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Breakage in stone setting


Hi there, this question mainly applies for stone setters or anyone
who works with other people stones. I would like to know your
policies regarding stone breakage, i mean, if a disaster ocurrs, who
does take the responsability (pay for it), you or the
goldsmith/jewelrystore/retailer you are doing that job for?
Personaly, i make clear to my customers (who are never the direct
public) that the prices i charge do not include stone breakage
responsability, that my part is to make a good job following a good
parctice and finishing it well, and that the risk of breakage always
exists, especialy in fragile stones. And if i break a stone
(fortunately not too often), I say it clearly “…sorry, I’ve just
broken your emerald”, not “…well, it seems thar there was an
internal flaw that maybe, you know, when …”. However, regarding
small brilliants, say .01 ot .02ct, if i damage any, and i happen to
have that size of the same or higher quality i replace the damaged
stone for one of mine just to avoid the fuss of telling the customer
and having to put a work aside until i am sended a new stone. The
only time i have paid for a damaged stone was last Xmas, when i
broke two very good quality .10ct brilliants in a row, with a
graver, in the most stupid stupid way: it was not a "normal"
breakage, but a misuse on my part, so I told the customer, took the
money out of my pocket and learnt a good lesson. Well, I’d like to
read your opinions and ideas about this question. Thanks.


Fernando, Buenos notches! Well I first of all, check with a 10x power
loupe if there are ANY inclusions in any stone over 5 pointers. If
there are any of the slightest inclusions present, I will advise the
management and make them aware of them. If its an Emerald, I will
notify again the management that I will not assume any
responsibility, period!

If the diamond is a Princess-cut diamond. I will check and recheck
for anything suspicious, “time lost…is money saved” I, once a few
months ago re-checked UNDER the claw and didn’t like the arrangement
of the bent-over claw. Woops! I told the mgmt of my ‘gut feelings’,
everyone checked the claw situation. I removed the claw and
discovered a chipped diamond, but a badly chipped diamond, too boot!
If I didn’t “raise up a flag”, it would have been MY fault! So my
dear friends, use your gut feelings and prepare yourself and
safeguard yourselves.

So what do you do if you break a stone of value, be "blessed"
careful first of all. Handle all stones of value as though they would
be yours, treat them with the greatest respect. Initially tell the
client that you are not going to be held responsible, and they must
sign a release form and insist that they fully understand that
statement and initialize the form. Simple? its the only way to
safeguard your a-- (tush!) If the gold is of great metallic worth
such as 18kt steel, I will not allow myself to be under any pressure
in hurrying to set this stone and cause any undo embarrassment. My
pockets are always limited in their depth.

There was once a story of truth that a company actually took their
own setter to court and for the sake of advertising asked him to be
responsible for the loss of the stone and its fees for re-cutting.
Well it went to court, the judge asked the setter how much was the
stone worth? …$$$mega$$$$ and he again asked how much were going
to be paid for your work ? $ When the judge heard this very low
number he said “are you for real” “gimme a break, Mr. Jeweller store
owner, case dismissed…!” “Gerry, the cyber-setter !”