Words from a Canadian goldsmith
I didn’t have to give it much thought before replying what I believed may have happened in this case. The store where the ring was originally purchased over estimated the quality of the diamonds they sold in the ring. An updated appraisal downgraded the diamonds quality.
I am hearing from a lot of people who are afraid of getting their diamond jewellery repaired for fear of having the diamonds switched to a lower quality. I would like to assure you that in the case of smaller diamonds, and I’m referring to less than four or five point diamonds, it just does not make economic sense for any jeweller to remove and replace diamonds. This is especially the case where the stones are bead or pave set. In that case the jeweller would have to retip the beads he cut out to remove the stone. I would say that if you have a diamond cluster ring with VVS diamonds in top color and the stones are claw set, then make sure the jeweller knows that you know what they are when you drop the ring off. Of course it’s best if you have an appraisal to show them.
Another thing you should do when you drop a piece off is make sure no stones are missing. Ask the jeweller to loupe, or closely examine the item before he puts it in the repair envelope . This is for his benefit as well. I have done it myself when I’m in a hurry and take a clients ring for repair, only to find out after they’ve left that a tiny stone is missing. If they have time,a jeweller should give the piece a quick cleaning so they can better see if there is any problems like cracks or cracked stones that need replacing or additional repairs.
In the decades I have been in this business I have encountered surprisingly few dishonest jewellers willing to risk their business and reputation by stealing from customers. There was one notorious Vancouver store owner in the 80s & early 90s who was caught switching diamonds more than once. These were larger diamonds. The last time I remember him being caught, he apologized and said ” yeah, I can’t believe my goldsmith did that, I fired him when I found out”. What reason would a goldsmith have for changing a clients diamond unless his boss told him to do it? I hope this thiefs karma has caught up with him, and so does everyone else in the Vancouver jewellery trade.
Don’t be afraid to take your jewellery in for repair, but be smart when you do it, and let the jeweller know you are aware of exactly what you are dropping off. Ask others of they’re experiences with local jewellers in your area. If you have any questions at all, just email me and I will get back to you ASAP
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