Can I unset this rock?
January 24, 2010 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Can a gemologist tell if a diamond has been set?

I have a diamond that is set in a typical, tiffany-style solitaire ring. I'd like to try to return the diamond to the place I bought it from (Company X), but their return policy says that previously-set diamonds can't be returned. (The ring was set by a third party)

Moral questions aside, if I get this diamond removed from the setting, will anyone be the wiser? Can the gemologists at Company X tell the difference?
posted by griseus to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Diamonds are real hard to damage. They don't scratch easily unless you use another diamond or a laser. They shatter easily, but they don't get dinged up.

Lexica is an amateur jeweler and though she's cooking in the other room right now, she's of the opinion that unless the setting was done so poorly that the stone was damaged (see above paragraph) that it's unlikely to show any sign of being set & unset.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:22 PM on January 24, 2010

Second PBZM - the stone wasn't likely damaged so after a good cleaning (it will be dirty) the stone will be as good as when you got it.
posted by zenon at 7:42 PM on January 24, 2010

Ms. birdsquared, a gem-stone setter, agrees with both PBZM and zenon.
posted by birdsquared at 5:23 AM on January 25, 2010

My friend who is a professional gemologist, says:

"It's not hard to damage a diamond while setting it or removing it from prongs. I see prong damage on stones all the time.

It just depends. Say if you have a diamond with a feather on the upper half, and someone sets the stone to cover the feather, the pressure of pushing the metal on the surface where the feather is could cause further damage. I mean, they can take it out and nothing could happen, but it's hard to say unless you know the carity of the stone."
posted by bingo at 7:39 PM on January 25, 2010

I'm a Graduate Jeweller, with years of experience in the secondary market, and I'll agree with bingo and his friend. Diamonds are hard - but have cleavage planes and are actually almost brittle in that way, and the facet edges can be chipped with just regular wear and tear. So it is entirely conceivable that there could be damage from the prong, and evidence of wear if that's the case. Even poor use of tweezers to handle a loose stone can chip the girdle microscopically. It would be evident under a microscope.
posted by peagood at 7:29 AM on January 27, 2010

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