What to do with removed diamonds

I’m doing a good bit of remaking clients’ jewelry these days, or disassembling old gold and jemstone jewelry, having the metal refined, giving a credit for the metal and making an entirely new piece of jewelry for my client.

I’m ending up with lots of small diamonds and I don’t know what the heck to do with them! Clients don’t want them. Aside from some flush setting and tube setting of the smaller diamonds, I have no interest in using them. I’m even ending up with some 1/4-1/3 carat diamonds.

I have very little knowledge of diamonds, quality, etc. I can’t reuse them in anything except the individual client’s pieces unless I can figure out their quality.

What do I do with them? How do I get them looked at and rated/get a value estimate? How do I sell the melee?

Anybody have suggestions who I contact for answers?


Get yourself some gem jars and hold onto them for future projects. Donating them to a jewelry/gemological school is a nice gesture. But if they are real diamonds, they can simply be sold on eBay individually or in lots. Just make sure they aren’t artificial stones before selling them as diamonds :wink:

I am also a watchmaker (self taught) I’d order movements In the come in round plastic cases. Stack 4quarters together. About the size. I used those for loose stone storage. Multiple sizes too.diamonds sapphires, I kept everything LoL. Also scrap gold of all types. Came in handy when seeking findings etc. That or the stones didn’t have to wait for replacement parts to arrive.

Thanks you guys. But, I’m asking how I find out if they’re real and their quality, in order to sell them or verify their quality if I put them into pieces of jewelry to sell.

Are there sources out there that will help me with that, or buy them? I don’t know how to verify. I can ASSUME they are real because they are coming out of solid gold, but that wouldn’t honest. And I cannot assume their quality.

I may decide to give away the melee, but certainly not the larger diamonds.

Look up a gemologist via GIA (link below). They can test and certify your stones. Otherwise you’ll need to invest in tools and training to be able to do it yourself. Don’t trust those cheap diamond testers.


Thank you.

You’re not kidding, those diamond testers are EXPENSIVE we bought one for the pawnshop I was set up in. So when shop closed I couldn’t take it with me :sob:been times I didn’t think it was right.

When I was teaching in Kingston, Jamaica, I found that the two repair jewellers were just sitting and cutting out loads of diamonds and leaving them all over their benches. I noticed this and told them on the first day of 8, to collect them and put them into a glass container. They didn’t know why they had to do this…:>?
I organized these two benches and saved the owner over hundreds of dollars just in one day. The owner said what I did in that one day saved him hundreds of $$$. Now he’s been making up new jewellery from these stones, instead of buying new diamonds. At the end of the 8 days, my actions saved him literally thousands of $$$'s!

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Yup I was a spares pack rat lol. IF it was something I had a regular need for, which most of the time I could produce and sell any type of ring with any stone in it. So had an adequate stash.


I trained as a GIA gemologist years ago, but the new lab created diamonds are not something we covered then…I have kept up some thru the Gemworld Guide, however. My understanding is that without sending diamonds out to GIA or a similar sophisticated lab, you cannot test to see for sure whether they are natural or created. You can easily test for diamond vs CZ and other simulants/imitations with a simple thermal conductivity tester. The only thing this will miss is moissanite, but you are not likely to find any of that in old jewelry…however, there is also a fairly inexpensive moissanite/diamond tester. About $25 gets you both testers on ebay. With a good loupe, you can examine the diamonds for inclusions and give them an approximate grade for clarity and color. Most jewelry with melee is appraised by grading the melee in ranges of color and clarity, so if you say “vs to si2 clarity” and “G to J color” you are within industry standards. So if the melee is not too worn, you could use it in new pieces. If you want to be strictly ethical, you should inform your customer that you cannot for certain warrant that the diamonds are natural. The melee costs about $300-$500/ct and an appraisal would cost at least that and I’m not sure that even GIA would test to see whether all the melee is natural. This is quite a problem in jewelry today…you can get melee that is certified all natural, followed from the mine to the jeweler, but it comes at a premium. There are probably ways to be pretty sure that a small stone is not lab created, since natural stones with particular inclusions differ from them, but there isn’t any easy way to be definite about this. I think this is all correct, but if I’ve not gotten it completely right, practicing gemologists, please correct. -royjohn

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Thanks so much! This is great information. I’ll check out ebay. The cheapest diamond tester through Rio is $120.

To be honest, in most breakout diamonds, I doubt you are going to see much if any lab-grown stones at this stage. I don’t find it easy searching my sources to find lab-grown melee that doesn’t cost just as much as earth-mined melee from SE Asia/India.

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I’d agree with you, but the issue for me as a seller and gemologist is that you can’t say with certainty what the diamonds are…so I think it is going to be the industry norm to say that you just can’t guarantee that the melee is natural. I guess at present you value them as natural, but IDK what will happen to that valuation practice as time goes on…

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