The jeweller swapped my diamond


6th June 2018

We have all heard this story and it sends us jewellers, the people who actually make jewellery (not resellers), quite crazy. From my experience most people have no idea what they have when they drop a piece in for remodelling.

More than likely they were originally sold the item by a person who was not a jeweller and who had limited knowledge of what they were selling. 

For many the first time they take a really good look at their piece of jewellery is when they come to pick it up after a real jeweller has worked on it. That is why I always insist customers are present for the unsetting of any pieces for remodelling so that I can point out any issues before doing any work.  

The response I get most often when pointing out an issue is "I never noticed that!".  (edit 30/06/2018: latest example of this common occurrence added to the end of the article)

True colour

Settings can often effect the colour/appearance of a gemstone.  This diamond has been unset to be remodelled into a new ring design. The first thing you will notice is that the colour is not a very good white.

This diamond is a bit yellowish.

This diamond is a bit yellowish.

In the case of coloured gems like sapphires and Rubies they often darken slightly in colour once set.

Chips and flaws

In order to ensure the safe removal of a gemstone the setting must often be damaged or destroyed. Settings can also hide chips in diamonds, either present before setting, created during setting or even everyday wear.

I insist that customers are present for the unsetting of their diamonds to ensure that I am not held responsible for any previous damage to the diamond and can point out any flaws to the customer immediately.  

This diamond has no chip damage but if we zoom in you can see in the table this internally flawed area circled in red.

Flaw of this diamond in the table

Flaw of this diamond in the table

It is in the table of the diamond where it is the most visible.  That said the customer had not noticed it until I pointed it out.  Now she cannot miss it.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article often the first time a customer will take a really good look at their jewellery, in a clean state, is when they receive it back from a real jeweller after having work done.

Getting an even better look

From the front a brilliant cut diamond is like a room of mirrors and some flaws can be hard to spot.  If we turn the diamond over they are a lot more visible.  You can clearly see this diamond has some large flaws in the pavillion.

Diamond flaws more visible from the back.

Diamond flaws more visible from the back.

We love it flaws and all, it is sentimental.

The owners of this ring have been with me for many years now so trust is not an issue, but they still had everything explained and pointed out to them prior to me doing any work on the diamond. 

After a bit of Photoshopping to remove some of that yellow colour tint in the diamond....the ring looks lovely and the flaws make it unmistakably theirs  :)


You would have to pay me to swap that diamond!

The flaws in this diamond make it less than half the value of a diamond the same size in F colour and Si1 clarity.  Diamonds that are heavily and visibly flawed like this are what I generally see being sold in the jewellery chains.

Therefore given most people buy their jewellery in jewellery chains, most people have these lower quality diamonds. Why and what would a real jeweller swap it with? I cannot think of a regular customer of mine that would knowingly purchase a diamond of this quality. These customers would certainly have not.

I say knowingly because almost all diamonds have some flaws and as my regular customers know I always point out and explain any flaws in a diamond or gemstone I sell.

Natural perfection in gems comes at a price that most cannot afford so an informed compromise is required to reach that balance between budget and quality for most.  Purchase a gem on price alone without that knowledge and you are destined for disappointment.

Edit 30/06/2018 - another example

Just a couple of weeks after writing this article a sapphire purchased elsewehere was brought to me for setting into a ring. When I pointed out a chip on the sapphire`s girdle she replied as I have heard so many times before "I never noticed that!"

Chip on the girdle bottom left corner.

Chip on the girdle bottom left corner.

On inspecting photos of the gem from the time of its purchase she can now see that the chip was there right from the start.  

Buying a new gem and thinking/expecting/trusting that noone would ever sell you damaged/flawed goods without disclosing it, you will be amazed at what you can miss.