Part of the beauty of diamonds is that, in addition to their dazzling appearance, they are incredibly strong. Diamond is the hardest substance known to man, and in fact, the name comes from Greek word “adamas,” which means unbreakable. But this may be a bit misleading! With the right amount of force - or an unlucky smack against a granite counter top, for example - diamonds can chip and crack. What do you do about a chipped diamond?
If your diamond has sustained minor damage, like a nick or scratch, you can probably get by with repolishing. This is a great option to restore the stone without substantial loss of weight.
More serious damage may require recutting; it is a much more extensive process and will result in weight loss and, often, a change in appearance.
Recutting diamonds that are cracked and chipped helps prevent further damage. If your girdle (the middle portion of the diamond, at the widest point) is damaged, for example, it can lead to the formation of extensive cracks.
If your diamond is damaged, stop wearing it and bring it to your jeweler. They can assess the situation - and help you make the decision to recut it or leave it alone. There are some reasons why you would consider the latter. Recutting diamonds is expensive; it requires tremendous skill; and you may end up with a stone that is less valuable. Think about factors such as:
- Size. Most jewelers recommend against recutting diamonds that are less than 0.30 carats.
- Size of the chip. Ask your jeweler if the chip affects current value (and to what extent) and, more importantly, if it will result in further damage if you continue to wear the piece.
- Quality. Generally, jewelers recommend that only high quality diamonds are recut. Quality, of course, involves high ratings in each of the 4Cs.
- Age and Cut. Some vintage stones benefit from recutting as it breathes new life into them (more on this in a bit).
- Sentimental Value. There are some pieces that are so special that saving them is worth the cost of recutting and potential of losing weight and monetary value for their owners.
Before you decide on recutting, consider some other options, such as:
- Protecting. Mounting the diamond in a protective setting, such as a bezel, so you can wear it. It’ll change the aesthetic, but preserve the stone - and sentiment.
- Repurposing. Using the damaged stone in a different type of piece. For example, if a diamond ring is damaged, consider having the stone set into a necklace where it will be safer from further damage.
- Replacing. Saving the setting and replacing the stone completely.
If recutting is right for you, be selective when it comes to the expert with whom you entrust your diamond. It is a complex, intensive, and time-consuming process. Be sure that your cutter is experienced and meticulous. Again, this will come at a cost, but it may very well be worth it to you.
Even if you’re not dealing with a chipped diamond, there are other reasons to consider recutting:
- You want to modernize an older cut. There are some cuts, like emerald or cushion, that have a large table and may appear dull. Recutting it can increase scintillation (sparkle).
- You want to maximize brilliance. In some cases, the original cut may not meet today’s standards. Recutting can release the stone’s optimal brilliance and fire.
- You want to take advantage of more advanced cutting techniques. Today, tools and techniques are far more precise, so if you’ve been wanting to address some issues with your diamond, now is a great time.
K Rosengart’s expert cutting services will help you enhance brilliance, freshen up an old cut, or repair damage. If you have questions about recutting diamonds, do not hesitate to get in touch.