oooohhhhh, what a great topic. definintely something you should
ask a lawyer, since i’m not one and the advice i’m going to give
you should not be construed as legal advice.
be up front with the customer. tell her exactly what your
concerns are regarding her stone. you could ask her to sign a
liability waiver but that may not be enough to protect you in
the event of breakage and a lawsuit. if sued, you’d have to
prove that you exercised reasonable care. if breakage occurred
and if you were sued by the customer, it would be for
negligence, even though you exercised proper care and the
diamond was just an accident waiting to happen. unfortunately,
i’m certain the owner of the stone could find a (jewelry)
professional liason to make a declaration against you.
to my knowledge, the owner can purchase insurance for breakage
but we as jewelers performing work on jewelry can’t. though we
can for the gems we own and wear personally. be sure your
customer has such insurance (jewelers mutual has been good for
my personal stuff) but again, the insurance people may sue you
for negligence. a liability waiver may help in any case.
wording of this waiver should be left to a lawyer.
at any rate, be sure everything is in writing before (if) you
p.s. someone once said: ‘when in doubt, don’t.’