CUTTING & POLISHING DAMAGED DIAMONDS
CAN DAMAGED OR CHIPPED DIAMONDS BE SAVED?
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Many people have heard the line “Your Diamond is Worthless!” when they’ve tried to sell their stone at a Jewelry Store.
It’s Pretty Unsettling!
The reason some Jewelers say this to people is because their Diamond is Chipped or Broken. Jeweler’s can’t sell Chipped or Busted Diamonds… no one would buy them.
The only thing a Jeweler can do with a Damaged Diamond is send it out to a Diamond Cutter to get Recut and Repolished.
This takes time and money. And many times, depending on the size of the Diamond, it’s not worth it.
If your Diamond is small in Carat Weight, or has a low Clarity or Color, it may not be worth the time or effort.
Jeweler’s have to look at how much it will cost them to get the stone recut and ultimately, what size the Diamond Carat Weight will end up being. Because everytime you cut out a Damaged or Chipped area, you will lose Carat Weight. You may even have to reshape or recut the entire stone.
Check out some different types of breaks, fractures, cracks and chips below…
Sometimes cutting a stone to remove a tiny chip can result in just one point difference. See the image below of a Brilliant Cut Diamond before and after a quick Facet Polish to remove the chip…
Often, it can be more like 10-20% stone loss. That’s a mighty drop in Carat Weight and Value.
Take a look at the difference between the Pear Shaped Diamond below. The end of the stone is heavily damaged and the stone will have to be recut resulting in a 7% drop in Carat Weight, from 100 points to 93 Points.
One of the most vulnerable parts of a Diamond is the points on either a Marquise Diamond or Princess Cut Diamond. These corners or points can get chipped, and sometimes are even chipped by the Jeweler upon setting the stone in a mounting.
See the Princess Cut Diamond below and the 5 point difference in Carat Weight after recutting.
You have to determine if a smaller Carat Weight, plus the cost of recutting the Diamond and getting the stone reappraised and recertified is worth it. It all adds up!
Take a look at the Damaged Brilliant Cut Diamond below. To save the stone, it had to be recut into a Heart Shaped Diamond and went from a 1.00 Carat Diamond all the way down 71 Points. It’s quite a drop, but at least it preserves the quality of the stone and the stone can still be worn.
Any Diamond .50 Carat (1/2 Carat) and up would probably be a good candidate for recutting. Diamonds less than that can still be done, but it gets questionable because of the cost involved. It all depends on the quality of your stone and how you feel about it.
If your stone is a VVS or VS Clarity Diamond, with a great Color, like D-E-F, then it’s probably wise to do…
But if it’s I Clarity, J Color, you’re better off skipping the cutting process unless the Carat Weight is Grand.
And of course…
The Amount of Damage to the Diamond is the Real Key!
If the Diamond has a huge chunk taken out of the Girdle (Weakest part of the Diamond), then sending your Diamond to a Diamond Cutter for further evaluation may be the best bet.
How do they Recut a Diamond?
Diamond Cutters recut a Diamond using the same principles and tools (saws and lasers) as they did when they first cut the Diamond.
- Cleaving or Sawing
If the Diamond isn’t damaged badly, it can usually just go through the last couple of phases to fix the flaw. This is generally called the repair process.
If the stone needs extensive rework and the entire stone needs to be cut and polished, it’s called a full recut and tends to get quite expensive.
Prices for having a stone recut will vary depending on where you send it and what needs to be done.
Most places can’t give you an exact price until they
Loupe the Stone, and even then, until they start the actual process and see what’s involved, they never know what the Diamond will truly demand.
Some stones chip more during this process. Others turn up grain lines or knots.
Sometimes they will have to cut out Inclusions in the stone or work around chips on facets or naturals on the Girdle.
It’s a very delicate and detailed process.
Some Diamonds can’t stand the recutting process and Crack in Half at Weak Internal Faults (not the fault of the cutter). It’s just like people, there are no guarantees in life. Things happen!
