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 Jewelry Education & Learning Center

Diamonds - Resetting an Heirloom Diamond

It's not unusual for diamond rings to be handed down from one generation to the next, but sometimes their settings need to be repaired or replaced, and sometimes the settings don't suit the new owner's style at all. If the ring has sentimental value you may decide to have it resized and repaired if necessary, but leave it intact. If there's no way you can use the ring without a redesign, these diamond resetting tips can help you make sure you're happy with the final product.

Resetting the Diamonds in Antique Diamond Rings

It's not unusual for diamond rings to be handed down from one generation to the next, but sometimes their settings need to be repaired or replaced, and sometimes the settings don't suit your style at all. Whether or not to reset the diamond is a very personal decision.

Was the diamond ring given or willed to you from a family member, or did you buy it at an estate sale or antique shop? It's more difficult emotionally to make the decision to noticeably alter a family heirloom, even if it doesn't suit our style. We don't usually have the same sentimental attachments to purchased jewelry.

After a divorce, many women reset the diamonds from their wedding rings in pendants and rings that look nothing like the original wedding jewelry.

What would you change about the jewelry? Would you:

Reset a solitaire diamond to place more diamonds on each side?

Take a diamond out of a very tall, pointed setting and reset it into something less likely to bump against everything you come into contact with?

Remove a diamond with a slightly yellow cast from its yellow gold setting and place it into white gold to make it appear more white?

Combine the diamond with colored gemstones?

Place a diamond with slight damage into a setting that camouflages the problem and keeps it from getting worse?
Put some thought into why you want to change the setting and how you can improve the diamond's appearance and make it more usable for your lifestyle.

Before You Reset the Diamond

A company that resets diamonds may require that you obtain an appraisal, lab report and mapping of your diamond before it takes possession of the gemstone. The reports provide details that allow it to be identified as yours if necessary.

Consider obtaining the reports even if the jeweler doesn't require them. Learn how to use a jewelry loupe to identify inclusions and other characteristics of your diamond.

Questions to Ask the Jeweler

Is my diamond insured for theft and other types of loss while at your location?

Will the diamond stay on the premises for resetting? Consider other options if the diamond will be sent away unless you feel comfortable with the jeweler's decision to do that.

How long will it take to reset the diamond?

What is the certification or experience level of the person who will reset the diamond?

Can you show me examples of diamonds you have reset? Can you provide references?

Find someone who you feel you can trust, a jeweler who explains the resetting process to you and offers a variety of design ideas to help you choose the best look for your diamond.

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