Lets face it, things happen!
Jewelers Break Stones!
Jewelers are human just like everyone else. Jewelers can break Stones & Diamonds during Repairs.
But why does this happen?
And what can you do about it?
Let’s find out…
All Gems Can Break!
First off, every Gemstone on the face of the Earth can break. And yes, even Diamonds can chip or break. (Read more: Can Diamonds Break?) No Gemstone is shatter-proof!
You’d be shocked to find out how easily some Gemstones can be broken. It really doesn’t take much pressure or force to chip those delicate Gems.
True, Diamonds are much more durable, but Diamonds have a breaking point just like everything in life does. With the right angle, the right amount of force… And CRACK!
There’s a Chunk taken out of your Diamond!
When Jewelers work on Jewelry, they use Steel Tools and a lot of manual force. Steel Pliers Bend Prongs and sometimes crack stones.
Jewelers can’t help it, they have to apply force to the edges of the stones. They push down on Channel Walls, which pushes down on stones. Every movement the Jeweler makes directly involves pressure on those Diamonds and Gemstones.
Everything about Jewelry involves some parts of the Ring or Mounting holding down those stones. Whether it’s Basket Heads, Prongs, Channels, Tension Settings, Beads or Wires, Metal is always being Bent Over, Pushed Over, Pried Across or Wrapped Around those Stones.
Stones are Vulnerable
Anytime during this Repair process, it leaves your Gems and Diamonds open and vulnerable. A little too much pressure, a little too much push, a little slip of the tool is all it takes to Chip, Break, Fracture, Crack or Shatter your Beautiful Gems and Gorgeous Diamonds.
And there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Jewelers try to be careful when they’re dealing with Gems, but it happens to even the best of Jewelers!
You broke a Tooth chewing GUM?
You just never know how a stone will really react to force and pressure. It’s like when you’re chewing a piece of Gum and you break a Tooth. “You broke a Tooth chewing GUM?” Yep! You just never know when it will happen. Stones can give just as easily. If it breaks, it breaks!
So there you go…
The Stone is Broken, now what?
Hopefully the Jeweler was nice enough to call you and let you know the bad news. (It’s crappy when you go in to pick up your Jewelry Repair and find out then… That sucks!)
There’s good news and bad to all of this. The Good news is, it happened while in the Jeweler’s possession. Yah! The bad news is, you may not ever like the new stone you get! Boo!
You see, Jewelers are normally obligated and insured to replace stones that they happen to chip or break during repairs. (Large Diamonds may involve an Insurance Claim!)
Most Jewelers will then pick out a new stone for you. Most will do a decent job of this and try to match the exact Size, Quality, and Color of the broken stone…
But that’s bad. You shouldn’t let the Jeweler make that Decision!
After all, it’s YOUR Stone!
Tell the Jeweler that you want to be involved in choosing a new stone.
Allow the Jeweler to give you choices so you can inspect them.
I Want to See Them!
Look at all the Stones available for replacing yours. If you’re not happy with the selection. Have them get more in.
It’s your valuables they broke, you have a right to inspect replacements and be satisfied with your decision, just like you did the initial purchase! In the end, hopefully, you’ll get a comparable looking stone.
Don’t ever leave this in their hands. You may end up with a crappy stone. (Unless you just don’t care!)
It does take longer…
This process, of course, will lengthen the time your Repair takes. (It could take them Weeks to find good replacement Stones!) But do you really have a choice? Nope! Sit back, relax, and wait. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
Yes, I know it’s sad that they broke your stone. It’s also a sad fact that you could be mad at the Jeweler for the rest of your life. Get over it! It’s not the Jeweler’s fault.
The Jeweler isn’t in the shop taking an axe to your Ring! Trust me, no one likes being in this position. Jewelers don’t like accidentally chipping stones. It looks bad on the Jeweler, it ticks off the customers, and it costs the Stores money!
It’s a No-Win Situation!
Hopefully you’re dealing with a Jeweler that fessed up about breaking your stone. Be happy if this is your Jeweler.
It’s the Jewelers that don’t tell you, that’s the problem!
Jewelry Stores that let you walk out the door with a broken stone and don’t tell you, are scum! Shame on them! If this happened to you, you’re screwed! You’ll never be able to really prove that the Jeweler was the one that chipped your stone.
This is why I always advise customers to inspect their Jewelry very carefully and Loupe their Rings BEFORE they leave the store!
Inspect your Merchandise!
Inspect your Merchandise under 10x Magnification. (Like a Jeweler’s Loupe!) Look for Cracks and Chips and Breaks. Trust me, it won’t bother Jewelers any if you ask for a Loupe or look under a Microscope! (Unless they broke your stone of course! Then they may squirm a little!)
Jewelers are actually used to clients scoping and inspecting their Rings and Jewelry upon delivery. Look at all your Gemstones and Diamonds well. Make sure the Jeweler isn’t pulling a fast one on you. (It can also help you determine if they Switched your Diamonds!) (Read: Jewelers Diamond Switching!)
You’re at Risk
Sometimes Jewelers will tell you before you get any work done, that your Gemstones are at risk. Sometimes your Stone may already be chipped or broken around it’s edge, just through normal wear and tear. (You may not even know it!) Exerting pressure or force on a stone that’s already chipped, will usually cause it to break in half!
Old Gemstones, Softer Gemstones, or Worn Gemstones, (Like Gems that have rounded off facets!) are Questionable Gems to Jewelers! Jewelers will let you know the dangers involved in repairing or working on such stones.
Many Jewelers will even make you sign a statement saying you understand the risks involved, and you accept any responsibility for the stones accidentally chipping or breaking.
Truth is, that’s just about all Jewelers can do. Warn you of the possibilities! If you still want to proceed with the repair, and the stone breaks, the cost of replacing that stone would fall on your own shoulders, not the Jewelers!
Antique Jewelry is often one type of Jewelry that would have fragile stones and mountings, and cause red flags to go up with Jewelers. The Jewelers are only saying, better safe than sorry!
No matter what, there are no guarantees in life. It doesn’t matter if your rings are Brand New or really old, you just don’t know what the future holds.
Gemstones are beautiful, yet very fragile all at the same time. Just like people are, just like nature is. We can all be chipped or broken!
You just have to deal with it!