Repairing Broken Hearts and Broken Diamonds

September 3rd, 2011 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG


.96 ct. Broken Old European Cut Diamond

Our client sadly thought this family heirloom .96 ct. Old European cut diamond had little or no value– after years of wear, it had been cherished almost to death and looked like it had been through the garbage disposal. Mardon to the rescue!

A close inspection in our gemological microscope revealed that while the stone was badly chipped on 3 sides, the heart of the diamond was intact, and in fact, was of very good quality, well worth saving.


Before recut, crown and pavilion view

Often, diamonds cut near the turn of the 20th century were made with very thin girdles which were very prone to chipping. Diamond, like a cedarwood shingle, usually has grain that is relatively straight so that cleavage is easy. The good news here is that the chips followed the grain and the shape of the stone and were relatively shallow. The bad news was that the chips altered the outline so that the diamond was no longer round.

After working with diamond cutters for years, we’ve found that they hate more than anything to lose weight. The solution here was to make lemonade from the lemon, to take what the stone could give. Recutting this stone to a modern round brilliant would have left us with a 5/8 carat diamond. By retaining the original proportions and cutting to an antique cushion shape, the cutter saved .76 carat from our .96 ct broken diamond!


.76 Cushion Antique, crown and pavilion view

Our diamond went from an imperfect unusable diamond with sharp edges and not much sparkle to this lovely old style stone, .76 ct VS clarity, I color.  Even though the stone lost 20% of it’s original weight, its replacement value is over $4000– well worth the $300 cost for the recut service!


Broken .96 ct. to Beautiful .76 ct

Another client brought in her modern brillant solitaire with a similar issue, though not as severe. Again, a shallow chip from the girdle, following the pavilion.


Modern brilliant with bad chi

Our cutter waved his magic wand and abracadabra!


Before and After

This diamond which weighed 1.18 ct with damage, now weighs 1.08 ct, losing only 8% of its original weight– and our cutter’s magic improved the proportions of the stone and yielded a Good cut grade on the new GIA grading report!

We don’t actually repair broken hearts, but if you have a damaged heirloom diamond or gemstone, take heart– if your gem is repairable, we can fix it. Don’t forget– valuable colored gems, like emeralds, rubies, sapphire can also be repaired with good results.

Our experienced gemologists will analyse the cost vs. benefit and help you make the right choice. For example, when the quality and size warrant the extra cost , we’ll have your diamond regraded by GIA after the recut so you’ll have good documentation for identifying and valuing the gem. Call for an appointment, or bring your damaged treasure by the shop– we’re open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 am to 5:30 pm.

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