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Replacing chiped sentimental diamond


My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversery last summer. I
purchased a 1/3 carrat diamond ring as an engagement ring when I was
21 years old. My wife is Not a woman who wears a great deal of
jewelry. What

she does wear is pretty simple. About a year into our marriage my
wife was sitting at her desk and accidently hit her ring hand on
something. A few hours later she was playing with her ring and
noticed the diamond was chipped. The ring was purchased at a jewelry
store that was closing, so there was not any kind of warranty…don’t
know if there would have been anyway. My wife took off the ring and
has only occassionally worn it since then.You can’t really see the
chip but you can feel it. I don’t think she has ever taken off the
wedding band. I’ve always wanted to replace it for her, but college,
two kids and house payments have always taken priority. My question
is, what is the most economical way to replace the stone with a
similar size stone( maybe a little large), and make sure I’m not
getting one with a potential flaw which is what I assume was the
problem with the original one. Also, is it possible to polish out or
repair the chip in the original so that I could maybe have it set in
another piece of jewelery? I know you can’t tell for sure without
seeing the stone in person, but is it done?

Thanks, Matt

Diamonds. while " hard" (Meaning they can’t be scratched) can be
chipped by striking a hard surface without having a " hidden flaw"
Happens all the time as a matter of fact. Your choices are simply to
buy a new stone and keep the original piece of jewellery for
sentimental reasons,… or have the stone recut by a cutter and put
it in another piece of jewellery (or both) Recutting is the less
expensive but then you’ll have to have another piece of jewellery
made to fit it.

Hi Matt;

I have a suggestion. Suppose you have the chipped diamond re-cut.
How much this will cost depends on what needs to be done, where the
chip is and how bad it is. It could cost a couple hundred dollars,
maybe not. Stuller now does re-cutting, but there are other places to
have this done.

So, when you get the stone back, suppose now instead of 1/3 carat
it’s now something like a quater carat. Buy another one the same
size, and use the two diamonds on either side of a larger center
stone to make a 3 stone ring. One diamond for the past (from the
past too), one for the future, and the larger center one for the
present, since the present is all we really have so it’s the most
important. If you got a 1/2 carat center, you’d have a carat total
and a pretty respectable sparkle without breaking the bank.

David L. Huffman


I am sorry to hear about your wife’s Diamond ring.

First let me say that many people confuse Hardness with Toughness.
In very simple terms the following applies.

Hardness is the ability to withstand scratches (Diamond is extremely
hard - actually it is the hardest natural substance on Earth).
Toughness is the ability withstand sharp blows. Think of taking a
hammer and beating on a piece of steel as compared to hitting any
gemstone. Diamonds structure is composed in a way that allows it to
be cleaved in four separate directions. Further the edge (girdle) of
any gemstone is vulnerable to chips and breakage if cut too thin. It
is possible to recut Diamonds to remove a chip. It is also possible
to reset a Diamond back into a ring that is in good condition.

I deal in Estate Jewelry and do have some loose 1/3 to 1/2 carat
Diamonds on hand. Please feel free to contact me through to discuss your needs.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark

recutting would be far cheaper than replacement and resetting…
finding a reputable dealer in your location is half the task… Do
Not send it off to china whatever you do- there are great many
advertised services of that ilk but whether you will get your stone
back is iffy. I’d recommend local jewelrs or lapidary… search your
phone book, etc. for a rock club, most have lapidaries capable of
grinding out a chip… resetting it is simply accomplished by any
jewelr with an IN-House stone setter… sending it out adds money and
mark-up and you can probably locate one as easily as they can. Chains
do not have bench jewelrs (zales, jared, friedrichs,etc). Off list
you may contact me for recommendations if I know your area…


Matt- 25 years is quite an accomplishment. My hat’s off to you and
your wife.

As to the chipped diamond.

Yes you can have it repaired/re cut. It’ll cost some money, but it
will be much cheaper than replacing it. Find a diamond cutter that
specializes in repair work. We have a great one here in Portland.
His name is Tim Strand.

