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Jeweler chipped my padparadscha


#1

Hi orchid,

i bought my girlfriend a very nice 1.04 ct pear shaped padparadscha
in bangkok last year, had a 14k ring made for it for her birthday,
and since i don’t normally work with gold i had a jeweler at a store
set it. we went to pick it up and i noticed that the prongs were not
really pushed down to the stone and would catch on clothing, but i
figured he did a decent enough job cutting the notches, so i gave
him his 26.95 and signed the reciept. when i got home i took it into
my workshop and very gently burnished the prongs down a bit. when i
looked at it with the loupe i noticed a chip with a small fracture
at a facet edge near a prong. i am 99.99% certain that i did not
cause that, but since i burnished the prongs, and because i signed a
release, i doubt that i have any recourse. i called the jeweler and
he says he checked it after he set it, and there was no chip, and
that i had already looked at it and signed the release. he was
however very quiet when i came to pick it up, and very eager for me
to sign the reciept. i guess i should have louped it at the store.

i probably would have done a better job setting the stone anyway, it
was special to me and i would have been more careful at least. i feel
sick about this but it’s as much my fault as anyones for signing a
release without louping the stone. let it be a lesson to us all,
don’t pay for anything without thoroughly examining the piece. and as
jewelers, don’t trust anyone to do a better job than you with things
that hold sentimental value. now i’ll have to buy my girlfriend
another padparadsha the next time i’m in bangkok…


#2

Hi Doug.

Why don’t you have the stone repolished? If a loupe was required to
see it, I would suspect that it was pretty small. So small infact
that you didn’t even notice when you were “burnishing” the prongs.

Sapphire is pretty tough. It is rarely broken by good jewelers. A
long time ago, I was accused of chipping a ruby. In fact, although
it looked very similar to a chip, it was a natural, so I had ignored
it. Perhaps you should show this stone to someone that has had a
little more experience.

Bruce


#3
 now i'll have to buy my girlfriend another padparadsha  the next
time i'm in bangkok..... 

If it’s as small a chip as your post makes it sound, why not just
pull the stone and let a local lapidary repair it. that’s pretty
routine procedure, and though you lose a little weight, a good cutter
can usually produce an entirely acceptable repaired stone, often with
surprisingly little change. often, if the chip is small, it can go
right back in the same mounting it came out of without a major visual
difference.

As to trusting anyone else, I disagree. As a goldsmith, you need to
know your limitations. If you are not confident in your setting
skills, and the stone is valuable, then by all means job it out to
someone who is more skilled. Your error may have been in just taking
it to any local jeweler, assuming the person at his repair bench was
a skilled setter. Some retail stores have people who are skilled
setters, and others have people who are decent at repairs, and OK
with setting simple round diamonds, but dangerous around colored
stones or fancy settings. You simply need to do your homework, and
find someone who’s well respected for his/her setting skills. You’ll
do better finding a true wholesale job shop, the sort of place the
retail jewelers send out work to when it’s beyond their skills.
Might take a bit more asking around to find. And be sure to discuss
the liability issues before leaving your work, and for heavens sake,
loupe the finished work before you go cranking on it again yourself.

By the way, regarding Padparadsha… What precautions did you take
regarding avoiding heat treated, color diffused stones, or were you
just aware that such might be what you were buying, and did not pay
for natural. Natural material of that color remains very rare, while
there is somewhat of a glut of the treated/color diffused material on
the market the last few years. it’s worth a LOT less than the
natural, and isn’t always easy to seperate without some very careful
examination… In general, unless you’ve a really good reason to
believe a padparadsha is natural color material, you should probably
assume that it’s not. Most of what’s out there, is not.

Peter


#4

Doug Out,

I am curious if you louped your padparadscha before you took it to
the jeweler? As a repair person who takes in jewelery, I am always
surprised when I work under magnification and see something wrong
with the stone that I did not notice at take in. I have had customers
who noticed something they had never seen about their diamond after I
worked on it. I sized the ring, protecting the diamond and they see
some flaw that was was always there. I have been lucky, asking them
if they had looked at their stone that close before, they had not.

And, with what we have been reading about lately, are you sure it is
a natual stone, or a diffusion treated stone?


#5

dude; you should trust in yourself…nobody will take the same care
and respect as you will!

