What Happened?

by loiskmartens on May 8, 2011

My mother-in-law’s most important jewelry status statement was her 1 ct diamond ring.  The stone was mounted in a fairly standard 1950’s white gold prong setting.  I was pleased to inherit this ring.

Several years later two of the prongs began snagging my clothes.  The lateral photo shows noticeable air between the prong and the girdle of the diamond.  After 60 years of use it was time to reset the stone.

It is my stuff so I saw off two of the triangular shaped prongs to dismount the diamond.  Then I start to check out the stone:  Cut – old style with truncated culet; Color – a little yellow, probably G; Purity – clean, VVS; Weight – 75 pts.  Holy Cow!  It is not a 1 ct diamond.  What happened to the missing 25 points?

In 60 years many things could have happened to this ring including that, maybe, the diamond had never been a full carat.  Certainly I was disappointed not to have a 1 ct diamond but this had been a gift and much appreciated.  The situation would have been very different if this had been a client’s ring.

Part of my job is to take in used jewelry for repairs, remodeling or remounting.  Sometimes the work is carried out leaving the stone in place.  Sometimes the stone needs to be removed from its mount and later reset.  There is a lot of trust from all parties involved.

In the end what happened is that I remounted the diamond, my diamond, just like I wanted it.  I made a compression formed 18K yellow gold band with a filed 18K white gold prong setting.

Everyone that sees the ring thinks that the diamond is enormous.  I think that is probably a bi-color – G and F.  Kept clean, it seems to be a drop of sparkling water.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

loiskmartens May 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I saw the air between the stone and the prongs but did not have bad thoughts until I weighed the diamond. I am so glad this did not happen with a client because there is no solution. We have to trust each other. Even if I dismount and weigh the stone in front of the client, she or he has to leave the stone with me and the next time they see it, it will be remounted and impossible to control. But if the client is sure that they are leaving a 1 carat stone and I realize that it is smaller later, what do I do? Say nothing? Tell them, running the risk of having to replace the 1 ct stone? This type of situation is a nightmare.

Barbara May 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I look at the original setting and can’t help thinking it was made for a bigger stone. You don’t think it was replaced by someone at some time, do you. Does that solve the mystery of the missing points?

kate May 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Could an unscrupulous jeweller have substituted a smaller stone at some stage during a previous clean or repair? Especially given the amount of air between the prongs and the stone ie it originally held a larger stone?

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