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Chips in Princess Cuts


aaronbucco
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I recently purchased a .96 F VS1 good/good princess cut diamond and proposed. My finacee noticed after a couple of months that the diamond was a little loose as she could tap on the ring itself and hear a little bit of rattle. I took the ring back to the jeweler from whom I had purchased it to be tightened, and when I received it back, examined it thoroughly. I noticed a fairly significant (at least significant to me) chip in the girdle and immediately went back to the jeweler. The chip extended 1/4 length of one of the sides, was directly on the girdle and was a slither that did not extended beyond (above or below) the girdle. I could catch my fingernail in the chip, so I was naturally concerned.

 

I immediately returned to the jeweler, and we agreed to have the diamond sent back to the cutter and go from there. The cutter called me directly and explained my options. Ultimately, we decided to recut instead of just polish the chip out since I wanted the stone to be re-certified. When we got the stone back, it was still .96. I was a little confused, but the jeweler explained that the stone was actually .968 before everything, and we only lost .008. I'm very happy, but a little concerned as to how the portion that chipped out and the work done by the cutter can only amount to .008? Anyway, I'm thinking ahead and wondering what, as a consumer, I'm justified in doing if when the diamond returns after being re-certified, I am not happy with the resulting diamond. I would not originally have bought anything less that F color VS1 clarity good/good or better. Also, the table on the diamond was 78% and I've always thought that was close to being too large, but after learning that only .008 was lost, will the table be any larger?

 

Any advice suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Removing .008 of weight sounds very low, but not outside the realm of possibility if the "chip" was just a scratch on the surface.

 

For peace of mind, I suggest you weigh the diamond (ask the jeweler to do it in front of you) prior to re-mounting it.

 

Other than a "sanity check" with your eyes, I wouldn't be concerned with the slight increase in table proportions.

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Thanks for the advice.

 

I was never concerned with the weight of the diamond, I just wanted the best quality I could afford. I actually was hoping for .75, but the .96 had what I wanted as far as clarity, color and squareness.

 

Any suggestions on how to proceed if the re-certification is not what I was shopping for initially?

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0.008 is a pretty small loss for a recut but it’s not out of the question if it’s all along the girdle and the girdle was thin to start with. This would indicate that it’s a pretty small chip and that the change during the cutting of the stone will be very small. I would not expect you to see a change in the table percentage.

 

Princesses are pretty fragile anyway and very thin girdles make it worse. This repair may actually improve the durability of the stone. To answer your question, it will depend entirely on the policy of the jeweler. Some will offer you a new stone in exchange, some will offer you a refund, some will offer you nothing at all (not even the cost of the repairs) and some will allow you to choose from a selection. Have they made you an offer? By all means, wait until the lab exam is done and see if you are happy with the results. It’s not out of the question that they can improve your ‘good’ polish for example. Remember that the important part is the diamond, not the paper. Pay attention to what the STONE looks like.

 

If you want to mess with it, this is probably a covered loss on your insurance although the damages may be less than your deductible.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

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.008 loss entirely reasonable to fix the chip as you have described it. Keep in mind that the girdle is a straight plane and smoothing it plus a slight polish on the triangle and pavillion facet(s) will result in negligible carat weight loss. On re-certification, girdle description will change. Should also not effect Color and Clarity rating.

 

Will not effect table % but will slightly alter millimeter measurements which the new lab report will document and which you should register immediately with your Insurance company.

 

What bothers me about your situation is your jeweler not being proactive and telling you upfront that in tightening the prongs, his setter chipped the girdle. That "chip" could have easily evolved into a major fracture.

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Thanks Neil and Barry,

 

I will definately wait until I get the stone back before I make any decisions.

 

I contacted the jeweler a couple of weeks after the chip was discovered and aksed them to write down the minimum specifications of a stone that I would have bought, just so it wouldn't seem as though I was coming out of the blue if I am not happy with the resulting stone.

 

The jeweler has covered the cost of the re-cut and re-certification, and I am very pleased with the customer service that I have received to this point.

 

Neil: I am hoping that the girdle improves from thin to medium or slightly thick where the re-cut took place, that would be ideal given the circumstances. As to an offer, the jeweler wants to wait and see what the certification is, but I'm getting the impression that the cost of repairs is their ceiling, unless the value of the stone is reduced dramatically (which I doubt will be the case based on your reply).

 

Neil and Barry: When I first received the ring after the tightening, there were scratches in the prongs that were described to me as "filings", the jeweler explained that these were common. Are noticeable scratches in the prongs common?

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Scratches in the prong are common and that is indicative of sloppy bench work.

 

Prongs, shank, and entire setting should be smooth, no pits, crevices, rough spots, nicks, or dents. Presence of any or all of these indicate sloppy, incompetent, lazy bench work and/or metal porosity; all of which need to be taken care of during QC review before the the ring is presented to you.

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Scratches in the prong are common and that is indicative of sloppy bench work.

Unfortunately, this is correct. Sloppy bench work is pretty common. This doesn't mean you should accept it. Proper finishing is more work than sloppy finishing. Fine - work more. It should not be up to the customer to recognize craftsmanship problems and send them back to the bench for rework. This is why jewelry stores have managers.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

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Thanks again, I think I'll just have the jeweler call me when the diamond gets back and I'll take the diamond and ring to another jeweler to be set.

 

I trust the jeweler and the cutter after all this is said and done, but it sounds like the setter is a hack.

 

Thanks for all the help and good luck with your respective businesses!

 

Aaron

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