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Jeweler chipped my stone during setting, apparently irreparable

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by mimyr, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    I purchased a pink sapphire online and went to a local jeweler to have it set. Apparently while setting it, they damaged the stone. I didn't notice it right away and in general it does take a very close look and for it to be in the right light, but you can definitely feel the jaggedness of it where it's been chipped. It's right on the edge where the setting meets the stone.

    I haven't spoken to the original jeweler yet, but I intend to after work today. I took it to a different jeweler, and he said that the damage is irreparable and I'd need a whole new stone.

    At this point, I don't trust the original jeweler to fix it even if they claim that they can. What's my best option here? I feel like I shouldn't have been charged full price for the setting when it damaged the stone. At the same time, I'm concerned about having it reset, even from a different jeweler, in case that makes the damage worse. Is there any standard course of action when things like this happen?
     
    


    


  2. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Dec 21, 2018
    You'd need to check too if you signed anything with the original jeweler about what their policy is about setting stones that are not theirs (some make you sign a damage waiver). If yes, you might have to claim the damage to the stone under your own insurance policy. If not, then I would ask that they fix or replace the stone, not discount the setting.

    You may also find that they will try to argue that you damaged it yourself at some point between picking up the stone and bringing the damage to their attention if some time has gone by. It might be hard to prove given that some time has gone by that they were the ones to do it.
     
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  3. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    OK, thanks. I didn't sign anything when having it set so that wouldn't be an issue. The problem with having them replace the stone is that it's a very specifically colored shaped pink sapphire that took me months to hunt down, and I'd need to find my own stone as a replacement. I know for a fact that they don't carry any pink sapphires that meet my criteria. Should I ask that they compensate me for the value of the original stone against whatever replacement I can find?
     
  4. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Dec 21, 2018
    I’ve lost the “he said she said” with the bench. I didn’t inspect it properly and they later said they won’t cover it either. I sent it off to the original lapidary to be recut. He was so kind as to not charge me anything even though it wasn’t his fault. He managed to keep the same face up size. The damage, like yours, was under a prong.
     
    


    


  5. Stone Hunter
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Stone Hunter » Dec 21, 2018
    So sorry to read this! No advice just sympathy. I hope you can get this resolved quickly.
     
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  6. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Dec 21, 2018
    How awful for you. So upsetting.
    But yes, sadly it can and does happen.
    My experience with setting gems is the jeweller saying “all care taken but no responsibility accepted!”
    And as Chrono said, you might have difficulty getting the jeweller to accept they caused the damage if you didn’t bring it to their attention before you walked out the store.
    The chip may be repairable, if it’s hard to see without close inspection I’d think it could be repolished to remove / reduce it or alternatively perhaps hidden under a prong.
    Can you post up a photo for us?
     
  7. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    Good point, I just emailed the retailer (gemfix.com) to see what their pricing would be for recutting it.

    Thanks! It's rather devastating - I finally found the perfect stone with the right hue and a great cut, and now this.
     
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  8. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    I don't know if I have a camera good enough to post a photo. It's very difficult to see with the naked eye unless it's under the right light or you have good vision up close. Another jeweler I talked to said it can't be repaired at all but I think I'll get a 2nd/3rd opinion.

    I'm talking with the jeweler tonight, I'll see that goes but I'm not holding my breath for the reasons you mentioned.
     
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  9. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Dec 21, 2018
    DE32C37E-269B-4727-AEA9-12A2B5DBBACA.jpeg I hope it all goes well for you - fingers crossed.
    But I will add that as disappointing as it is, if it’s really hard to see - could you live with it?
    And a jeweller isn’t usually also a gem cutter so it’s probably a gem cutters advice needed as to whether or not the sapphire can be repaired.
    My own personal experience of wearing both my ruby and diamond ring and yellow sapphire ring is that they both have minute chips caused by wear (me) sometime over the the 10 plus years I’ve been wearing them.
    Here’s a “restoration photo” of a damaged sapphire done by an expert gem cutter (Doug Menadue) so don’t give up hope your lovely sapphire can’t be restored.
     
  10. strawrose
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by strawrose » Dec 21, 2018
    :shock: Wow! What a transformation.
     
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  11. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    Well I can live with it but it's an engagement ring for my GF, I just want everything to be perfect of course! Honestly I'm not sure if she would notice it. I think I may propose to her with it, and then see if she wants it recut, because it's getting sort of close to the wire at this point.

    Also yes, that is an amazing transformation!
     
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  12. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Dec 21, 2018
    The jeweler immediately said that he would replace the stone (without me even asking him to) so there's some sort of resolution here I suppose. I'm not terribly confident in him being able to find an equal one though unfortunately. At this point I suppose I can just wait and see.
     
  13. peacechick
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by peacechick » Dec 22, 2018
    I doubt he can find a precision cut stone so I would prefer to get a partial refund for the setting imo. You can get the sapphire repolished at some point down the road.
     
  14. SouthernGent
    Shiny_Rock

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    by SouthernGent » Dec 22, 2018
    That's exactly what I would do, particularly if you have to really hunt for the chip with the naked eye.
     
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  15. GliderPoss
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by GliderPoss » Dec 24, 2018
    Agreed, if it’s structurally sound & you cannot see the chip - I would live with it then repolish at a later date.
     
