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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/re: sapphire stones


I have recently been told that my 20 year old sapphire stone in my engagement ring has become scratched over time.  the jeweler said he can polish it to make like new.  Is this standard process?  I don't want to lose the size of the stone.

Dear Allyn,

Obviously, removing scratches from a gemstone means removing the surface to below the depth of the abrasions.  Some weight will be lost, often very minimal, and as long as there are not deep breaks or damage to the surface and specially to the edges of the stone ( the waist or outline of the gem), the dimensions will be  essentially preserved.  Generally, jewelers are not trained or skilled in facet cutting gemstones.   I suggest you ask where the stone will be sent for the work and ask for an estimate from the cutting company on "loss of carat weight" and if the dimensions of the stone will be altered in a noticeable way from the polishing procedure.

A jeweler should have no objection to this request. Also, have the stone weighed as accurately as possible once it is loose(out of the setting) and prior to the polishing process.  Depending on the type of setting the gem is now in, you will likely have expense for re-setting the sapphire and possibly costs of repair of the setting depending on how simple or complicated it is to remove the stone so it may be polished.

My experience with skilled gem cutting service companies is quite good.  Good companies will have no problem providing an estimate of loss to the stone but certainly cannot guarantee this do to rare unforeseen circumstances.

Best wishes, God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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