scratch and blemishes on a diamond ring

Cosmetic Wear And Tear Is Common

Every once in a while, I will receive an email from a concerned reader who had just damaged their diamond ring by accident. I often get asked what they should do next and what type of damage could be rectified via repolishing and recutting.

Technically speaking, if the stone is large enough such that the affected area can be removed completely, the damage can be repaired. However, when it comes to whether the decision makes economical sense, it becomes a different matter all together.

Now, it is a common routine for diamonds to be sent to cutters for repolishing. Usually, the purpose of a repolishing job is to touch up a second-hand diamond or to repair a chipped diamond. The carat weight lost in such repair jobs are typically very small (0.02-0.10 carats) and depends on the nature of the damage.

Major Recuts Should Always Be Approached With Prudence

I had also came across a couple of cases where someone wanted to have an inclusion close to the surface of the diamond removed. Compared to removing surface scratches, the removal of an inclusion might require a total redesign of the stone. I generally won’t recommend such major reworks as you can lose a lot of value from the original stone.

However, if removing the inclusions can elevate the diamond into a better clarity rating and give you a better enjoyment of your jewelry, it might be a plausible solution compared to replacing it with a completely new diamond.

* You should always consult a professional cutter for advice before undertaking such a process. Not all types of inclusions and diamonds can be suitable candidates for a re-cutting process. Also, there is always a risk that the diamond could shatter during a recut.

Sometimes, Personal Preference is Stronger Than Material Principle

In some cases, money is not as important when sentimental values are involved. If the damaged diamond is inherited from your grandmother and you want to protect the family heritage, it is clear that a repair will be needed.

Leaving a damaged diamond in its current state isn’t a good idea unless it’s locked away in the safe. Since there is always an extra risk of aggravating the damage, re-polishing a diamond is a good preventive measure to undertake.

Probably the most famous diamond that had undergone the knife is the Koh-I-Noor. It is currently in the possession of the Royal Family. In its hayday, the stone originally weighed 186 carats and was the biggest flawless diamond on Earth.

Kohinoor after recut

The Koh-i-noor – One of the Most Highly Sought-After Gem in History

However, due to common public distaste and Prince Albert’s personal dislike of the diamond, it was recut to 105.6 carats and lost about 43 percent of its weight. That’s equivalent to millions of dollars in today’s value! As you can see from this example, numbers can sometimes be outweighed by subjective beauty.

Re-cutting Your Diamond to Something New

It is common to see overly deep or shallow cuts diamonds with dismal proportions in estate jewelry and vintage cuts. Most of the time, these stones are cut for weight retention and the dazzling potential is still hidden within the diamond. Here’s what happened to a dull looking AGS7 diamond which was completely transformed into a breathtaking AGS0 ideal cut.

ags7 round cut
diamond after recut - ags0 ideal light performance

aset image of ags7
light performance after diamond rework

An Unbelievable Change In Optics After Recut – The Diamond Only Lost 0.19 Carats

If you are looking for someone who can offer you professional services on re-cutting or repairing a chipped diamond, I highly recommend Brian Gavin. You can get in contact with them directly here.

As seen in the example above, they have the experience and expertise to carry out such jobs. They had done extensive recuts before and have tons of raving reviews from past customers. Till now, I still find it amazing to see clients bring in badly cut diamonds and get them transformed completely into stones with superb optics.

For Canadians looking for local recutting services, you might want to get in contact with Embeediatech.ca. Their rates are reasonable and I think they also possess a capable expertise to handle various types of re-cut jobs.

If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email me.

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20 Comments

  1. Lidyvez Mejia-
    November 29, 2014 at 5:08 am

    I have a diamond with great color, I2 clarity, 2.00 carats.
    I love my diamond, however, the cut seems to be good,causing light to escape and brilliance is diminished.

    Does it make sense to look into the option of having the diamond re-cut to give my diamond ring, better brilliance?

  2. Paul Gian-
    November 29, 2014 at 7:56 am

    It really depends on a case by case basis. Some diamonds may not be suitable for a recut. Do you have a grading report for the diamond?

  3. Maylo Harding-
    December 9, 2014 at 12:33 am

    I have a stone which looks like a huge milky diamond. The structure inside looks shattered, semi-opaque. There is one tiny edge totally opaque white. I got it from my Grandmother in Europe, who’s had it since WWII, found in a burt house. It is a loose stone, no setting. Is there any way I could send you a photo and you could tell me what it is, and approximate worth?

  4. Paul Gian-
    December 9, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Sure. Feel free to send it to me. Please take images of it from as many angles as possible and use the macro mode if you are using a digital camera.

    http://beyond4cs.com/2013/12/how-to-take-photos-of-your-ring/

  5. April 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the reference. We cut restore (re-cut, repair & re-polish) diamonds for Customers from all over North America (and the world for that matter).

    eB

  6. Ana Maria-
    May 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, please help! I noticed recently that my 1ct size diamond has a scratch on the table (it is like 1mm or maybe 2mm long and 1mm deep). I’m from Chicago and I hope you will give an address or whom to call. My husband has spent all his savings to buy me this stone 🙁

    Can you please help me?

