Six Actions You Can Take With Your Chipped Diamonds
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’ve seen plenty of chipped diamonds. In this post I am 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?”
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.
In other words if it hits a hard surface at just the right angle that little or big chunk will leap away leaving a sad emptiness where symmetry once lived.
Five Things to Consider First About Your Chipped Diamond Before You Take Action
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
5. The sentimental value of the diamond
What About Sentimental Value?
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.
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.
Six Actions You Can Take With Your Chipped Diamonds
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. 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.
The Danger of Hiding That Chip Under a Prong
This wouldn’t be complete without mentioning what a chip in your diamond means.
A chip means that your diamond is no longer whole and has a weakness. That chip can grow into a crack. That crack impedes the sparkle of your diamond and leads to a full on broken diamond.
If you hide a chip under a prong on a ring and that prong gets hit, it’ll pass that stress onto the chip.
Ways to keep that from happening if you chose not to have a diamond cutter re-polish or re-facet your diamond include, using it in earrings or a pendant where the chips won’t be stressed or noticed for that matter.
Another solution is to bezel set it to protect it from hits on the edge if you choose to use it in a ring.
Now you know what to do with chipped diamonds.
Your Personal Jeweler,
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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
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.
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?
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Debbie, 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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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,
I am in a similar situation with my husband’s ring, which we had his mother’s diamond mounted in it over 10 years ago. During a six month check we were told it needed some work so we sent it in. Have now found out it was damaged by the jeweler, but don’t know the details yet. I think I am more sentimental about it than my husband and would like to salvage what we can into a necklace for my daughter whom will never meet her grandmother. If the store replaces my husband’s diamond with a similar one, is it… Read more »
Hi Tammy, These are very good questions. At minimum before you accept the replacement diamond, look at yours under magnification to see what the damage was. Also be sure that the color and size are very similar. I believe that it is difficult to keep the diamond if they give you a replacement. It is worth asking. The value of your damaged older diamond will not be great if I’m guessing correctly. I would assign my loving feelings from your older diamond to the newer one if you accept it. Let the new one be the stand in for the… Read more »
Hi Calla I think the jeweler my fiance purchased my diamond from damaged it while setting it. My fiance purchased the loose diamond and had it set in a band. It is princess cut. It’s .75ct. Since I have owned the ring I haven’t seen any flawed edges or anything. Then all of sudden I noticed a huge chip across the side girdle of the stone. My fiance is a professional photographer and we used his macro lens to take pictures of the ring in order to examine this all of a sudden fracture. It clearly looks like trauma near… Read more »
Dear Sarika, I love your beautiful name! Your story is a sad one. Unfortunately princess cut diamonds are more fragile around the very thin girdle area than other diamond cuts. Whenever I am going to set or re-set someone’s princess cut diamond I warn them about the fragility of these angles and that most of the chipped diamonds I see are princess cuts. In some cases I’ll have my client insure an older cut princess diamond I’ll be re-setting and have them sign a paper acknowledging that damage could occur and I’m not responsible. This is the only cut of… Read more »
Is it possible to crush the chipped diamond and use the chips in a piece of jewlery?
It is possible, but not recommended.
what about crushing the chipped diamond and using the chips in a new piece of jewelry?
Well I have to admit that in 32 years of being a jeweler, this is the first time I’ve heard this. My concern would be that they’d look like dull little lumpen rock bits, not even as potentially pretty as a glass shards which at least would shine and sparkle.
A non-polished diamond bit is very dull and boring looking. I feel like your love for that little crumbly diamond would be not good.
Your Personal Jeweler,