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Repair of antique ring


#1

Help! I am looking for small diamonds which are actually the chips
from old rose cut diamonds - I believe they are called mackels - or
something very similar - does anyone know a source for these - the
ring which needs repair has 4 good size center rose cut diamonds
which are in very good shape and approximately 20 small diamonds
around the edge -3 of them are missing - each is about 1.5mm
diameter round. Customer want to wear it to daughter’s wedding at
end of month. Any suggestions? Sheridan Reedliif0jjjy,lj1


#2

Dear Sheridan, Every time I read “chips” in reference to diamonds I
cringe. The general public likes to believe that they really exist !
Admitedly very small diamonds that were used as trim in very early
jewelry were , indeed, uncut or partially cut diamond
crystals…nonetheless, I have never seen any diamond that might
be called a chip.

When one suggests that a rose cut diamond might produce chips also
suggests that the stone might have been shaped by cleaving. Indeed,
diamonds are regularly cleaved, but the cleaving is generally across
the basal plane of the crystal and the end result is that of halving
an isometric crystal so that maximum yield can be attained. So
called rose cuts are not achieved by cleaving because cleaving
results in basal plane separation.

When replacing diamond trim in antique jewelry one usually uses
single cut diamonds which are readily available through such sources
as Stuller.Don’t get sucked into the “chips” fantasy ! Ron at Mills
Gem, Los Osos, Ca.


#3

Ron,

I beg to differ…I have seen several antique pieces that have
"chips" in them. You can call them rose cuts if you like but the word
"facet" has nothing to do with these stones. Mark

Sheridan,

As for a suggestion to locate these…Try looking for jewelers that
purchases a lot of estate jewelry and ask them if they have any
"breakout" that might match your description of the stones. They
will never be able to sell this type of stuff so you might get lucky.
Mark


#4

Ron - Pardon my ignorance but you don’t have to be quite so scolding.
I only use stones I do not create them. I know I have alot to learn
but I wrote what I did because I was informed that these small
diamonds are flat on the bottom ie, have no culet and are not
"faceted" though there is some surface irregularity such that it
appears to have two or three surfaces that meet somewhere near the
middle but those surfaces are not smooth as with a faceted stone - I
was told they were indeed “sliced off” the “rose cut” diamonds during
their faceting. Sorry that I don’t know better. I have ordered lots
or small diamonds from Stuller and I do not believe they have what I
am looking for. You fail to mention the term I used - have you heard
it before? I have never had the opportunity to have observed a stone
being faceted - whether it is a “rose cut” diamond or a “brilliant”

  • I only understand that the rose cuts are typical of older or
    antique rings and have fewer facets. I have seen stone cleaved as
    with the forming of arrowheads and such.

#5
     As for a suggestion to locate these...Try looking for
jewelers that purchases a lot of estate jewelry and ask them if
they have any "breakout" that might match your description of the
stones.  They will never be able to sell this type of stuff so you
might get lucky. Mark" 

Mark - thank you for your suggestion but I wouldn’t know where else
to look. I guess that is what I was hoping for from the list -
someone who either sold “estate” or antique jewelry or had a pawn
shop or something who might have gathered together some of these
diamonds- whatever they are called - they are flat on the bottom,
that is, there is no culet, and the top surface is uneven so it
catches the light but I cannot say they are really “faceted” - they
are round and small. Sheridan


#6

Hideo, Regarding the definition of the term you used. “macle” is the
term for a twinned diamond rough crystal which is triangular in
shape. Jerry in Kodiak


#7

Hey- The rose cut has variations accordding to the year cut .Some are
flat on the bottom and strange facets on top, and some brilliant
on bottom and rose on top


#8

Hideo,I will probably have available th stones which you need in the
next week or so. I am being hired to recut a black opal in very worn
condition which is currently mounted in a ring where they are
surronded by diamonds in the cut you describe…I will have a chance
to purchase those diamonds.

While I’m not in my shop now, and I don’t have my resouces to look up
a name for that cut here at home; I can say with assurity that they
are not called macles…that name is applied to a rather flat, almost
triangular diamond crystal. These where at one time in history cut
into only the crown portion of a diamond and then mounted over an
internally faceted cavity to produce the “look” of a fully faceted
diamond…theie current use in the industry evades me as my
references are now dated.