Ringman


#6

In regards to seeing problems in a stone at a later date, several
years ago(aprox. 10) a good friend/ customer brought me a ring she
had purchased from an estate auction, with 2 larger diamonds. One
diamond was about 1.40ct and the other about 1.60. She had me place
the 1.6 in a ring for herself, and the 1.4 in a ring for her husband.
About a week after picking them up, she called me and said there was
a problem with the diamond in Bill’s ring. She said there was a black
spot close to the center that wasn’t there before. I was stunned
because this is a lady that I have restored, repaired, manufactured
literally thousands of pieces for her over the past 20 yrs or so,
with nary a problem-ever! She brought it back in a few days(she
lives about 2 hours away) and when I looked at it, there it was, a
blck spot that was easily visible with the naked eye. Since it wasnt
there when she picked it up , I didnt have a single explanation for
it. Hoping it was a speck on the pavillion surface that was
reflecting in some way that caused its odd appearance, I placed it in
the ultrasonic for a few minutes. When I took it out the spot was
gone, and everybody was happy- for a few days. In a few days, she
called back again- the spot was back. She brought it back and again
the ultrasonic got rid of it- for a few days. We found that if the
stone was wet from the ultrasonic, the spot wasn’t visible , even
with a GIA scope. But every few days, apparently after the diamond
would dry out, the spot would come back. We suspicioned that the
stone had been lasered or drilled to remove an internal carbon spot,
yet normally a tunnel will be visible under 10x magnification, but
there was none. Fortunately, I have a long term, well established
relationship with this lady, a hardcore antique jewelry collector,
and she never suspicioned me of any wrong doing. She probably has
the largest collection of vintage and Victorian jewelry in the
Midwest. She will soon be liquidating most of it, after her husband
passed away in January, and then she was injured in a head on
collision in March. She was just released from the hospital only 2
weeks ago and is now in a rehab apartment.

Ed in Kokomo


#7

Hi everyone,

thanks for the advice on recutting…the chip is small, but there
is a fracture underneath it that would require a bit of cutting to
remove. to answer a couple more questions, the stone is heated and
B-treated, otherwise known as beryllium diffusion or AHT (advanced
heat treatment). i believe that just about any padparadsha these
days (and most fancy sapphires and many rubies, also some blues)
that does not have a lab report from a good lab saying otherwise is
probably AHT . this treatment has been around for just a couple of
years, and is very controversial, though it has made these stones
affordable for us. i knew i what i was getting when i bought it,
and of course i louped it, i even checked it out under darkfield
illumination. it was eye clean. there was no chip anywhere in the
stone when i brought it to be set, and i definitely should have
louped it before i put my own tools to it.

as far as finding a good jeweler, i live in a small town and have a
tough time with the jewelers here because i compete with them and
sell nice stones for lower prices, so i went to the one jeweler that
i didn’t know, though he did also come recommended by a friend.
anyway, whatever, it was not a terribly expensive unheated Sri
Lankan stone, and i’ll actually be back in Bangkok soon anyway.
maybe i’ll pick up a few extra to sell this time.

doug out


#8
   She said there was a black spot close to the center that wasn't
there before. I was stunned because this is a lady that I have
restored, repaired, manufactured literally thousands of pieces for
her over the past 20 yrs or so, with  nary a problem-ever! She
brought it back in a few days(she lives about 2 hours away) and
when I looked at it, there it was, a blck spot that was easily
visible with the naked eye. Since it wasnt there when she picked it
up , I didnt have a single explanation for it. Hoping it was a
speck on the pavillion surface that was reflecting in some way that
caused its odd appearance, I placed it in the ultrasonic for a few
minutes. When I took it out the spot was gone, and everybody was
happy- for a few days. In a few days, she called back again- the
spot was back. 

I had a slightly similar situation once. What turned out to be the
case in our ring was that the setting had a reverse tapered solid
section, drilled for the bezel section. The taper meant that the
area for the seat had to be very close in it’s angle to the pavilion
angle of the stone, in order to not get the metal under the stone too
thin. The setter, apparently got it a tad too close, and in setting
the bezel (this was a platinum mounting), the stone pressed down
enough so it just barely contacted the metal under the stone, not far
from the culet. Being platinum, the diamond pressed into that area
with a rather close fit, enough so as to exclude air, and make
literally an optical contact with the metal there. The result was
what appeared to be a dark spot on the pavilion of the stone. When
warmed in the ultrasonic, or with a steamer, expansion of the ring
was such as to break that optical contact, and the spot would go
away. When it cooled, over a period of about 20 minutes, the stone
would again “seal” itself to the metal there, and the spot would be
back. To solve it, we ended up having to cut the bezel open, rebuild
the bezel, and then, before resetting the diamond, burr out the area
under the stone just a little more, so there would remain a
sufficient air gap. There was not any actual dark spot in or on the
stone, but it sure looked like one, especially to the naked eye.

Peter


#9
   dude; you should trust in yourself...nobody will take the same
care and respect as you will! 

Dear Ringman,

I care and respect for all of the work I do for my customers
jewelery as I would for my own. And care and respect does not equal
experience. I suspect you went through a learning curve at someones
expense.

Perhaps you can send some of you work to Doug Out to practice on.


#10

I have been working with sapphires for ten years and I really do not
believe the jeweler chipped your stone. It is difficult to chip a
sapphire and if you needed a loup to see it then spend the $30 or so
dollars and have it polished out.