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Jeweller Chipped my blue green sapphire

lonewolf_860

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Messages
3
Hi All. Have some sad news :(

I recently proposed to may partner and with her help we found a beautiful GIA Certified unheated blue/green sapphire. 4.xx carat weight

So we took the stone and a design to a reputable jeweler to construct an engagement ring with it. He did a good job, but there were some issues with the claws catching so they went back about 2 times to be modified. on the second visit...long story short He didn't do such a good job on the claws and there was some solder stains on the bezel. Tried removing with some tools but wasn't able to so he dipped the whole thing into rhodium and polished off the stone to remove any rhodium and rose gold claws (bezel and ring are platinum) etc etc So i get home and i'm not 100% happy with the new claws but it doesn't matter my partner wants her ring back. I give it back to her the next day and she notices a chip :(. I think maybe its some rhodium that wasn't polished off but taking it to our gem cutter confirms it was chipped

Ring the jeweler up the next day and let him know that he's chipped the sapphire during his claw repairing process.

Now what are our rights here? He offered to pay for the cost of the ring ie refund it (obviously not the stone as we sourced that ourselves) and that he would pay to get the stone re-faceted. This would also require me to go back there and have the stone removed...but we've lost the trust, I dont ever want him touching our ring or sapphire again. What if it gets chipped again as he's removing it?

The chip is on a corner of 2 facets so about 5-7 facets would need to be moved in order to get it looking shiny again AND after all of that 1 corner will be slightly off compared to the rest. And i'm glad that he's taken responsibility and offering to refund the cost of the ring but the ring wasn't damaged, the sapphire was.

Now is it unfair of me to request a replacement sapphire since they didn't source it? I mean it was damaged in his possession. Is this an insurance thing? I do have insurance but don't see why i should claim it on mine? What about if he can't find an exact match? Its not just a standard blue sapphire...it took us literally MONTHS to find it. And what about any other damage? How do i now that this is the only place that was chipped?

So my partner is quite upset...i'm bewildered by whats happened. It kind of felt like the jeweler rushed the whole ring just to finish it off and get us out of his hair since it was the second time we came back to have it fixed. Feels like out stone wasn't top priority :(


And hello from a long time stalker first time poster.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,180
Welcome to PS and I'm sorry to read of the damage to your engagement sapphire. Not a great way for a 1st post but we'll do what we can to steer you in the right direction.

It sounds like the setting has both prongs and bezels? This is where I am confused as to what happened and how it happened. Sapphires are generally easy to set but sometimes there is a risk of damage depending on the stone itself, the design of the setting, and the skill of the jeweller although it is very uncommon.

Another part of your story that confuses me is that you have a "gem setter" who is a different person than the jeweller?

In the 2 instances where my stones were damaged during the setting process, the 2 experiences could not be more different. One refused all responsibility whilst the other paid for the repair. I was very fortunate that in the first instance, the lapidary I purchased it from repaired my stone at no cost. It is more common for the jeweller/bench to pay for the stone to be repaird and reset. In my case, it went smoothly and there is no sign of any damage or where the original damage was. Expecting a replacement sapphire is extreme and very unlikely to happen.

Most shops do not insure your stone during the setting process. It is the customer's responsibility and this is very often stated at the back of the work order. Therefore, if you would like a replacement stone, you will have to contact your insurance company although I think they are more likely to have it sent to be fixed as well, rather than replace it. Once the stone is unset, you can inspect it to see whether there is further damage. Again, I am sorry but sometimes things just happen. ;(
 

lonewolf_860

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Messages
3
Hello. Perhaps I should clear something's up.
1 jeweller from start to end.
By bezel I think I mean the seat of where the sapphire sits
And after the work was done by jeweller I took it to to our gem cutter (we have used him in the past for cutting rough) to get a second opinion

To summarise my rambles the jeweller chipped the sapphire while he was modifying the claws as his original design kept getting caught. Jeweller has agreed fault. Has agreed to pay for it to be re faceted but this option will lead to us having a slightly uneven gem.

Is it unreasonable for me to demand a replacement even though we did not source the stone from him? Going by the above comment I assume I havey answer
:((
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,180
Pictures would be appreciated to see the extent of the damage, the positioning of the stone, prongs and workmanship of the setting. Will the jeweller send it to his choice of lapidary or is he willing to have it sent out to your preferred lapidary? What do you mean by slightly uneven? Was this assessment made by the lapidary you usually go to? Unfortunately, yes, it is my opinion that it is unreasonable to demand a replacement unless the damage is extensive.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
You could've insured the stone prior to setting. There are a couple of company's that do it. Im assuming you didn't do so, so I don't know what insurance you're referring to.

