What Do I Do if I Damage My Gemstone?

Anyone who has worn jewelry for any length of time understands that there is a natural wear-and-tear process it will undergo. Over time the metal doesn’t look as shiny, the stone starts to look a little less dazzling, and the edges of the prongs or bezels will look a little less distinct. This is totally natural and a quick stop at a local jeweler for a polish and cleaning can bring the jewelry back to life in some pretty amazing ways. But what happens when you look down and see that there is a little line running across the stone? Or maybe a slight indent in one of the edges of a facet? Inevitably there will be a little disappointment. I mean, pretty much everyone loves the way a new car looks, or new clothes. But all it takes is a few rides down a road or a few loads of laundry for it to lose some of that “new perfection”. Unfortunately the same is true of jewelry and no matter what stone you are wearing it is going to eventually meet with a little ding, scratch, or chip.

The first question that people usually ask us is: “Is my stone still okay for Jyotish (astrology)?” The short answer is, “Yes”. However, we aren’t usually looking at the stone when we say this, but most of the time the damage is very minuscule and affects less than 5% of the overall surface of the stone. Stones that are softer are inevitably going to become scratched. You can refer to our previous blog, Caring for Your Jyotish Jewelry, to find out about the durability of your stone. Stones that are very hard, like diamonds and sapphires, can still get nicks and chips from contact with other objects. It is also important to take into account that when a stone has a nick or a chip on it, it may be positioned in such a way that any more trauma could cause a very small chip to become a very big chip. If you think the damage on your stone that could impact the durability of the stone, you should have it evaluated by a gemologist for a professional opinion.

Recutting  a stone is not a simple process and must be undertaken by a professional lapidarist. A lapidarist is different from a jeweler or a gemologist. They are usually experts who have spent many years learning to cut and polish soft stones before undertaking precious gemstones. A gemstone must be removed from the jewelry setting before being repolished. Then it is sent to a lapidarist who will evaluate and recut it to improve the look and durability of the stone. Most stones that have basic wear and tear on them can be repolished and lose only a small percentage of the weight of the stone. Usually the stone will look brand new again. If there is serious damage to the stone, for example a crack that runs right down a corner, the lapidarist may recommend recutting it to remove the damaged section. This could affect the shape and therefore have a significant impact on the weight of the stone, and in such a case, it may be more beneficial to replace it with a new one.

The important thing for an astrology stone is that the energy of the stone is still very present. When a stone isn’t able to transmit the light properly, if the face has more than 30% of it affected by damage, then it would be beneficial to think about getting it recut. Astrological Gem customers are always more than welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns they have about their jewelry.

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