Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Recut advice?

meganrachel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
5
Hi all,

My boyfriend and I are planning to use a family diamond for an engagement ring. It belonged to my grandmother and is currently set in a simple pendant. According to my parents, when it came to the family 10 years ago it was valued (no paper report) at approximately 10k and a recut was recommended by the jeweler. I don't know caret or any other grade information. A very rough guess would be between 1.5-3, which is probably unhelpful given the big range! I know there are so many important factors in a diamond, but getting it to sparkle more is really what I'm after, hence the interest in a recut. I would be okay with some caret loss, as it is currently larger than I would prefer to wear on a daily basis, and initial loss of value due to caret loss, as I hope to wear it for the rest of my life.

We are early in our research process and I have found a lot of posts on here very helpful! I'm looking for any advice from those more experienced in:
  • Difference between appraisal and grade report? I think appraisal would be necessary to get it insured prior to recut. Is a grade report also necessary before a recut?
  • Experience of those who have gone with a local retailer for a recut.
  • Experience of those who have sent it out for a recut through BGD, as he seems like a pro!
  • Many of the threads have spec analyses of the diamond before, during, and after the recut. Are there tips on how to read and understand these? What should I be looking/hoping for out of a recut CAD analysis report to decide I want to proceed?
  • Fair market values or experience of cost for a recut? And is it per caret, per complexity of the cut, both, other?
  • I am located in the DC/MD/VA area, so any particular recommendations for retailers/appraisals/etc. is always welcome (if allowed on this platform)
  • Anything I may not know to even ask for advice about, since this is all very new to me.
Thank you in advance for any pearls of wisdom! I'll update as we continue through the process and definitely share pictures whenever a recut is done and he proposes!
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
16,134
I have sent a message to Dave Atlas who is an appraiser and has cutter contacts.
The BGD type route is not my favorite as they are constrained to work within their brand parameters. That may mean for example cutting a 2.5ct down to 1.90ct where a more practical less constriced cutter could work within these proportions: 785852
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,144
I have sent a message to Dave Atlas who is an appraiser and has cutter contacts.
The BGD type route is not my favorite as they are constrained to work within their brand parameters. That may mean for example cutting a 2.5ct down to 1.90ct where a more practical less constriced cutter could work within these proportions:
While I'm not against looking into many options the BGD super-ideal recut without or without the brand is just 2 of the services he has offered.
He has done clean up recuts to improve the cut but not locked into any given range if that is what the client wants.
We just hear about the super-ideal recuts on here more than the others.
He may have changed policies recently but last I heard he was offering it.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
8,766
While I'm not against looking into many options the BGD super-ideal recut without or without the brand is just 2 of the services he has offered.
He has done clean up recuts to improve the cut but not locked into any given range if that is what the client wants.
We just hear about the super-ideal recuts on here more than the others.
He may have changed policies recently but last I heard he was offering it.

Thank you for that info, @Karl_K - very helpful, and I'll be storing it away for the future!

:wavey:
 

xxxxxx

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
718
Ashley from South West Diamond Cutters was recommended by Whiteflash a few years ago. He’s more affordable than BGD. I also had a stone recut by him (although a MRB to an OEC). And I’m satisfied with the result (:
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,529
Going back to your long series of questions you posed at the beginning, I'd say you have just about all the concerns about having a diamond you own recut that most every other consumer customer has. There are lots of problems getting your already owned diamond worked on.

Two problems face most potential diamond recut owners. 1. How can they re-identify the recut diamond as being the one they started with? You can't wait and watch. You need to send it off. Does your diamond contain an identifiable inclusion which will remain intact after a recut. Maybe it does or maybe it will change. One can't predict. 2. What if something goes wrong and the diamond breaks during recutting? Your insurance will not cover this unless you have some very unusual insurance. Ask around and be sure about any potential insurance coverage BEFORE you make a decision.

Over the years, I have used diamond cutters on only diamonds I owned and I assumed any and all risk. Very few problems ever happened, but when you own one diamond and there is a problem, then the risk may outweigh your perception of the benefits. If I have a diamond that now needs a recut, I would send it to a specialist that does not offer any public access, a paid consultant. She is a past GIA lab supervisor who can carefully estimate a recut within the boundaries of the various categories Garry Holloway supplied above and come up with a cost of repairs, an estimated finished weight, highly reliable future GIA grading results and then place the diamond with a selected cutter who will do exactly what is requested with a high degree of skill and precision. Diamond cutting is still a skill and an art, but there is so much more science to it now than 20 years ago. I have been doing this for decades and would not work directly with a cutter because getting the exact and proper outcome is out of my own comfort zone. If I think there is risk, I can only think folks with a lot less experience have a higher degree of risk.