I must correct you on the use of term “cleaved” in reference to
arrowhead making…the stone used for arrowheads is "chipped"
causing cocoidal fracturing to occur as opposed to cleaving which
breaks the stone apart on crystal planes…concoidal fractures look
similar to the breaks you see in glass; a “BB” hole is a nearly
perfect example of concoidal fracture.

I’ll let you know if I am able to purchase these diamond melee and
will photograph the and email that to you offline to be sure they
meet you needs. Paul D. Reilly


#9

Hideo Chino–Sheridan, Allow me the opportunity to correct
myself. I took the opportunity to go into my shop and properly reseach
the stones in question and found a reference to them in Eric Burton’s
book “Diamonds” in chapter 10, “The history of Cuts”.

He speaks first of point cuts, which are similar to octohedr=
al
diamond crystals but with appreciably lower angles, as probably the
first true cuts of diamond being set into jewelry. Perhaps these ar=
e
what you have? Then he desribes that macles were indeed set into
jewelry as small side stones…these more closely approximate what I
saw in the ring I must destroy to recut the black opal for a new ring
[heart tearing to do such a thing…but I’m only the wholesale guy
hired by another jeweler who (blindly?) wants to make his customer
happy]. These, seem to fit the description of your stones best, in
that specular faces can be present on the macle, appearing to be cut
facets, and distorting the triangular appearance of the crystal. =

When I get the ring back after estimate approval I’ll photograph the
stones and send theat picture. Paul D. Reilly


#10
   I beg to differ...I have seen several antique pieces that have
"chips" in them. You can call them rose cuts if you like but the
word "facet" has nothing to do with these stones. Mark 

And Mark, I beg to differ, either a diamond is rough, and if
anything is done to shape it, it is a cut stone, not a chip. Potato
chips or corn chips, rough or cut diamonds.You cannot call any dealer
and order a chip, if you ask for that, you then have to describe what
you want, specifically. It is part of my job to educate my customer
so they use the correct terminology. I find it is much easier to
converse and to have clarity about what we are discussing, instead
of having to find out what they are calling a “chip”. Some people
call small single cut diamonds, chips. But then, I am a Graduate
Gemologist, and we never used the term chip during my diamond course
at G.I.A. in residence. And a rose cut diamond, is faceted, all the
ones I have seen, however crudely fashioned, have been faceted. If
you have ever seen rough diamond crystals, they do not have
crystalline stucture of a rose cut diamond. Cubes, octagonal, and
macles are typical shapes for rough diamonds, and have no
resemblance to rose cuts. Webster’s dictionary has " a form in which
gems,esp. diamonds, are cut with a flat base and a multifaceted upper
surface. Webster’s also has “chip, a small thin wood, stone, ect.,
cut or broken off” Does not seem applicable for what I see in old
antique jewelry, or any other form of diamond the last 30 years I been
lookin’ at them.Richard Hart, G.G. in Residence


#11

Dear Sherri, I certainly didn’t mean to imply that your use of the
term “chips” indicated that you were abusing proper jeweler
nomenclature. The fact is that the general public DOES abuse the
term. In the mind’s eye of the average consumer

ALL very small melee are “chips” and…since the term"chips"
implies a small particle which breaks off something that has been
hit with a hammer or other object, it is hardly relevant that small
diamonds used in jewelry might have been produced by using a hammer
! Obviously I am being a stickler for proper nomenclature, but I am
sure that you can appreciate the fact that I am sensitive to the
perpetuation of the usage of a term that is totally inappropriate
and irrelevant.

There also isn’t any question of the fact that many pieces of
antique jewelry used diamonds that were atrociously cut or stones
that were only partially cut. When repairing very old jewelry it is
appropriate that one might use components that were typical of the
era. Whether one uses the ancient cuts or the more modern cuts
depends on the end goal. If the piece is important enough to be
restored consistent with its’ original components then it would be
entirely appropriate to seek out old crude stones.

Antique restoration is a very challenging endeavour, but it is also
very satisfying to be able to restore something that might be tossed
off as a castaway were it not for being able to make it whole again
! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos Ca.


#12
   And Mark, I beg to differ, either a diamond is rough, and if
anything is done to shape it, it is a cut stone, not a chip. 