  7. Paul Gian-
    May 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Bring your ring back to whomever you bought it from and get them to inspect it. They should be able to tell you whether it’s a scratch (or if it is as what you describe, it’s a cleavage) or whether it’s something else. If it is a serious issue, they should be able to give you advice on what to do with it.

  8. carrie-
    September 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I have a 1 carat diamond that has 2 cracks in it. Can I sell this stone ?

  9. Paul Gian-
    September 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Selling a diamond isn’t that straightforward of a process when compared to buying one. The process entails of finding a person who is willing to pay you a sum of money for what you have. Now, what do you have exactly and how would the person you are dealing with know what you are offering?

    The first step is to get your diamond appraised or graded by a gemological lab. That will greatly help in establishing a baseline for value and a representation of the stone’s current condition.

  10. Shean-
    September 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for the great articles, I truly find them the easiest and most organized to learn from on the internet. I have a 2.02 carat diamond I inherited that had a white frost/haze over the top. Jewelers looked at it and cleaned it and told me it was just a cloudy stone. The bottom (pavilion) is clear and the top has almost no transparency. I could barely even see through the top.

    I put it in sulfuric acid (car battery acid) in a mini crock pot and warmed it over night. The next morning, the white frost/haze is completely gone. The diamond looks 10X better than it did before, but appears dull and blurry when in direct sunlight. It now has transparency and the sparkle is like night and day compared to before.

    If the stone was burnt, would a re polish be needed to improve this dullness? The jewelers I’ve gone to tell me I’m wrong and the stone was never burnt. But they don’t seem to remember just how frosted the top was before I cleaned it. The stone was in the past graded as an SI and I’m told it used to have amazing sparkle. I’m just not sure what a burnt diamond with ruined polish would look like.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  11. Paul Gian-
    September 19, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    There are many reasons why a diamond would appear hazy and frosty. The main culprit would be dirt and accumulated grim. It could also be due to clarity treatment processes. Your best move would be to get it to an independent appraiser for a check and get their advice from there.

  12. Josh-
    February 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I have a round brilliant diamond with a somewhat steep/deep cut that I’m interested in getting re-cut to ideal proportions. In the example you gave above, you said the diamond only lost 0.19 carats. Do you happen to know the beginning weight of that particular diamond (and any other info about it that may be relevant)? I’m interested in knowing the relative weight percent lost so that I can get an idea of how much weight I can expect to lose from my 0.57 ct. diamond.

    If it’s at all helpful, the proportions of my diamond are as follows:
    Dimensions: 5.37 x 5.39 x 3.27 mm
    Depth: 60.8 %
    Table: 57.0 %
    Crown Angle: 32.0 °
    Pavilion Angle: 41.6 °
    Polish: Excellent
    Symmetry: Very Good

    Its cut is graded as “Excellent” on the IGI certificate. While it is a rather decent cut, I’m very picky and I particularly don’t like the steep/deep combination in general since (IMO) it’s done solely for the sake of weight retention (profit) at the expense of the diamond’s optical beauty.

  13. Paul Gian-
    February 19, 2016 at 9:31 am

    The loss in weight really depends on a case by case basis when diamonds are reworked. Bring the stone in the cutter and see what they have to say. Everything else we discuss online will only be speculations at best.

  14. Leslie Huertas-
    March 20, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Hi Paul,

    I am recently heartbroken because my 2.54ct oval shaped padparadscha sapphire engagement stone chipped right at the girdle, part crown and in the pavillion. My fiancé and I took the ring to our jeweler and they recommend repolishing it but it may end up being asymmetrical after polishing. I love this stone because it has amazing shine and I love the coral/pink hues to it. What do you recommend we do? My fiancé spent quite a lot for just the stone and I’m afraid by repolishing it it will drop the stone to lower than 2.50ct and lowering the value. This stone is extremely rare and don’t know if we will be able to find another one just as beautiful. Please help. I can send you a picture of it if you please. Thank you!

  15. Paul Gian-
    March 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I’m sorry. I’m not an expert in sapphires and can’t offer much advice.

  16. Linda-
    June 9, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Paul, I am curious if there is any thing that can be done concerning Florescence I have purchased a second hand diamond that has strong which gives the stone a Hazy appearance when in sunlight/ uv light. Is there a treatment to block uv?

  17. Paul Gian-
    June 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Unfortunately, there’s no such treatment that I know of.

  18. Kora-
    August 20, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I have a noori black diamond weeding set and noticed the other day there appears to be a stain in top surface of the diamond. It’s a princess cut. I tried to clean it but it will not go away. I am wondering what it could be. It resembles a haze but is surface level and not there when I got new in December 2015. It’s a beautiful ring and want to keep it that way.

  19. George Ann-
    February 25, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I have a ⅓ caret 10 pwr flawless engagement ring taken to a local jeweler to repair the worn prongs that hold it in place. I also had it appraised by a certified appraiser at the same time. The jeweler called and said he scratched the diamond with a laser( after the appraisal was done). He offered to hide the scratch under the prong or replace the diamond. My husband spent hours picking through stones to get this special one and I’ve had it for 43 years. It has a lot of sentimental value. I’m at a loss of what to do. any thoughts?

  20. Paul Gian-
    February 26, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Sorry to hear about the problem you are facing. As it seems, the best way to go about doing this is to hide the scratch under a prong and live with it since you probably have no intentions of replacing it.

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