I have had stones set with a wonky prong here or there but let it go. If I get out of the setting process unscathed/unchipped I let it go (unless of course it was awful).

The jeweler is doing a fine job of accepting responsibility and their offer of paying for the setting and re-cut was as good as one can hope for.
 

lonewolf_860

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Messages
3
GregS|1448930227|3955802 said:
The jeweler is doing a fine job of accepting responsibility and their offer of paying for the setting and re-cut was as good as one can hope for.

Reading some other threads here and yes He's been good to accept responsibility for it. We've taken it to another jeweler we've worked with. He took the sapphire out of the seat and i can now see another chip...halfway between the pavilion and the culet. I'm no expert but it looks like it was set with some force. There also seems to be some roughness on the girdle where the claws folded over...is this normal wear and tear for a ring that's not even been work for more than 3 months?

Yes the gem and ring were both insured. It got when the jeweler re set the sapphire whilst attempting to fix the claws (late November)I looked at the terms and the conditions of the insurance and it says that it doesn't cover damage during repairs. But will confirm with them again.

Timeline:
Ring made in March
Ring given to Fiance in late August
Ring taken back to have claws adjusted in September
Ring taken back to have claws replaced in late November -- here is where the sapphire got chipped.

The plan now is to get the jeweler to pay for the costs incurred in fixing the claws, polishing the Rhodium off the platinum and getting the stone re-faceted. Hope it all goes well, otherwise we'll see what other options we have.

And i thought i might be unreasonable to get it replaced, was just fuming with anger yesterday, more so calm today :). Thanks for the advice everyone.

Also will post some pics when i get back home.
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
lonewolf_860|1448944311|3955873 said:
He took the sapphire out of the seat and i can now see another chip...halfway between the pavilion and the culet. I'm no expert but it looks like it was set with some force.

Stones are generally never set with much force at all. If you need to tighten them, more pressure doesn't do anything since the metal in the prongs will just spring back. It's counterintuitive, but the prongs get bent sideways one way and then the other. Just a little bit is enough to bend them inward and tighten them up. Look up "vectoring" if you want to see how this works.

A chip that far down on the pavilion is very difficult to do while setting or while wearing...it's just really hard to get to that area to damage anything. That one may be a "natural" left there during cutting in order to keep the stone as large as possible. As for the rest of the chips and roughness, unless the chip is right on the girdle, I wouldn't worry much about it as far as loss from re-cutting. The reason is that a re-cut of the crown alone shouldn't remove much weight at all. I just did total crown re-cut to a very abraded sapphire that had horrible chipping along two girdle edges and the stone only lost 15 points. Additionally I would advise you to leave anything alone on the pavilion unless you can see it once set. Pavilion angles really do affect the look of a stone, much more than crown angles, so if you can't see it, forget it.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,600
GregS|1448930227|3955802 said:
You could've insured the stone prior to setting. There are a couple of company's that do it. Im assuming you didn't do so, so I don't know what insurance you're referring to.

I have had stones set with a wonky prong here or there but let it go. If I get out of the setting process unscathed/unchipped I let it go (unless of course it was awful).

The jeweler is doing a fine job of accepting responsibility and their offer of paying for the setting and re-cut was as good as one can hope for.

yes I have had a few stones set, where the stone is purchased from one vendor and 2nd vendor sets the stone. In these situations it is pretty standard for the setter to let you know the stone is not insured by their setter so if you want it set by them you accept the risk. I am sorry that your stone was damaged, never a nice outcome. but what the jeweler offered is fair. If you want a completely new stone you will need to work with your insurer on that.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,180
I know you are anxious to fully evaluate the sapphire but by having it unset by yet another party, it will be difficult to claim who did the damage, when it was done and all that who did which one. The area halfway between the pavilion and culet could be a natural. I don't see how it is possible to damage it during the setting process because the stone doesn't even touch the support basket itself. Or at least it shouldn't. However, now that you have unset it, it is difficult to prove. See what I mean about the point I made above?

Michael,
I've had a bench tighten the prongs too much to the point that it chipped the spinel right at the seat of the prong itself where it made contact with the spinel. The damage was quite extensive (scary looking) that the original lapidary took the stone back and repaired it at no cost to me because he was so aghast at the setter.
 
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