This important antique Georgian came in to us recently because it required urgent attention to repair a broken shank which had been cut in an emergency so the the ring could be removed from a swollen finger. The owner had worn the ring for years and over time much of it had suffered quite severe wear to both the shank and the settings.
As you can see from the images above, in addition to the shank, the diamond settings were in need of immediate attention. We are so used to seeing diamond settings made of platinum or white gold that it is easy to forget that when this ring was made almost 200 years ago, neither metal was available and instead silver was used to set diamonds. Why? Because diamonds benefit from being set in a white metal and silver was most complimentary to the natural, almost colourless nature of most diamonds.
All the silver settings were painstakingly re-made in silver and all the diamonds were re-set as before and the worn out shank was replaced with a new one. In time the soft silver settings will wear in and will take on the ‘lived in’ lustre so reminiscent of the original settings. The ring now much more robust and the new settings and shank have given it a new lease of life.
Compare these ‘before and after’ images: