Six Actions You Can Take With Your Chipped Diamonds

By Calla Gold

Jupitor 3/4 viewBroken Nails and Jupiter

To break a nail, ladies, is never good. To break a diamond…even less so. Nails grow back relatively quickly. Diamonds…not so fast.  Hmmm, actually not at all. Believe me, I’m one Santa Barbara Jeweler that’s seen plenty of chipped diamonds. Here, I’m going to suggest six actions you can take with your chipped diamonds.

Even though they’re the hardest natural material this side of Jupiter, diamonds do chip and crack.

“Why do Diamonds Chip?”

White Round Brilliant Diamond, Chipped

Chipped in multiple places. Not a candidate for re-cutting

Why? Without getting technical, diamonds can fracture and break along crystalline matrixes within the stone—especially when smacked on granite counter tops, rocks in the garden, and random well placed hard surfaces.

Four  Things to Consider First About Your Chipped Diamond Jewelry Repair

  1. The size of your diamond
  2. The size of your chip
  3. The quality of your diamond
  4. The age and cut of your diamond

Talk it over with your Jeweler. Once you have the facts you need about your diamond’s value and the cost of the work,  it’ll be easier to come to a decision.

Be sure to factor in the sentimental value and history of your diamond. The member of your family this diamond came from may have left little to be remembered by. This small symbol of family love could have great meaning to you or members of your family.

Old or antique chipped diamonds may look like nothing much to your Jeweler, but if it’s the only diamond from your Grandmother Hattie’s ring from the old country, it’s a priceless symbol to the family and worth fixing.

Six Actions You Can Take With Your Chipped Diamond

  1. Re-cut your diamond. Usually, small diamonds—those under .20cts, (1/5th of a carat,) or so—aren’t worth re-cutting. Larger diamonds—especially antique diamonds with sentimental value—can often be re-cut without loosing too much of the original stone. Ask your jeweler.
  2. Replace the chipped diamond for another. Smaller diamonds normally are replaced. A larger diamond with a very big chip may need to be replaced, as well.
  3. Trade up. If you’ve always wanted a bigger, cleaner, or brighter diamond… Now is the time to exchange your old 1/2 ct. chipped center stone with a full one carat sparkly one.
  4. Diamond in decorated bezel setting

    This inherited chipped diamond got a new home in a full bezel setting.

    Cover the chip with a design element. Oftentimes, small chips can be covered over by one of the prongs holding it in its setting. Ask your jeweler if your setting will accommodate and hide your chipped diamond.

  5. Put the diamond in another piece of jewelry. Rings take more abuse than pendants and earrings. You might pair up the chipped diamond in your ring with a matching gem (non-chipped!) to make a pair of earrings. What do you do with the subsequent hole in your ring? See #3, above.
  6. Give the piece of jewelry with the chipped diamond to your niece or daughter.

Now you know what to do with your chipped diamond. As for your nails…there’s a great salon down the block. Ask for Rita. She does fabulous work. Tell her Calla sent you.


12 Responses to “Six Actions You Can Take With Your Chipped Diamonds”

Lori Cooper July 12th, 2011 at 1:19 am

As usual, clear, thoughtful advice, Calla. I am so brash and accident prone ( I have broken nearly every wine glass my husband and I have ever purchased) but have yet to chip my diamond ring. I guess there is always time! Now I know what to do–or rather who to call–if such a disaster occurs.

Lorrie Thomas Ross July 12th, 2011 at 2:13 am

Great advice indeed! I can relate to Lori on the wine chipping…maybe I need a helmet for my ring :) Thanks for sharing your expert Santa Barbara jeweler advice Calla!!!

Calla Gold July 12th, 2011 at 3:16 am

Lori, I defend your right to wear your jewelry to the fullest! Hopefully you never need to call me about chipped diamonds. The good news, it’s not the end of the world.
I say “wear it don’t warehouse it” and it’d sure rather be worn on the rollercoaster of life than languish in a jewelry box.
Calla Gold

Calla Gold July 12th, 2011 at 3:19 am

Lorrie, a helmet for your ring? You crack me up. I love that idea. But seriously, just wear and love your diamonds and they’ll sparkle their love back atcha!
Calla Gold

