Do you happen to have a loose diamond? Do you require an heirloom diamond engagement ring? Do you want to reset a family diamond in a new ring? Do you have a jeweller's setting in mind for an existing diamond? Or perhaps you want a specific stone that the jeweller does not have...

Are you resetting a family diamond, redesigning an heirloom ring, or having a diamond set that you found yourself? We frequently see a breakdown in communication between shoppers and jewellers when it comes to loose settings and personal diamonds. People are often surprised when a jeweller is hesitant or outright refuses to set a diamond that was not purchased from them. It may appear counterintuitive for a jeweller to refuse work. Let's get this straight. Some jewellers are perfectly fine with this! However, the reason jewellers would hesitate to reset an heirloom diamond is not the same as the reason they would hesitate to set your sweet internet-deal diamond. Here is some information and advice on how to make this request properly.

Begin with the best case scenario

You have a family stone or a collection of heirloom jewellery that you want to use to create something unique, and you approach a talented and caring custom engagement ring designer in your area! Don't get us wrong: we believe that reusing heirloom stones is THE BEST.

Having said that...

Why would a jeweller be hesitant to reset an heirloom stone?

  • It can be frightening. For a jeweller to set a gemstone you already own, there are liability risks, such as loss, damage, and heightened emotions...
  • It stymies the overall process of a jeweller. Unless you deliver the stone to the jeweller in person, you will have to ship it back and forth; they will have to send you a liability waiver. That can be frightening for everyone involved.
  • Unsetting a diamond or gem from a piece of jewellery is a losing proposition. It is frequently difficult for jewellers to unset a gemstone without injuring it. Furthermore, you must consider the nearly complete loss of value for the piece you are disassembling.
  • It may force the jeweller to fit a diamond into a setting that isn't really designed for it. This is especially true for antique diamonds or gems with a non-perfectly round, square, or even outline.
  • Simply put, it takes a lot of work and they don't profit from it.

Though it isn't always the best situation for them, there are jewellers who will gladly do this for you. It's acceptable to enquire, especially if you ask nicely. It's like asking a friend to drive you to the airport twice in rush hour traffic.

Why would a jeweller refuse to set a new diamond you bought elsewhere?

For a jeweller, this situation can be a little more charged. Almost all of the other heirloom pains apply here, but with the added financial slap in the face to the jeweller.

You just took their expected margin. The price of the ring assumes that they will also sell you the star of the show, a centre gem. According to them, you are attempting to obtain a ring for the price of a loose setting.

It comes across as impolite. This is a work of art and craftsmanship. You wouldn't go to Picasso and ask if you could have the painting for less if you supplied the paint and canvas... you know, because you have a friend who'll give you a screamin' deal somewhere else.

What can you do if you're looking for an engagement ring?

  • It is acceptable to enquire about an actual heirloom diamond or gemstone that you have inherited or previously owned.
  • Expect some hesitation and understand that signing a waiver releasing the jeweller from liability for your stone is completely normal.
  • Do not ask a jeweller to set a diamond that you purchased online or from a wholesaler. If you do, be careful not to appear entitled, and be prepared to pay a setting fee. Be savvy, but remember to be fair and kind.

We are delighted to assist you if you are the type of person who enjoys being a smart shopper and enjoys hacking the process to get a better deal. Call us, and we'll connect you with the diamond and the jeweller without all the strangeness. We can teach you how to do it in a respectful way that doesn't offend the people you choose to work with.

The jeweller should consider how to best communicate their policies

Don't be offended if people ask for this. They have no concept of diamond margins. This is the first and most likely final time they will do so. They may have been given this stone, and now they must figure out how to incorporate it into a new ring. OR they're just trying to be thrifty when it comes to shopping. In some cases, they even believe they are assisting! They are similar to the kind cat who brings you a dead mouse. They believe you'll be thrilled. Take a deep breath and explain the issues calmly. Assist them in determining a solution that works for both of you. Don't be the dragon lady at the jewellery store with policies that drive away paying customers who would otherwise be willing to work with you.