It might be a good idea to take a decent photo of the diamond as it now looks. Get some smart opinions about what might be improved or changed. Possibly, visit a qualified appraiser close to you and have the weight, color, clarity and cut parameters determined. Maybe the appraiser can give you some approximate finished weight estimate. This will help in understanding what would remain of the diamond if you went for various recut scenarios. You need to be a risk taker and sort of a gambler to accept the issues around having your personal diamond recut. Are you one of those people? If so, then keep working your way toward more knowledge in the process of making an informed decision.
 

headlight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,813
I’ve documented here on PS my experiences with Brian Gavin for my 2 recuts I did with him. He was all about what I wanted... it just so happens that I wanted him to take my inherited stones and turn them into AGS000 BGD Signature H&A, so I wanted the full experience!! When he received the stones he consulted with me on my options and we discussed my goals. He spoke with me many times throughout the process. I could not be happier.
I have also documented here my experience prior to my BGD recuts with a former stone that I had recut through my local jeweler, and that it was not a good experience.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
961
Please post a photo of your diamond with a reference for size like a ruler. A side view also. We can likely identify the cut and Era for you and tell you if recutting might be a good idea, or if it might lose a lot of weight or lose a special cut. How do you feel about a potentially completely new look to your family heirloom? Will that bother you? Just curious.
 

meganrachel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
5
Hi everyone,

Thank you for the feedback so far! I will respond individually, but I was able to take pictures of the diamond today. As I mentioned, it is in a pendant right now. There might be an inclusion or scratch on the side - I tried to capture that. It also has been sitting in a drawer for the past 10+ years and has not been cleaned at all in this time. I reached out to a local independent appraiser and am waiting to hear back. Will be interesting to see the results of that and if the sparkle is improved with a proper cleaning.
IMG_1157.JPG
 

Attachments

meganrachel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
5
I have sent a message to Dave Atlas who is an appraiser and has cutter contacts.
The BGD type route is not my favorite as they are constrained to work within their brand parameters. That may mean for example cutting a 2.5ct down to 1.90ct where a more practical less constriced cutter could work within these proportions: 1602651094311.png

Thank you for messaging Dave, for the helpful chart, and for the considerations with going the BGD route in regards to staying within the brand versus another cutter who doesn't work within brand parameters. I posted an update with some images and am waiting to hear back from an independent appraiser for an appointment.
 

meganrachel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
5
Going back to your long series of questions you posed at the beginning, I'd say you have just about all the concerns about having a diamond you own recut that most every other consumer customer has. There are lots of problems getting your already owned diamond worked on.

Two problems face most potential diamond recut owners. 1. How can they re-identify the recut diamond as being the one they started with? You can't wait and watch. You need to send it off. Does your diamond contain an identifiable inclusion which will remain intact after a recut. Maybe it does or maybe it will change. One can't predict. 2. What if something goes wrong and the diamond breaks during recutting? Your insurance will not cover this unless you have some very unusual insurance. Ask around and be sure about any potential insurance coverage BEFORE you make a decision.

Over the years, I have used diamond cutters on only diamonds I owned and I assumed any and all risk. Very few problems ever happened, but when you own one diamond and there is a problem, then the risk may outweigh your perception of the benefits. If I have a diamond that now needs a recut, I would send it to a specialist that does not offer any public access, a paid consultant. She is a past GIA lab supervisor who can carefully estimate a recut within the boundaries of the various categories Garry Holloway supplied above and come up with a cost of repairs, an estimated finished weight, highly reliable future GIA grading results and then place the diamond with a selected cutter who will do exactly what is requested with a high degree of skill and precision. Diamond cutting is still a skill and an art, but there is so much more science to it now than 20 years ago. I have been doing this for decades and would not work directly with a cutter because getting the exact and proper outcome is out of my own comfort zone. If I think there is risk, I can only think folks with a lot less experience have a higher degree of risk.

