Repairing Scratched or Chipped Diamonds – Is it Worth it?

Diamonds are forever; while we are all so familiar with this romantic mantra, the truth is that a diamond can be chipped and damaged over time. Fortunately, because diamond is the hardest known natural substance, major damage is actually pretty rare.
We always advise on the best possible cut and clarity that your budget will allow, as both of these factors can limit the possibility of damage to your diamond. We also suggest the safest settings to protect your precious stone from the normal wear and tear of everyday life. However, sometimes a diamond will chip, and if this happens, it is important to know your options so that you can take the best course of action for your stone.
There are several factors that may influence your decision to repair your diamond, so be sure to understand the pros and cons before making your choice.
We recommend regular cleaning and inspection to help keep your jewelry performing to its full potential, this will enable you to spot any problems that might need attention – to learn more about this read our post on How to Look After Your Jewelry, or take a look at the video below:

Repolishing and Minor Recutting

First, consider the size of your diamond. In order for a diamond to be successfully repaired, it must have enough initial carat weight that it can afford to lose some during the reparative process.
Diamond Repair Evaluation
Depending on the positioning of the damage, the carat weight loss is fairly low (usually somewhere between 0.02ct and 0.10ct). Nevertheless, if the diamond in question is fairly small, this process may reduce it so much that the total value is not worth the cost of the work.
The diamond will also need to be reset (if it was in a piece of jewelry) so if recutting results in significant loss of size, you may also have to change or alter the setting.
For larger and more costly diamonds, recutting is often a sensible solution to repairable damage. A chip on a diamond is considered a flaw and will therefore reduce the clarity grade and sometimes the visual appeal of the diamond. Furthermore, it makes the diamond more vulnerable to further damage, and in some cases, a small chip can lead to a crack or even cause the diamond to shatter. In this case, recutting is the best course of action, as the loss of carat weight is negligible compared to loss in clarity or a broken diamond.
Repolishing is a great option for a scratched diamond; a surface level scratch is easily rectified through repolishing with minimal impact on the carat weight. The diamond still has to go through the same steps on the cutters wheel, but only a very small amount of material has to be removed to restore the mirror finish to the affected facet or facets.
Be sure to discuss the extent of the damage with a diamond expert and get an idea of how much carat weight will be lost during the recutting and repolishing process, and consider the costs against the benefits you will receive from the process.

Sentimental Value

Diamonds can be deeply sentimental, and this may play heavily in your decision. Some people may be keen to re-sell, trade-up or exchange a diamond. However, when there is sentiment involved these options may become less appealing.
Apply the principles of recutting and repolishing to the diamond in question. If the stone has suffered heavy damage or looks particularly vulnerable, repair may not be an option as there is always a risk that the diamond will fracture or shatter during the recutting process.
Inherited diamonds can often be the perfect candidates for recutting; old, vintage cuts can be given new life, while the sentimental value remains firmly imprinted within the facets of the stone.
Many of the second hand or vintage diamonds you see on sale will have undergone repolishing to get them looking their best, and in most cases, this process serves to improve the visual brilliance of the diamond while remaining true to the integrity of the stone.
If the diamond cannot be efficiently repaired, consider resetting it in a pendant where it will get much less wear and tear than in a ring. Another option that can be very effective is to reset the diamond in a bezel setting. Many times, chips occur around the girdle of the diamond and these can be concealed and protected by a full or partial bezel setting.

Insurance

Be sure you fully understand the insurance policy on your diamond. In some scenarios, an insurer will offer a replacement stone, and this may be a better option for a damaged diamond. Check your insurance policy for guidelines regarding diamond chips, scratched diamonds, and other damage.

Repair or Replace?

So, is it worth repairing a scratched or chipped diamond? In short, the answer is yes! If you have had your stone assessed by an expert and repair is possible, we advise that you go ahead with the work to avoid any further damage to the diamond. These precious stones are cut to be worn and enjoyed, so having them expertly repaired so that you can wear them with confidence is the best approach. This is particularly important when there is sentiment attached to the diamond.
At Whiteflash, we offer a lifetime trade-up guarantee on any in-house certified diamonds, including A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select. For those who value quality and beauty over sentiment (as many do!) buying from Whiteflash means you will always have the option to upgrade your diamond in the future.
A diamond is worth the value that we attach to it, and this is the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your stone. The best advice is to contact us so we can assess the diamond and advise on the best possible course of action for you.

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