“My diamond has a chip in it “ is one of the worst things a jeweller can hear. This is usually followed by “I thought diamonds were the hardest stone on the planet”. Unfortunately, while diamonds do have the highest rating on the Mohs scale of hardness (measured out of 10), it does have weaknesses. The best way to think of a diamond’s hardness is like timber. It has lines of strength and lines of weakness. Hit it hard enough on the right angle, and it will splinter all the way to the end of the diamond. While chipped diamonds are very sad to see, I often think of them like plane crashes. While it is a rare occurrence, it doesn’t stop thousands of people getting on planes every day. Once a chip is discovered, the next question I am asked by the distressed lady is of course “How can I hide a chip on my diamond?”
Misconceptions About Diamond Chips
Diamonds do not crack. Like the Movie “Cool Runnings” where actor John Candy comments about the dangers of bob sledding – “bones do not brake they shatter”. Diamonds will not crack a little. You will either chip the diamond completely or not all. Often a client will see an inclusion in a diamond and think it is a crack -rest assured these are just inclusions. Inclusions in diamonds don’t usually lead to a diamond chipping. However, if the inclusion is close enough to the corner of a princess cut diamond (square), it can make that part of the diamond weaker; often a nightmare for diamond setters.
You will feel the moment you chip your diamond. Unfortunately, as it is normally a freak accident, you won’t always feel the moment you chip your diamond. Like dropping your iPhone on the concrete, it could just be the tenth time you do it that causes the diamond to chip.
I just bought it. Sadly time is no pre-requisite to chipping a diamond. You could have your diamond for one day or twenty years, and still chip your diamond.
Re-cutting the diamond is the only option. Re-cutting a diamond may be an option if your diamond is large enough or it has a strong sentimental value. However, for a lot of stones under a one carat diamond, re-cutting may not only be too expensive ($300 -$500), but the finished weight may be too small to fit back in the setting. Sometimes you can be somewhat lucky and only loose ten points, however, in extreme cases, you could loose as much as 20-30 points.
My insurance policy covers diamond chips. Unfortunately this is not always the case. It is important to make sure that you read the fine print of your policy to make sure that it you are sufficiently covered for accidental damage. If your insurance policy does not, The Q Report policy that we offer to all our clients does cover diamond chips.
How To Hide A Chip In A Diamond
1. Chip from the girdle running underneath – In a claw setting, if the inclusion is not too severe the diamond is able to be rotated to hide the inclusion under the claw. If the inclusion has taken out a section of the diamond, it is usually a good idea to run some solder underneath the claw to fill the void left by the chip. Much like a cast for a broken bone, the solder will fill the negative impression of the diamond that is unique to that chip.
2. Chip running from the edge and up to the table – If the inclusion runs up to the table of the diamond, try changing the look of your claws to talon style claws. This unique style of claw runs up higher into the crown section of the diamond, thereby hiding a chip that it is out of reach of most conventional claw styles. As seen here with the sapphire ring, the talon claws almost run up to the table (centre facet). This effect would be less noticeable in a diamond.
3. Chip running around the edge – If the chip is running around the edge, perhaps consider a bezel or semi bezel setting to hide the inclusion. If semi bezel settings are not your “style”, a double claw setting might just give you the extra width you need to hide the chip.
If the worst happens and you notice a chip in your diamond ring, it is important to know that there are options available to you, other than just simply replacing your diamond through your insurance provider. If you ever need advice on the best options to hide a diamond chip, the manufacturing jewellers at Xennox Diamonds are always here to help!