It might be a good idea to take a decent photo of the diamond as it now looks. Get some smart opinions about what might be improved or changed. Possibly, visit a qualified appraiser close to you and have the weight, color, clarity and cut parameters determined. Maybe the appraiser can give you some approximate finished weight estimate. This will help in understanding what would remain of the diamond if you went for various recut scenarios. You need to be a risk taker and sort of a gambler to accept the issues around having your personal diamond recut. Are you one of those people? If so, then keep working your way toward more knowledge in the process of making an informed decision.
Thank you so much for the thorough feedback! I added some pictures and am waiting to hear back from an independent GIA master appraiser near me. I included some of your notes in my email inquiry to her. You make an excellent point by going through paid consultant to help act as a middle man between you and a cutter, as it would be confusing to interpret and understand the analysis from the cutter myself. I would love to hear more about your experience doing so.
 

meganrachel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
5
Please post a photo of your diamond with a reference for size like a ruler. A side view also. We can likely identify the cut and Era for you and tell you if recutting might be a good idea, or if it might lose a lot of weight or lose a special cut. How do you feel about a potentially completely new look to your family heirloom? Will that bother you? Just curious.

I attached several photos above! And good question - both my dad and I are okay with a potential new look to the diamond (it was my paternal grandmothers). He has no memories of her wearing the piece as is and is happy for it to have a use other than sitting in a drawer at home. There is not a lot of sentimental value, other than feeling happy knowing it belonged to her and she would be connected to me in that way. There are other pieces of hers in the family as well beyond this one piece (although none as large).
 
Last edited:

EC8

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
310
Based on pictures looks to be around 1.5ct or so, hard to guess without better measurements, including depth.
It is a late Old European cut; I think you will get a lot of feedback here not to recut.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
997
Awww, an OEC. My vote is don't recut!

Disclosure- I know nothing about MRBs like most of the brilliant people on this board. I just come here to read and learn. But I can't keep my mouth shut this time. I am in love with old cuts, and so are so many others. If someone suggested I recut mine, I'd cut them! :lol: :lol: Jk, kinda. But research OECs here on PS and learn more about her and her special personality first before deciding.
 

Lookinagain

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
1,253
What kind of cut is on your diamond now? There was a time when it was universally recommended to recut old cut diamonds, and they sold at a big discount, but they are very desirable now. If you don't know, try taking a photo.

It may be that if your stone is an older cut as the pictures suggest, the only reason the jeweler recommended a recut was because it was just common to do that since there was some belief that a modern cut was more desirable and so old cut stones were often recut, especially if they were of a higher color. It may not have had anything to do with it being "poorly" cut. So I think I would take it in for an appraisal again and get more information, such as clarity and color. If you find you don't like old cut stones, I think then you should figure out the cost of the recut and how much weight will be lost. Depending on the answer to that, you may want to just sell it as is and put the money toward a modern cut stone, since you say there's no real sentimental value,
 

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,735
I would not recut that! It's an old euro and even in the photos, which are not the best to see the pattern (diamond pictures are hard!), I see a nice flower pattern. If anything, sell the OEC and buy a modern round if you like that instead.
 

kgizo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,959
Looks to be a nice diamond and I would be hesitant to recut as I like old cuts. The person who recommended the recut may not have liked old cuts. Before you do anything, look at it in different lighting and decide if you like it or not. If you don’t then it isn’t the right stone for you and that’s fine. I had 2 diamonds cleaned up by Ashley from South West Diamond Cutters and was very pleased. Prices vary based on carat weight and last time I checked they were posted on the website.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
997
I forgot to mention in my previous post that you could also choose to have a recut to improve the Old European Cut, should you choose/ decide it's needed. @prs and @Polyhex had theirs cleaned up and could maybe guide you to a cutter who specializes in that.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,522
Old cuts aren't for everyone. I happen to love them the most, so my gut reaction is: NO, don't! That stone is highly individual, OOAK.
If you don't care for old cuts then I'll echo that selling it is also an option. It also let's you get exactly what you want in your diamond without the possible recut risks.
 

Polyhex

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
550
There are two reasons why jewelers used to routinely recommend a recut for an old cut diamond like this:

  1. They thought no one wanted them, and that modern brilliants were preferred and easier to sell.
  2. There was no financial risk -- old cuts used to sell at a discount approximately equal to the smaller modern brilliant that would exist after a recut. So if a 1.5 ct old cut would make a 1.2 ct modern brilliant, the 1.5 ct old cut would sell for the price of the 1.2 modern brilliant.
Neither of these factors are true any more. There is no discount on the price of old cuts, in fact they sometimes sell at a premium vs. the MRB. And they are highly desirable and sought-after.

