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advice--friend wants to have old mine cut diamond re-cut

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Black Jade

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Went to a jeweller today with a friend to price out getting some things reset. She has an older diamond ring which is supposed to go to her daughter. The ring is from the 1940''s but the jeweller said that the diamond was quite a bit older. He said it was an old mine cut.

I''m not sure if this is true (there were some other things he didn''t seem knowledgeable about), but certainly the diamond is not a modern round brilliant. It is also not in the best of shape. The girdle is very chipped. there is one large chip that you can see without a loupe, with your naked eyes, near a prong--i would almost say a gouge. (My friend said that her grandmother used to do all kinds of heavy work, gardening, etc. wearing this ring, which she never took off). The jeweller estimated the carat weight of the diamond to be about .75 (he couldn''t give a true weight without taking it out of the setting). My suggestion to my friend was that she reset the diamond, which she wants to be made into a pendant, in a bezel setting, which would hide the chipped girdle, and leave the diamond alone. In spite of the chipping, it is still a very pretty stone. the jeweller had no advice one way or the other. He said he could do anything she wanted. My friend, however, believes it would be best to re-cut the diamond to get rid of the chipped part, so that the diamond would be more valuable for her daughter.

Would the diamond become more valuable if re-cut?

The jeweller said that they would not recut the whole stone so would not change the faceting. He gave an estimate of about $200 to cut it so that the chips on the girdle were gone.

He said that an old mine cut is less valuable than a round brilliant in terms of price.

What would be your advice to my friend? She is not planning to do this right away but probably for her daughter''s birthday in the fall.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2007
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14,167
Date: 4/16/2009 10:23:45 PM
Author:Black Jade

Would the diamond become more valuable if re-cut?
It''s all relative here. The resale on a diamond of that size is very minimal anyway-so personally I wouldn''t spend the money. Might make it a tad more valuable-but not worth the risk or the cost IMO.
 

JasonFaber

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Jan 24, 2009
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It really all depends on the cut you want. But, if you want an Ideal cut, chances are there might not be anything left from the .75ct diamond, seeing as how there is a chip. If it were me, I would just leave it alone and either; 1)use it for sentimental value 2)spend $2k and get another great .75 RB diamond.
 

Black Jade

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I have seen work this jeweller has done for another friend and it was well done. And I don''t know if I should say that he was full of misinformation. it may just be that I am spoiled by Pricescope and was shocked at the in-house diamonds he showed us. We were looking at 1/3 carats and they didn''t have certs. He said that a cert just pushed the price up too much, below 1/2 carat. He showed us a 31 pointer that was supposed to be G SI1 that he wanted $750 for. He said it was a ''premium'' cut. I just bought a 31 pointer from Blue Nile last week that had a GIA document and was a J SI1 that cost $300. That seemed like quite a disparity in price. the J SI1 (which I am exchanging because it wasn''t eye-clean, Blue Nile was great about it) looked a LOT better than his "G Si1''. Of course it was Ideal Cut.

We looked at some 1/2 carats, an emerald and a princess--also very over-priced and these ones had certs but they were EGL-Israel certs. So I felt that a G color was not much more likely to be a real G color. Those stones looked nice enough (I am not experienced with Princess or EC) but I was glad that my friend wasn''t buying.

The jeweller told us that Princess cuts weren''t graded so that he couldn''t give us a cut quality. But aren''t they graded Very good, Good, Fair, Etc?

This is all a moot point as we aren''t going to buy any stones from him and his setting work looks good. But I was a bit leary of his telling us that the diamond in question was a Mine Cut (which he then said would have been cut around 1900--aren''t mine cuts earlier than that?)

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
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please dont let her recut a beautiful old stone. See if they can polish out some of the chips in the girdle and refirbish the stone to a better condition and then gift it to her daughter. I know Jonathan at GOG just did that with someone elses OMC and it came out great!

