Home     /     Are Gems or Diamonds Forever?

Are diamonds and gemstones forever…? Misconceptions occur all the time, between the customer and marketing strategies out there. The client understandably, is emotionally attached and believes their gems and diamonds are forever, after all, they are often cherished heirlooms and have sentimental value, are personal purchases or larger premium diamonds or gems.

 

Are Gems or Diamonds Forever?

 

The Brutal Truth!

The brutal truth is NO! Accidental damage can happen, and normal wear and tear occurs with day-to-day use. Stone quality is also a factor. When repurposing jewellery, often, if the gem is in bad shape or even with no visible signs of stress in the gem structure, cracks or chips can happen accidentally in the workshop.  The unsuspecting client comes to the jeweller or designer, wanting to restore a piece of jewellery to its to former glory or create a new more modern item. When a gem or diamond is accidentally damaged, both the jeweller and the client are losers. In these unexpected situations, if the client has not been forewarned (no different when the heart surgeon writes a disclaimer that you may die on the table) they are always upset when their precious item is damaged. After all, it is their cherished gift or its been handed down etc. For the jeweller, the last thing they want is to damage a client’s stone. Often, it is easier for the jewellers to replace it and cop it on the chin, without anyone being the wiser, the problem arises when a large expensive gemstone or diamond is involved.

Unfortunately, sometimes the retailer forgets to communicate this scenario to the client. If the client is forewarned, then both the jeweller and client can accept the situation and move on to find a suitable replacement via the client’s or the jeweller’s insurance. However the insurance companies often don’t insure jewellers for accidental damage due to it happening so often. When this is the case, it can cause a major problem with client and retailer relationship and trust, especially if the stone has great value. However, if both client and jeweller have insurance in place, both parties can leave the fight with the insurance company as to who pays!

A Disclaimer: is one way to minimise misunderstandings that lead to a dispute

  • Damage is rare but it can happen from time to time. Especially when setting 2nd hand stones!
  • All care is taken to protect against damage to customers stones.
  • Gemstones can become fragile from previous wear and tear; hence insurance companies don’t honour a replacement.
  • For this reason, we accept no responsibility for damage to customers gemstones whilst working on them.
  • We also reserve the right to refuse setting gemstones that are of high risk.

Jewellery in Trust when being worked upon

  • “Jewellery in trust or being worked on,” in our care has insurance in place.
  • We cannot guarantee our insurer will cover the full cost of damage if it occurs.
  • Based on this it is strongly recommended that you have the appropriate insurance in place for accidental damage.
  • If damage does occur, we can lodge a claim with our insurer, and if they supply a replacement of the stone, there could be additional out of pocket expenses.

What Happens if clients are not forewarned.

They get very cranky, “Why did you not tell me this could happen!” Especially these days, it is so important to discuss this prior to work commencing, as clients have been led to believe by retailers that jewellery is forever. In most cases a jeweller will replace a small stone at no cost, this is no big deal, just eats into the profit, but it keeps the client happy. If a larger diamond or gem of high value is damaged, that’s when the problems arise. When high value is involved, the jeweller must prepare the client for the bad news. We all know Murphy’s Law – If the client is not prepared, and your jeweller has had to find a suitable replacement and the client notices a change, this is when issues can occur. I think the problems arises when the retailer doesn’t communicate with clients, the sales team behind the counter are not trained to communicate this possibility or even think it could happen. Every bench jeweller experiences a chipped gem, or some small chips or cracks on a premium expensive gem.

Moral of the Story.

Be upfront open and transparent every step of the way.

If the worst does happen to an expensive gem or diamond, it is important for both parties to have a plan B to decide what to do as far as repairing or replacing the stone, especially if no insurance is in place.

PS: If you look after your jewellery it can last for many years and generations.

CONTACT CHRISTINE

NEWSLETTER

Perth Jewellery Design & Valuing
I usually send a newsletter a couple of times a year. If you would like be notified when I come across an outstanding gemstone, diamond or piece of jewellery or add a new informative page for jewellery lovers, please sign up for my occasional newsletter by entering your name and e-mail address below. Thanks, Christine.