If you have an old piece of heirloom diamond jewelry that belonged to one of your grandparents, you might wonder whether you can take the stone out of that old-fashioned setting and have it mounted in a piece whose design is more to your taste. Here are some tips to help you decide whether remounting a stone set in antique jewelry is a good idea.
How Big Is the Diamond?
The first question you should answer for yourself is whether putting your diamonds in a new setting is worth the cost. And the answer to this question is closely related to the size of your stones.
For example, if the diamond is too small, the price charged to reset it may be close to what the stone is worth itself.
It is often the case that such small diamonds do not have the highest quality cut, color or clarity and are potentially very cheap.
On the other hand, if the diamond is reasonably big, say one carat or bigger, it may be valuable enough, and resetting it might make sense.
The bottom line is this: Get your stones evaluated by a trustworthy jeweler to find out how much they are worth before deciding whether setting them in a new mounting makes sense.
Resetting a stone doesn’t come without its issues and risks.
Usually, diamonds in antique jewelry tend to be chipped along the edges as a result of wear.
The problem is that some of these chips can make the stone very hard to reset.
If the damage is severe, it will weaken the structure of the diamond, and since resetting involves applying pressure on the stone using various tools by the jeweler, your diamond might crack in the process.
Always consult with a jeweler about how risky it would be to have your stone taken out of its old setting and put in a new one.
Can You Have Your Old Diamond Recut?
If you’ve found out that one of the diamonds in your heirloom jewelry is worth resetting, the next question to ask is whether you can have the stone recut, i.e. cutting it into a smaller diamond shaped according to your request.
Diamonds in vintage jewelry sometimes have odd cuts and you may want a new look for your stone. And if your diamond has a lot of small chips, recutting it will make it look better.
However, recutting a diamond comes at a price – not only does this service cost money, but it also reduces the carat weight of the diamond; you may gain some quality points for improving clarity by removing surface flaws, but you lose some value in the carat department.
You should weigh the pros and cons of recutting before deciding whether to go with it.
Have Your Diamond Insured
Because resetting your heirloom diamond entails some risks, don’t forget to insure it before you go ahead, in addition to having it appraised (an up-to-date appraisal is usually required by the insurer).
If the diamond gets damaged in the process, you will at least be able to cover some or all of the loss.
Should You Have Your Heirloom Reset?
In sum, after you consider all pros and cons of resetting, you will need to decide whether to go with a new setting or not.
Weigh the risk of damage, the service fee and the price of the new setting, the cost of appraisal and insurance, and the charge for recutting (and any potential drop in the stone’s value) against how much the diamond is worth.
If your calculations show that it makes sense to have your diamond reset, go for it.