LADIES, beware. Without tender loving care, diamonds may not always be a girl's best friend.
Mr Alex Ng and wife Ng Guo Sijia, both 26, found this out recently.
The couple were looking forward to their first wedding anniversary next month.
Instead, they made a surprising discovery - the diamond on Mrs Ng's wedding ring had fallen out.
The couple were collecting movie tickets at the Golden Village cineplex in Jurong Point Shopping Centre on 2 Nov, when she noticed that the 0.05 carat diamond on her wedding ring was missing.
They never found it.
Mrs Ng last saw it in the late afternoon that day while waiting for husband to pick her up to go to the cinema.
With a discount, her white gold diamond ring cost $484.
They had collected their pair of $790 rings from the Suntec boutique of Lee Hwa Jewellery on 10 Nov last year.
They bought them as engagement rings, but Mrs Ng's ring was the only one with a diamond.
She said: 'It's not the type that protrudes, but the kind that is embedded in the band. How can it fall out?'
Two days later, they took the ring to the Suntec boutique.
After investigation by the quality control department, a staff member informed the couple that the diamond had fallen out due to 'wear and tear'.
But Mrs Ng, a product development executive, objected.
She said that although she had worn the ring every day, she had a desk-bound job that involved typing on a computer keyboard.
She said: 'I don't work with machines or chemicals the way my husband does as a senior technical officer, so how can this be due to wear and tear?'
It will cost the couple an extra $240 to replace the diamond with one of the same size, colour and clarity.
A similar case was reported on the Straits Times online media portal Stomp on 5Jul.
In that case, a woman allegedly lost the diamond from her ring six months after her wedding.
Lee Hwa Jewellery said in a statement that the cause was probably mishandling. It offered the woman some form of redress.
Delicate due to setting
On the case of Mrs Ng's ring, Lee Hwa Jewellery's senior brand manager, Ms Irene Ling, said that the way the diamond was set into the ring (called the gypsy setting) made it more 'delicate and sensitive to any physical contact that comes with daily wear'.
She recommended extra care for rings with such settings. (See report below.)
Added Ms Ling: 'Even accidental rubbing or light knocks may cause damage over time.'
Mrs Ng said it was possible she had hit the ring by accident when she knocked on doors at work.
She said: 'Still, I can accept that explanation if the diamond fell out two years after we bought it, but it hasn't even been a year.'
The couple are now deciding what to do.
Their formal wedding ceremony is next year.
Said Mrs Ng: 'We don't really want to spend on a replacement diamond, so we may just get new rings.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Nov 20, 2008.