I went to my jewler and he just had sent off an OEC to be recut because he couldnt sell it. It broke my heart
and I had missed it by only a week!
 

jet2ks

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Is there any way you could get a picture and post it?
 

oldminer

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Back in 1982 I had a poolside conversation with the now President of GCAl, Don Palmieri during the Tucson Gem Show. I asked him if I supplied a buy-sell price matrix for old cut diamonds if he'd want to publish it for the trade in his price guide publicatiuon, Diamond Market Monitor. He was happy to publish the list and out of nowhere a traceable, viable market for old cuts was made possible. I knew what I'd be willing to pay for any old cut I happened to see and extrapolated to a spreadsheet what I'd be willing to sell them for. It was based on actual experience, but many of the prices were purely hypothetical as one never sees a 3 carat D-IF old cut in the normal course of what I was doing back then.

Old cut diamonds are ALWAYS worth as much as they would recut to as a modern cut. Sometimes they are worth somewhat more due to special collectibility or unusual rarity. Retail jewelers have played a very long term game in denigrating old cuts as being of less value, no value, less pretty, etc for the reason of creating a profit center for recutting, buying them for little money and larger profits, and for gaining recutting work on many which do not need any recut work at all.

Surely, you can recut an old cut to make a modern cut if you wish to do so. It won't hurt the "value" when done properly. It will cost you some money to have the diamond recut, but it may be nominal in the overall scheme of things. Recutting changes the look of the diamond, but does very little to alter the inherent value at any level of the market. It may be easier to resell a modern cut, but you can recut an old cut any time you wish. Nothing is pressing about doing it NOW for most people. You will never cut a modern cut back to an old cut. If you choose to do that, you would lose plenty of value. What's that tell you?

I love well cut older diamonds because they do have a special appearance and are becoming increasingly rare. There are as many modern cut diamonds as there are customers. This is not the case with many variieties of older cut diamonds. Don't be misled by faulty advice given to you in hopes of converting your desire for an old cut into a sale of a newly cut diamond based on uncomplimentary comments, low-ball value statements or some false reference to a NEED to recut it.

I apologize for my strong words above if it is offensive. I feel this is true, however. Getting a chip properly repaired without full recutting is often very advisable.
 

Black Jade

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Date: 4/17/2009 9:34:09 AM
Author: jet2ks
Is there any way you could get a picture and post it?
I don''t know. I''ll ask her if she minds. I am not so good with photos, though,which is why I haven''t posted photos of the jewelry you guys have helped me with before. Maybe time I learned.

I will forward my friend the link to this advice. Thank you all. My feeling also is that the less she messes with her heirloom the better, maybe some re-polishing, but definitely no recutting. She has expressed a few times that she wants her daughter to have something ''of value'' (which is why she wants to fix the diamond up); maybe your posts will convince her to check some more into what value the diamond has as is.
 

Black Jade

Brilliant_Rock
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Question to Old Miner:

What would ''proper repair'' of the chip be, and how would we find out more about it?
 

soycoffee

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 23, 2009
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As a lover of antique stones, I really think she should think twice before destroying the antique look forever! Modern Brilliant diamonds are a dime a dozen, and if she had hers re-cut into a MB it would be rather small, too. I think re-doing or re-polishing the girdle would be good for the future preservation of the stone, and the idea of putting into a bezel setting is FABULOUS. Although I love prong settings, this stone obviously needs to be protected.
 

oldminer

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A "proper repair" is going to be somewhat different for each variation of damage repair that an individual diamond might have. There is no one answer fits all response possible. What I encourage is not to overreact to a chip by losing the antique charater of the diamond without considering that there are alternatives which lose less weight and size and which may make the old cut last durabily for many more years.
A proper repair is what an expert diamond cutter might suggest who has years of experience with repair and full recutting. You''ll find that a cutter can be suggested to make conservative proposals or to go for the total re-make. If you want a total re-make, a cutter generally will be happy enough to do the work, but if you ask for a conservative opinion of what can be done, they often will suggest the most minor sort of refaceting and slight re-shaping for the same diamond that they could totally recut.

Of course, the end result of a repair job will not make an AGS000 out of the diamond. That would be an unreasonable goal. You''d lose the most weight, make the stone smaller than necessary, pay the maximum to accomplish it and likely not come out better in the value department in most cases. The configuration of an old stone or any damaged diamond pretty much dictates the reasonable and unreasonable possibilities for repair and/or recutting. Going for unrealistic goals will lead to consequences that ought not be welcomed, as I have already mentioned.
 
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