It comes down to risk assessment. You take risk as soon as you
accept an item from a customer and it gets worse from there.
Large diamonds are not usually a problem if you get them super
clean. You do have to watch out for filling and questionable
inclusions. Be careful about frosting. If it happens you can have it
repolished but time and money is needed to correct.
with larger Diamonds is it advised to remove the stone instead of
If you yank it, replace the setting. You’ve already noticed that
resetting a retipped prong is a pain. Its because the solder is
harder than the parent alloy and takes more force with the setting
pliers, increasing the prospect of a chipped girdle. Funny how the
retip just gives way suddenly, letting the jaws come crashing down
onto the stone.(Oh, and really scrutinize for adequate girdle
thickness). If you do have to reuse the original setting, I’d advise
replacing the entire prong rather than just the tip. If you chip a
two pointer no big deal, chip a carat and you will ruin your
Small diamonds are easier to overheat. Figure that you will destroy
a few now and then and build it into your pricing. The hurdle with
melees is to really clean under the stone, lye works when other
Corundums can be retipped if you do not get flux on the stone. After
you pick up the solder on the poker, dip the tip in flux and heat a
little til it fluffs white, then clear, then apply to prong. Any
large or valuable corundum, the risk is not worth the gamble…time
for a new head or setting. But with new stone treatments coming at us
all the time, its wisest not to heat at all.
Pretty much everything else is problematic. Sometimes garnets will
retip, CZs. Emeralds never. If you don’t want to buy a new stone, do
not heat it.
even though im insured i would prefer not to have to fork out for a
You might seek a clarification from your insurer. Damage incurred
during work was not traditionally covered. But I admit I may be out
of date on that one.
When you’re a jobber you’re expected do what the client requests.
But there are times when you should object and get a waiver in
advance. Retailers sometimes do not know beans. I think overall,
you’re better off to replace components than to retip. If you’re
dealing direct with the public you can give your advice re inherent
risk and consequence, offer at least two ways to do the job, disavow
liability if they choose to proceed against your best advice. Get
paid either way. If they insist you try the cheap way first, it
should be their gamble, not yours.
I have retipped many thousand of prongs, once in a while I lost a
$tone. I have reset many many old stones in new mountings, can’t
recall losing anything this way. Risk assessment. Why would you
willingly take higher risk for lower pay? As much as you can, try to
work under your terms, not those imposed on you.
Good luck and ain’t repair fun!