Richard, I’ve seen antique work set with tiny stones that really do
deserve the word chip. These are small crystals which have been
cleaved into thin flat plates. They are not naturally thin crystals
or macles, but intentionally cleaved bits. No actually cut and
polished surfaces, just a cleavage surface, sometimes just one on
top, sometimes two parallel ones.

Peter


#13

Sheridan, Manak has what you need, give them a call 415-255-4768

Karel


#14

P.S. Having 100% of my customers refer to small single cut or
standard round brilliant diamonds as chips is what fuels me to be
adamant about this. Who are they being mis-informed and supported by?
If that many people refer to something incorrectly, I would question
why we would want to condone the use in any way when refering to any
diamond. For those of you who do not work directly with the retail
public, it becomes quite redunant and boring to hear a term used that
has no relevence if it is being used incorrectly all the time.

Richard Hart, G.G. in Residence


#15
    I've seen antique work set with tiny stones that really do
deserve the word chip.  These are small crystals which have been
cleaved into thin flat plates.  They are not naturally thin
crystals or macles, but intentionally cleaved bits.  No actually
cut and polished surfaces, just a cleavage surface, sometimes just
one on top, sometimes two parallel ones. 

Hello Peter, I will stick to my guns on this one. The public will
call any small diamond a “chip”. Is this an accurate discription of a
single cut, a full cut, or an antique cut or a cleaved piece? Not in
my opinion. Do you use “chip” to describe any of these to customers
or dealers? I think not. If I take any piece of rough that cleaves
and cleave it, to me it is still a piece of rough. It has been
altered from it’s original form, but sometimes you cannot tell
whether it was found that way, or changed by the action of man. I
have seen two pieces of gem rough that were found that fit together,
part of the same crystal. They were from an alluvial deposit. Find a
reference in any jewelry related reference material that gives a
definition of what a chip is, and I will change my view. Common usage
does not mean correct usage, and is not acceptable to me. It
basically has no meaning when it used for rough, smaller pieces of
rough, single cuts, or full cut diamonds. Why would the smaller piece
not be called a cleavage, if that was what was done to it? When I
set a diamond, and it breaks, I say I chipped it. Usually, I cleaved
it.

Richard Hart


#16

I quote from “Diagrams for Faceting” by Glenn and Martha Vargas,
privately published by the authors, 1975. Fifth printing, 1988. The
quote is in reference to the “Eight Cut,” also called the “Single
Cut” method of cutting a 17-facet stone. Both the quote and the
cutting instructions appear on page 6. “This cut was originated for
use with the so-called “chip” diamonds.” Regards from Florida mike

<edit> 
Diagrams for Faceting @ Amzon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/091764607X/theganoksinpr-20
</edit>

#17
              As for a suggestion to locate these...Try looking
for jewelers that purchases a lot of estate jewelry and ask them if
they have any "breakout" that might match your description of the
stones.  They will never be able to sell this type of stuff so you
might get lucky. Mark" 

Is that what they call it, breakout? One day about 10 years ago a
Antique jewelry retailer called about an emergency repair- replace a
lost diamond in an old platinum bracelet. The stone was basically a
rough crystal. She handed me a parcel that contained at least
800-1000 carats of tiny diamond rough. Industrial quality, if you
know what I mean. Looked like beach sand… I was really glad I had
my Meiji microscope. Well, I saved the sale for her.

Rick Hamilton


#18

Hi Rick,

No, when I refer to stones as breakout I mean literally
that…Stones that where taken out of existing pieces that are kept
for repairs or other things whether they are single cuts, full cuts,
colored stones, etc… For the most part the person buying these
pays very little for the stones if anything because they are not
planing on reselling the piece only scraping the gold. The stones are
a bonus…sometimes taking them out is a project…hence the term
breakout…

Mark


#19
Every time I read "chips" in reference to diamonds I cringe. ip. 

Hi Ron and everyone, . I have been on holiday and am scrolling
through 900 Ganoksin emails. You reminded me of the story of the
division of the Cullinan diamond, The largest of its stones being in
the British crown jewels, and the two next slightly smaller in size (
anti glare goggles needed ) are referred to by the Royal family as
’Granny’s Chips’. Ruth