General prices for cutting services are:
A Full Recut is around $300 per Carat. So if you have a 2.50 Carat Diamond, that would be about $750 total. A Full Recut is the entire works: Recutting the entire stone, reshapping it into a new Cut, possibly also a new Shape, along with the Smaller Carat Weight.
A Repair, $200 per Carat, is reshaping a section of the stone to remove a small damaged area. Usually this entails readjusting the Facets and Symmetry of the stone slightly, and taking off some Carat Weight to accommodate the new repairs.
Machine Cuts are around $150 per Carat. They take away small damaged areas, like a chip, nick or rough spot, and cut off that portion of the stone and repolish the area to smooth out the flaw.
A Facet Girdle is about $100 per Carat. This is a common fix since most chips occur on the Girdle of the Diamond. It’s easy enough to make a Facet or a section of the Girdle a bit thicker or deeper to remove any unsightly areas.
Also note that you will probably have to pay more for these additional Diamond Services:
- Quick Turnaround Time
- Laser Inscription
Do note that these add on services could tack on another couple hundred dollars!
Should you get your Stone Recut?
Getting your stone recut is a good question. It really depends on YOU.
If your damage is visible and distracts from the beauty of the stone, and if the stone is worth getting repaired, then by all means, get it done.
Having chips or breaks in your stone does one horrible thing to your Diamond if left untreated… They make your Diamond weaker and more prone to chipping or breaking. It’s wise to have the process done if possible.
Also, removing chips or breaks from a Diamond generally makes the stone more valuable as well. This depends on how much Carat Weight is lost of course. But damages do affect the Clarity and Value… and like I stated above; It’s difficult to sell a chipped stone!
This is why it’s important to scope any Diamond (use a 10x Microscope) before you buy it (it could be chipped already). Look for chips, nicks or damage on the Girdle. If the Diamond is Certified (hopefully it is), then these should show on the Certification papers and the Plot of the Stone.
But if the damage was done AFTER the stone was Certified, then you would never know the stone had damage unless you scoped the Diamond under 10x magnification.
One good chip or break could drop the Clarity, and value of the stone drastically!
You can normally take your Diamond into a reputable Jeweler and have them send it out to get a quote on recutting.
Or, you can send it (registered and tracked) directly to a Diamond Cutter yourself to get a quote.
Just make sure you have your Diamond fully insured before you do so.
Also note that there is always a risk involved with any Diamond when it comes to recutting it. It’s like surgery! Due to the nature of the process, some Diamonds can become damaged further to the point of no return.
You’ll have to Sign a Waiver stating you understand this can happen to your stone and will dismiss any further damages that may incur.
Just cross your fingers when you do! :)
In other words, Proceed with Caution!
Where to get your Diamond Recut?
Listed below are some popular and respected Diamond Cutters in the Country.
Call them or Contact them for further details, information or quotes:
1243 West Broad Street.
Falls Church, Virginia, 22046
62 West 47th Street. Suite 808
New York, New York, 10036
619 Riverwood Drive
Bismarck, ND, 58504
H & F Diamond Cutters
36 West 47th Street. Room 405
New York, New York, 10036
Martin Kirschenbaum Inc
580 Fifth Ave. Suite 606
New York, New York, 10036
Recut a Cut!
Some people have their Diamonds recut even if they aren’t chipped or broken. Some get them recut to Ideal Standards if the Diamond is cut poorly (cut too shallow or deep). This removes Carat Weight, but greatly enhances the beauty, sparkle and fire in the Diamond.
Some people also have Old Mine Cut Diamonds, or Old European Cut Diamonds recut into the Modern Brilliant Cut Diamond. See image below…
So damage is not the only reason to get a stone recut, some do it for cosmetic reasons only. :)
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Hi, my name is Nicki and I recently inherited a .91 carat blue diamond ring. The diamond is a darker blue with little to no sparkle, extremely dull and cloudy. I am hoping there is help for this special blue diamond ring. I am open to all answers and ideas on improving my diamond.
Thank you for your time :)
Hi Nicki, you would have to send your stone into the cutting facilities and get quotes on improving the cut to make the diamond sparkle more. Good luck! -Richard