Even though they are the hardest thing in the world, diamonds do
break and chip. It’s really quite more common than you’d imagine.I
used to see broken and chipped stones every day when I worked in
busy trade shops. It often happens when the ring is new to the
customer and they haven’t become accustomed to living with it on
their hands. It doesn’t really have to do with a flaw in the stone.

Often all it takes is a good hit on the corner of a filing cabinet
or metal appliance. I have my good wedding ring insured in case I hit
it on something and break the center stone. I’m more worried about
that than losing or having my ring stolen.

Perhaps when you get it repaired you may want to have the center
stone set a bit lower or in a bezel so that it is less likely to get


You could bezel set your existing diamond covering up the sharp

Yes the stone can be re-cut, 1/3ct is about the lower limit on that,
and it does depend on the size of the chip and various other factors,
someone who is familiar with doing diamond recutting would know more.

As for replacing the original stone, any competent jeweller should
be able to do it and source a nice stone to do it with.

Cheers, Thomas.
Janstrom Designs.

I didn’t read the original post, but if its big enough, send it to
have it recut. More valuable that selling it as chipped. If you need
a cutter: Bill Bray:

Company: W.R.Bray Co.
Contact: Bill Bray
PO Box 8913
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17604
(717) 285-3955

David Geller


Even though they are the hardest thing in the world, diamonds do
break and chip. It's really quite more common than you'd imagine. 

Wow! I thought it was a flaw all of these years…in the diamond not
my wife. I got many responses saying that it was pretty common to
chip a diamond this way. I guess I will go diamond hunting for a new
one to put in the setting. A friend recently had a ring made by a
local shop. I’ll probably start there.


Hello Matt,

Someone will explain about recutting the stone. Without seeing the
stone, it’s not possible to give you a reliable answer though.

If the stone is primarily sentimental, you could consider having the
mounting redesigned so that a bezel or special prong could cover the
damaged area.

A friend put her ring down the garbage disposer and when she
retrieved it, found that the stone had a little wedge-shaped chip on
the girdle. I removed the stone from her mounting and got the ring
reshaped to its original form, then did a little creative redesign.
Rather than recutting the stone, which would have greatly reduced the
size, I simply reset it so that the new design element on her ring
covered the chip. She completely understood that the stone was still
damaged and some of the brilliance was lost, but overall, she was
very pleased.

Just another possible option. You’ll have to take the piece in to a
jeweler for evaluation and estimates.

Judy in Kansas

Once Fulco Verdura (very prominent jewellery designer who started
his career with Chanel) was asked to design a brooch around broken
amethyst, because the stone had a deep sentimental value for the lady
who owned it.

Verdura solution was a composition made up of broken pieces of
amethyst arranged dynamically around the center and the lightning
bolt. The feeling conveyed was that stone was shattered due to strike
of the lightning bolt.

Following the same idea, the damaged area of the diamond can be used
artistically. A bird can be soldered to setting like it was pecking
the diamond, or some kind of an animal may be bitting the diamond,
and etc. Variations are endless.

So the stone can be replaced in the ring and the chipped stone could
be used as an interesting brooch or a pendant.

Leonid Surpin

I thought it was a flaw all of these the diamond not my
wife. I got many responses saying that it was pretty common to chip
a diamond this way. 

I do not want to create an impression that diamonds are easily
chipped. This is not true. If it would be true, diamond would never
become a popular gemstone.

There are 3 principal reasons why diamond can be chipped.

  1. Larger feather.

Solution: when shopping for diamond, pay to attention to clarity
grade and not to the price. Anything bellow SI 2 is subject to

  1. Diamonds can cleave.

Solution: avoid cuts with shallow crowns and thin girdles. Setting
must also be designed to protect the stone.

  1. Diamonds could have internal strain which might cause them to

Solution: Avoid tension settings. Vector tightening (in prong
settings) should not be used, and extra attention should be paid to
the stone bearing. Internal strain can also be detected using
polariscope. Simply ask your appraiser (gemologist) to check for
anomalous double refraction.

Leonid Surpin