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  16. DLee
    Rough_Rock

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    by DLee » Dec 24, 2018
    My jeweller also chipped my pink saphire during setting & I also put in a similar post here last week. I bought the stone from this jeweller & asked it to do the setting as well. My understanding of the trade is this:

    1 if u take your own stone to a workshop to be set, theoretically u are in for a damage waiver. So if the stone is damaged, the workshop can't charge u & u can't claim compensation from it either.

    2 if u buy the stone from the jewellery shop & they damage it, the shop should refund u the full price of the stone & u shouldn't need to pay for the setting either.

    My issue was that right before the setting, I made myself VERY clear that we had agreed on condition #2. Yet when the stone was chipped, the workshop tried to recut/repolish the stone & didn't wish to deduct a single cent for the weight loss. I tried to accommodate their request & asked for a discount on the stone but was refused. So I asserted my right & would be picking up the full refund after Xmas. Hope that helps.
     
  17. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Jan 3, 2019
    My jeweler was able to find some very similar stones, and one is almost identical in color and cut to the chipped one. The original (chipped) stone is the one currently set.

    Also imgur links in case the uploads come in reduced size:

    https://imgur.com/uAtryoA
    https://imgur.com/fs0f3Dm
    https://imgur.com/ZbY3ICA

    IMG_0484.jpg
    IMG_0485.jpg IMG_0487.jpg

    I think I'm going to go with it. It's actually slightly heavier (1.15ct vs .9 8 and looking at them, they both seem extremely similar, the only exception being that my original stone is slightly rounder.

    Here's photos from the site I bought the original stone from as well: https://gemfix.com/gems/sapphire-pink-13-497
     
  18. peacechick
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by peacechick » Jan 3, 2019
    I would make sure there is no windowing in it (meaning the light passes right through, causing it to look dark in the middle when worn). It looks windowed from the picture you posted but could also be a tilt window. The original stone you bought was very well cut.

    Please be sure to look at the stone under a loupe as well to check for inclusions, veils, hairline fractures, etc.
     
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  19. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Jan 3, 2019
    I wonder if I shouldn't take it to a different jeweler to evaluate it against the other stone. I did look at it under a loupe and didn't notice any inclusions, and the employee I was talking to (not the jeweler) said they both were about equally clean.

    I've attached a different picture that's more straight down into the stone.

    https://imgur.com/nJOhv8T

    IMG_0489.jpg
     
  20. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Jan 3, 2019
    Would a jeweler typically let me take a stone somewhere else to be evaluated?
     
  21. strawrose
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by strawrose » Jan 3, 2019
    I feel like the replacement stone is grayish compared to the original.
     
  22. peacechick
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by peacechick » Jan 3, 2019
    To judge the cut fairly, you have to balance the stone evenly instead of lying on one side (hence the tilt window). You have merely tilted the photo, which doesn’t do that.

    See my attached photo for an example of how to hold it (it’s just a photo I have on hand, this spinel has no window):


    If there is a window, the stone will look dark in the middle or more likely as this is a light stone, your fiancée will see her finger through it.

    If there is a sizeable window, I would not accept this stone as a replacement.
     
  23. SouthernGent
    Shiny_Rock

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    by SouthernGent » Jan 3, 2019
    Can you see the chipped area with it mounted? If not, I would leave things alone.
     
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  24. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Jan 3, 2019
    That may just be the photos. The only difference I noticed in person was that, under the light, the original stone actually seems to have slightly more lavender hues.

    Got it, thanks. So by seeing my finger though, you mean seeing it clearly? Because you'd expect to see at least a flesh color right?

    You can if you look at it in the right way or if the light is reflecting off the chip. It's how I originally saw it. Most likely my fiancée would eventually see it as well.
     
  25. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Jan 4, 2019
    I would like to see both the ring (worn) and the new stone (balanced between fingers on the back of the hand) photographed together to compare cut and colour under identical conditions.
     
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  26. peacechick
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by peacechick » Jan 4, 2019
    Here is an extreme example of a windowed stone and how it looks on the finger:
    https://etsy.me/2Qpfvjo

    If well cut, the stone should reflect light back at you and be the consistent color you see on the edges. But because it is shallow, it becomes see through. It looks good on a white background, sure, but that changes when it’s on the finger.

    Also, with your original stone, you would not have seen any flesh looking directly on it, only the facets reflecting light, as it was well cut. The point being here to make sure you get a stone that is equivalent if not identical.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  27. peacechick
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by peacechick » Jan 4, 2019
    I realise it gets confusing talking about a pink stone (what is flesh coloured, right?) so for further illustration, a blue topaz with a sizeable window from my early collection :lol-2::

    2510B3EE-2C58-4AF3-89E1-BFDB4B33E0F8.jpeg A770A8A8-40F7-4F58-86B7-8BC0E2EC8066.jpeg
     
  28. mimyr
    Rough_Rock

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    by mimyr » Jan 6, 2019
    Thanks for the examples. I went back and yes, it does have a window. Not as bad as in that example but it's definitely not as well cut as the original. I'm going to keep the current stone for now I think, and then let her make the decision.

    Fortunately the jeweler is extremely generous with all of this, he's offering to refund me the entire cost of the band if I choose to keep the original stone.
     

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