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Opinion on this old mine which has some chips


Bijouxboyd
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I am really intrigued by this ring, especially for the center stone. I have wanted to Old Mine for quite a while, I think the old cuts are romantic and soft and I don't mind warmer tones. I don't have the highest budget rn and I confess I would love a higher carat weight. This ring is 6k but right now, bc there is a chip in the stone, it's being recut so center stone is currently not in setting. The vendor said if I wanted as is he can reset it with chip under a prong. I won't go that route; firstly just not ready to buy but also I'm going to wait and see what happens after re-cut. I wanted to get some opinions (see pics). I have to admit I'm attracted to the 2.09 ctw size given the affordable price, but I don't know if it's a too good too be true situation and the stone is so fragile because of the chipping. The faceting looks just beautiful to me but I'm not an expert :) He said it would probably shrink some in re-cut, like 2.0. He also said he didn't send it to lab prior to cut but will probably do so after. He is a GIA grad and these are the specs given: 2.09 The diamond measures 8.11mm x 7.9mm with a depth of 4.78mm. VS1  N

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Edited to ask something else - I thought that re-cut meant something akin to repair. Now I am reading that it may be more dramatic than that. I would still want it to look like an Old Mine not a MRB for example. I will need to ask more questions to the vendor but I want advice to anyone out there who might have recommendations for a chipped stone. 

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That looks like a lovely stone. It's not what I would call an Old Mine Cut; I'd call it Old European Cut, but old it definitely is.

7 hours ago, Bijouxboyd said:

I have to admit I'm attracted to the 2.09 ctw size given the affordable price, but I don't know if it's a too good too be true situation and the stone is so fragile because of the chipping.

If it is "almost affordable but not quite", the fact that the vendor is planning a re-cut may work in your favour if you would buy it "as is" - you can definitely negotiate: the vendor is saving on cutting fees, possibly a new setting and the risk that things are going to go catastrophically bad during the recut (unlikely, but it does happen).

It doesn't sound "too good to be true" to me - in 100 or so years since that was set, whatever fragility there was (most likely because of a very thin girdle) has manifested itself as chips; there is no inherent fragility because of the chips, other than the fact that they may snag against other stuff, which I guess is why the stone has been reset to have the chips "on the shank". 

That aside, a recut can take many forms - from just reducing the chips (which are on the girdle, so other facets will have to be re-cut to fit the new girdle profile) to a complete recut turning this into a modern-style stone. If the vendor says they are planning to get the weight down by a few points it's not going to be a complete recut into a modern stone: just closing that culet would mean a considerable loss from both pavilion and crown (or a really crappy "modern" fish-eyed cut).

 

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Thank you so much for your very helpful reply! If the girdle being thin is what caused the chips does that mean that even after a re-cut it may chip again (I don’t know if anything can be done to girdle). If I did take him up on this offer to reset it as is with chip hidden under prong would that be a bad idea? I read sometimes if your ring knocks against something in that situation it might cause further damage. I also read that bezeling can protect the stone. Curious about thoughts on this. 

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The girdle shape would be modified during the repair/recut - presumably also eliminating other very thin areas, but that would be a call that the owner of the stone would need to make together with the cutter: how much of the old character vs. weight retention vs. "nice cut".

I don't think it would be a bad idea - the price is reasonable, if you like the stone - it seems to have many of the nice characteristics of the old cut: a lot of fire and chunky flashes, perhaps a bit dark in the middle. However, not everybody likes "old" - one of my hobbies is antique furniture, so in a sense (and up to a point), I have developed a taste for "distressed" looks.

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Thanks David :) If this is David from DBL which I think it is based on the pic; I've bought two items from you :) I spoke to the vendor today - I asked about the edging on the side as well, thinking that was chipping. He said it wasn't chipping but that often a cutter would leave that remenant from the original to show that he maximized the size in the process (I think I'm getting that explanation correct - was writing notes as we was talking. If recut that would be smoothed out as well, so now I'm thinking if I took the plunge I might not want it "fixed" because that certainly adds character to it....

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This is one David from DBL... and the avatar is definitely by DBL too. There's two Davids, though!

Without the stone in hand and a loupe it's impossible to say, but it is perfectly possible to have naturals (that's the technical term for the original rough crystal surface) on the girdle, and it was quite common to do so "in the olden days" as cutting techniques weren't as good and weight retention was even more important than it is today.

Picking up a couple of points that I left unanswered: settings damaging the chipped area - possible, but unlikely. Metal is much softer than diamond, but it's much more resilient to impact, and it will absorb through deformation impacts that would shatter (chip) the stone.

Bezels. Yes, they definitely protect the stone. They also can make it a bit darker. And just like with prong settings there are people that are good at making bezels, and people that are not... 😉

One last point - if it were me, I'd ask the seller not to recut, but to eliminate any sharp edges (if any) from the chips and re-position the stone so that they are less immediately visible (i.e. under prongs). I quite like it as it is, and it certainly has much more character than a modern stone. Then negotiate the hell out of the vendor! 😈

Edited by davidelevi
added last paragraph
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I probably wouldn't suggest cutting that if I was involved but it's part of your negotiation. Cutters are guessing what the yield will be and you are very near the edge of a proverbial cliff. 2.00 is importantly different from 1.99.  Bear in mind that the 2.09 is an estimate too. If he/she can give you a discount and not take the risk, I'm sure they'll be interested. If the abrasions don't bug you and you like the mounting, I'd leave it alone. 

Edited by denverappraiser
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The stone is already out of the setting because before I inquired about it their plan was to send it off. So when I asked about it he said it wasn’t a rush to cut so either way BUT they did say after cutting the price would change probably 300 more. I’ll still ask for a discount but I think they’re trying to spin it as it was discounted prior bc of chip but then again vendors want to sell their stuff!

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52 minutes ago, Bijouxboyd said:

Hahaha 🤣 negotiating isn’t my strong point I was going to ask 10% do you think more? When you say eliminate sharp points how would they do that? Polishing?

Yes, polishing. However, if you don't mind the chipping too much (which can always be polished later), and assuming the photos above were taken by you (or at least you have actually seen the item!), I'd offer the following to the vendor:

"I'll take it as it is - no need to send it out to repair or even repolish. Just set it as you suggested with the prongs covering the chips as much as possible. What would you say to $5,000?"

Edited by davidelevi
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