Santa Barbara Coach July 23rd, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Wow, I never knew that diamonds could chip. More excellent expert advice from Calla Gold Personal Jeweler! I personally thought that that was the good thing about diamonds–that they wouldn’t chip. But, I’m not going to stop wearing them all the time now that I know that. Especially since I know where to get it fixed if something does happen! :)
Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach

Calla Gold July 23rd, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Dr. Jones, I’m delighted that you will be continuing to wear your gorgeous diamonds. They are the only game in town for beauty and durability. They just are completely invincible.
Thank you for your kind words.
Calla Gold

Ray February 28th, 2014 at 2:12 pm


Your aforementioned (Six Actions…) information is very insightful. So I have a small chip on the edge of a 1.55c diamond, next to where a prong is located. I can’t see the chip with my naked eye, but can with a jewelers magnifying loupe. If heat is applied to removed the diamond and have it reset into another setting, is there a (greater) risk that the diamond could crack because it’s chipped?

-Thank you,

Calla Gold March 1st, 2014 at 7:15 am

Hi Ray,
The responsible thing is for me to say yes. However, I have personally never had a diamond get hurt in all the time I’ve worked chipped diamonds.
A random hard hit from wearing the diamond is where I see the damage occur. A couple of my clients who had chipped diamonds created a visible crack farther into the diamond by hitting it while wearing it. For the record the chips they had on each of their diamond were visible to the eye and fairly big.
Each of these clients knew they were living on borrowed time with these chipped diamonds.
I hope this helped. Your diamond will probably be fine for years to come.
Your Personal Jeweler,

Debbiejo March 22nd, 2014 at 7:32 am

A jeweler cracked my diamond while mounting it in a new setting. This diamond belonged to my mother and, therefore, meant a lot to me. It was 1.09 carots and was a VS1 white diamond. I don’t want to “hold them over a barrel” but the corner break is visible to my naked eye. Although I wanted to keep this stone, now I have decided to replace it. Any suggestions about how I should proceed with the jeweler? Unfortunately, he has already suggested that I file a (fraudulent) insurance claim with my own insurance company to get more money. He has admitted liability so now I am not confident that he will deal with me honestly as regards diamond quality in the replacement stone.

Calla Gold March 22nd, 2014 at 8:01 am

What a can of worms this situation is for you. It is a real downer that your special diamond was cracked in the setting process. I don’t know the cut style of your diamond. I do know since it happened to me, that where diamonds are narrowest they can chip, crack or get little breaks at corners and edges.
Having him suggest you file a fraudulent claim is distressing. I’m sure he wants you to get the maximum you can from your policy, but lying to anyone for gain is uncomfortable at best.
I tell my clients (when I remember) that I am as careful as possible in gem setting, but that sometimes gems respond badly to the stress of mounting them. One of the most chip prone in setting shapes of diamonds is the princess cut. It is square and where the corners are it is really thin and way too easy to chip.
There is a good chance that your jeweler was not negligent in the setting that caused this crack to happen. But this helps neither of you. Who is responsible for the value of a broken or damaged gemstone in the jewelry world is a gray area. You’ll have a $200.00 setting fee to set a $15,000.00 diamond. A jeweler could set gems all day and all night for quite a while before he makes the kind of profit that’d help him pay for a replacement diamond for someone.
When I work on a very expensive gemstone that I know is a risk to work on, (such as emerald, opal and tanzanite), I ask if it is insured and have my client sign a form that I am not responsible for damage in setting. I do this to protect myself as I cannot self insure a very expensive gemstone.
The reason people give me jobs to do even when I make them sign this form is because I have a really good track record.
Debbie, I hope that this is at least somewhat helpful and illuminating.
Calla Gold

LoriH November 4th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

The same thing happened to me. I believe the diamond was chipped by the jeweler re-setting my princess cut. When I brought it back to have it cleaned a year later, the jeweler looked at it and immediately said: this diamond has a chip. Well, they were the ones who set it. Yes, I could have possibly chipped it in the year, but I suspect it was chipped by them because I could always feel a tiny chip along the edge once I got it back.
Now, why wouldn’t a jeweler tell me that there is a good chance this princess-cut will chip during the setting process? And then I would have had the opportunity to live with the setting it was in..? They should have told me.

Calla Gold November 4th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Hi Lori,
I am a big fan of letting people know that there is a heightened risk of chipping with princess diamonds when any setting work is done. The corners and edges are just so thin.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Your Personal Jeweler,

Post a comment