I would suggest the following:
  • Get the diamond professionally cleaned. Sometimes old dirt is quite hard to remove at home, or the diamond has a layer of flux stuck on it from the last time the setting was modified.
  • Live with it for awhile, how do you feel about it after wearing it for a week or two? Especially pay attention to how much fire it throws... a good old cut will way outperform a modern brilliant in terms of fire.
If you don't like it after this, consider both selling it and recutting it. If you recut it to a MRB, you will definitely take a hit in the value of the diamond. However, that doesn't mean recutting is wrong, just a question of whether it's worth it to you. Old cuts can also be lightly recut to improve them, without dramatically changing the cut. I went that route with my diamond. So if you don't like it after a few weeks, that is an option as well.

It looks like a transitional or late old european to me. I find it very beautiful but your happiness is what counts!
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
961
I agree with everything Polyhex says.

But I would start with carefully giving your diamond a home cleaning or two with warm water, a soft toothbrush and dish soap. It’s COVID times, and I wouldn’t rush out to do that professional cleaning yet.

See what this diamond does after a good soak and cleaning. There are cleaning instructions here, you can search for them.

If you didn’t know this diamond was an old cut, and your jeweler didn’t tell you, then welcome! You are in the right place to learn about vintage cuts. Please make no decisions until you look through the numerous discussions and photos of old cuts in settings and being worn on the hand and what people think about them.

Look at your diamond side by side with an MRB, you might just find that you prefer the larger flashes of light from larger facets, or the fire and scintillation of your vintage cut.

Old cuts like yours are coveted by some people. They are considered preferable to MRBs by some people. My opinion is that you should never recut something like yours unless you really hate it, and unless it looks terribly beat up.

I’m curious to see what you think of it after you wash it. It looks beautiful to me.
 
Last edited:

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
961
My likely unpopular opinion is that it really doesn’t matter what color or clarity this stone is, yet. I personally wouldn’t waste my money or time taking your stone to an appraiser.

Get a good loupe. After you clean it, have a look. Take accurate color photos. Post here, people can probably tell you what the estimated color and clarity is. It kind of doesn’t matter at this point. This is my opinion only. Others may encourage you to take it to an appraiser for insurance purposes.

You have to decide if you want to keep as is or recut. If you keep it, you then could get a lab report from GIA. If you recut it, you could then get a lab report AFTER cutting from GIA.

If you want it to look different from what it is (an original antique) my opinion is that you would want to have it cut to high standards. Eg send to one of the respected Superideal or high performance MRB cutters like BGD. Or send it to a high quality “Old Cut” specialist cutter to clean up abrasions or the girdle if you don’t like it (I would not touch an antique stone unless it was really damaged). YMMV. The recommendations for cutters in this thread are good.

Just my opinions.
 
Last edited:

Lookinagain

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
1,253
The reason I would get it appraised now to determine color and clarity is so you can get an idea of what you could sell it for if you decided to do that and put the funds toward a new modern cut stone. If you aren’t considering that option and will keep it with or without recut then color and clarity don’t really matter except to establish value for insurance.
 

aussie1234

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
7
Please don’t recut unless you are sure! Maybe do some research into oec’s first, they might really grow on you!
 

LLJsmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
11,020
I would take it to a jeweler and have it unset. Because regardless it won't stay in that setting. Then take pics, and just look at it for a while. If it looks interesting, and maybe after researching about old euros on PS, and maybe subscribing to jewelers on IG who specialize in antique cuts, try setting it in a low cost 4 prong setting. Maybe there are some that are $400-$500. See how it looks on your finger. Observe it throughout the day. I know it's supposed to be your ering, but this doesn't have to be the final setting. Then decide if you like it. If you do, then you can go about planning your final setting. If you don't then recut it. Anyway, that is what I would do to be certain.

jewelsbygrace
erstwhilejewelry
singlestonela
sincityfinds
oldworlddiamonds
cvb.inspired.design
gemconcepts
levysfj
erikawinters
davidklassjewelry
croghans
crazytreasurehunter
pebbleandpolish
langantiques
gemgossip
victorcanera
fks_bling
israelrosejewelry

I'm sure others have more to suggest.
 
Last edited:

Roselina

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
800
What a beautiful stone with beautiful pattern! No need to recut that, unless you wan't a modern cut diamond. If so, I'd suggest to get a new one but leave this one alone and leave it it's character and history.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's Wedding
    F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's Wedding
    Diamond Prices - April 2021
    Diamond Prices - April 2021
    The Unconventional Jewelry Hunt
    The Unconventional Jewelry Hunt

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top