly piece of jewelry you own!

On the other hand, don’t be paralyzed into indecision because you’re afraid of making a mistake: remember that wisdom and experience gleaned from already wearing your ring will help guide you to something that makes sense for your life right now. If your ring sat too high for you to wear comfortably, go low or prong-less for the next setting. Did you diamond seem too small for your finger? Try a halo of diamonds around the stone to make it appear much more significant. If your ultra-traditional setting didn’t suit your avant-garde sense of style, seek out an independent designer to do the next ring.

Bezel settings can be an amazing update for a sleepy diamond. Wendy Brandes designs these substantial bands with flawless bezels flattering the center diamond to be all-in-one engagement/wedding rings.

The Logistics

Once you find a style that makes your heart beat faster, you need an expert to help you figure out if that setting will work with your stone. Some settings will need new prongs, or a new bezel, to fit your particular stone. Sometimes the whole ring needs to be custom made around the stone and your finger size.

Want ultra-clean and modern? Completely custom-made for each diamond, this compression-set solitaire setting by Steven Kretchmer Designs holds the diamond with 12,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. Setting alone starts at around $2000 Retail, Avail at Lux Bond and Green.

At some point in the process, there will come a time when you will have to leave your diamond with the designer or jeweler to make a wax mold or to re-set it. Here’s a refresher of my tips for leaving your ring or stone with a jeweler (for an in-depth article about leaving your jewelry for repair or appraisal, click here):

1. Bring in your appraisal or diamond lab report, if you have one, to the jeweler.
2. Look at the stone with the jeweler, under magnification, and decide together how to identify the stone: most diamonds will have some distinguishing characteristic to identify under 10 power magnification.
3. Discuss a value that you and the jeweler are both comfortable with for the diamond or ring to be insured while at the jeweler.
4. Get that value in writing, along with a description of the specific work to be done, on a repair form that you sign.
5. When you go back to pick the ring up, have the jeweler help you identify your diamond again.

Looking for a ring that doesn't have an Engagement Ring vibe? This Milky Way ring by Nina Basharova makes a beautiful statement whether on the right or left hand, and can be totally customized to your diamond. Avail from Manika Jewelry.

Bottom Line

You don’t need to feel guilty or bad about changing your setting: you should feel nothing but joy when you look at the ring on your finger! We hope this information helps start you on the path to a new, gorgeous setting if you need to change your ring for any reason. If you need help finding your ring, drop me a line here and I can set you up with an amazing retailer or designer in your area.

If you're looking for unusual, this Lotus setting from Gemvara has amazing details. In 18kt Yellow Gold with round accent diamonds, $9102 with a 1.02 ct Round Diamond in center.

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