I’ve talked about this before, but new situations arise that deserve a second look.
I had a customer come into the store last week to get her ring cleaned. She said she had a prong that was snagging (but yet she still wears it).
She hands it to me.
I loupe her ring and see that the prong on the end of her diamond has not only been bent sideways (causing it to snag), and the tip of her lovely pear shaped diamond has chipped off. Like so…
Somehow she bumped or hit her prong, at just the right amount of force and angle, that the strike bent the prong sideways, and ruptured the tip off her diamond at the same time.
Unfortunate, but it happens.
After all, you do wear your ring 24/7, they takes a lot of abuse. The good thing is, most chips are small and insignificant. They don’t affect the beauty or the integrity of the diamond much. It’s something most people live with.
And most people would never see a chip unless you pointed it out to them (unless it’s really huge and obvious).
And sometimes these tiny chips or nicks can be hidden under the mounting. Rotated so they fall underneath a prong or the metal. As so…
But this pear was different:
The chipped area was at the very tip of the stone, the weakest part of the diamond. You can’t just cover it up easily…
So what were her choices? What did she do? Here we go…
1) Avoid pressure:
When a diamond is chipped, that area of the stone is weakened (like a fault line). If you apply more force or pressure directly to that weakened area, it could cause the rest of the stone to break or shatter. This means, you can’t simply replace the prong or push it back into place. You can’t pry it onto the cracked area with tension. Sure it can be attempted, and it may even work, you could get lucky. But no jeweler is going to want to take that risk. Because if they break it, they bought it. They’d have to replace your diamond at their own cost.
This is an instance where the risk would have to be assumed by the customer.
They would have to make that decision.
The customer would have to state (usually with a waiver in writing), that if it did happen, if their stone did break more, then the jeweler would not be accountable.
It’s a tricky situation, and one that no one wants to be in. There is no way of truly knowing if the stone can be reset, or if it’s toast.
This is where insurance would come into play…
2) Cover it with your insurance:
If you have your rings fully insured with a plan that covers everything; loss, theft, damage, then your policy would probably cover the cost of replacing your stone (minus your deductible).
This is the best case scenario. Stores replace chipped diamonds all the time (Which is why I tell newly engaged couples to get their ring insured. Just in case).
Sadly, this customer did not have her ring insured.
3) Have the diamond recut:
This is a good option, but a costly procedure. You can have your diamond removed from the mounting, sent off to a diamond cutting facility (most are in New York), where they will carefully cut out the chip. This is usually re-shaping the diamond, rounding off the affected edge, refaceting the overall look and appearance. This also causes some carat weight to be removed as well.
Plus, the diamond may look a little different then, more squat or narrow. Cutters have no choice, the diamond has to be made whole and durable again. How much they cut depends on the amount of damage done. Some are minor tweaks and require just a few facets, a couple points removed, then polishing. Others are drastic and require a much smaller stone, or even an entirely new shape.
Just like these example diamonds below:
This is still a good way to go. You get to keep your original diamond. But what will it look like once returned? Will you be happy with the new shape or size?
Plus, you’d have to pay to have your diamond shipped, insured, reset, possibly reappraised or re-certified (as things will have changed with the diamond). It’s a lot to assume, and one I wouldn’t advise if your stone is small (like .50 carat or smaller). Larger diamonds are worth it. They can balance the added expense. But smaller, it’s just easier to trade them in…
4) Trade your diamond in:
Chipped diamonds can still be used as trade. Most are valuable and hold worth. Granted the jeweler can’t resell chipped diamonds, they’d have to send them out to get recut just like you would. So this is taken into consideration when giving out trade-in values. Don’t expect much.
Either way you look at it, it’s still a great opportunity to get a larger stone. Increase the quality, even the shape. You could get the diamond of your dreams… You could look into fancy colored diamonds too; blue, pink, yellow, something entirely different.
The options are endless (but is your pocketbook?)
It all comes down to what you want to do, and how much you’re willing to spend.
This particular customer decided to trade her diamond in towards a much larger pear diamond. She said she had a 50th anniversary coming up and it was time for an upgrade.
So that is what she did.
She bought another pear shaped diamond (but this time she’s getting it insured), one with exceptional color, clarity and cut.
Like this pear shaped diamond here:
|CARAT, CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, POL, SYM, FLUOR
|1.00, VVS2, D, PEAR, EX, EX, NONE
She left the store happy and excited. I got the feeling she had wanted a larger stone her whole life…
I told her “Divide that price up into 50 years, and it really amounts to nothing!”
That she absolutely agreed with.
So what would you do?
Let me know in the comments below…