Unfortunately, no gemstone exists that cannot be chipped. Some might be more unlikely to chip than others, but the possibility still exists. If you've found yourself with a chipped gemstone, you may be wondering if it can be fixed. Well, we've researched the topic in depth and have an answer for you.
A chipped gemstone can be fixed. However, the shape and overall look might have to change. This is because a chipped gemstone may have to be re-faceted or recut to remove the chip.
Sometimes epoxy glues can be used in smaller chips or cracks, and polishing can remove surface scratches.
Now that you know there is hope for your chipped gemstone let's elaborate on this more. Please, keep reading as we discuss different methods to fixing a chipped gemstone and what may be deciding factors on what method you choose.
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Fixing A Chipped Gemstone
It can be disheartening when your favorite gemstone becomes chipped, especially if the jewelry is an heirloom. However, before you consider replacing the gemstone completely, there are some options to check out first.
Chipped or cracked gemstones can often either be glued, polished, or recut to save the stone and keep the jewelry item as close to the original as possible.
For best results and the best method to choose, you should consult a Lapidary. Lapidaries are experts at recutting and polishing gems. If you're stuck on how to find one, try contacting your local jewelry store. They will often have lapidaries that they consult or regularly send off gems to.
Gluing A Gemstone
The method that will change the overall appearance of the gemstone the least is gluing. Glue can be used to seal cracks in gemstones and will typically be unnoticeable once it has cured. Glue can also be used to fix chips. If you still have the missing piece, you can attempt to glue it back together.
What glue is best for gemstones?
After researching and reading recommendations, we've found that Epoxy 330 Glue is commonly recommended and is designed specifically for use on gemstones. Other recommended glues include Cyanoacrylates CA Glue and Opticon Fracture Sealer & Hardener.
Each glue comes with pros and cons, but the primary con of Epoxy 330 Glue is that it is made from chemicals that can cause harm if inhaled too much. Just be sure to keep this in mind and read any included safety directions from the manufacturer.
How do you glue gemstones?
If you're trying to repair a deep crack, one method involves mixing a glue compound in a 50-50 ratio with acetone. If you use the Epoxy 330 glue we mentioned earlier, you'll notice it comes with two tubes that must be combined to create the compound. You can then mix this compound with acetone to create a solution that can be used to fill deep cracks.
If you have a gemstone that is chipped but you still have the missing piece, you can try gluing the two pieces back together. Depending on the type of gemstone, you may be able to do this using regular super glue. However, for best results, you should use one of the glues we previously mentioned.
Polishing A Gemstone
If the gemstone is only scratched, you may be able to save its appearance by getting it polished. If you suspect your gemstone may only need polishing, you can take it to a jeweler to find out. They will be able to evaluate the condition of the stone and offer recommendations.
They may even send it off to a lapidary who will have the necessary tools to perform the polishing. If the gemstone is in a ring, there's a possibility it can be polished without being removed. This offers a higher chance that the ring or the gemstone won't be damaged during the process.
There are several methods to polish a gemstone, and some of them can be done in the comfort of your own home. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can polish a gemstone yourself.
How do you polish scratched gems at home?
The method you choose to use will depend on whether you are polishing a scratched gemstone as a one-off occasion or whether you intend to make it a frequent hobby. For a one-off event, you likely don't want to invest in a bunch of expensive tools that will then sit around your house.
In this instance, you can polish your gemstone using a polishing compound and a cloth. For a more extensive project or long-term commitment, you may need to consider purchasing some tools.
Using A Polishing Compound
One polishing compound often used is called Cerium Oxide. You can apply the polish using a cloth or your finger and rub out the scratch on the gemstone. Keep in mind; if the scratches are a little more than surface deep, you may have to work out the scratch first with sandpaper.
Rock Tumbling A Gemstone or Using A Dremel
For those more serious about learning the art of lapidary, gemstones can be polished using a rock tumbler or a Dremel.
Rock tumbling gemstones is essentially recreating the natural tumbling and weathering they would experience if left in the natural world but at an accelerated rate. Multiple gemstones can be tumbled at once, which makes this ideal if you have numerous projects.
The gems are placed inside with different levels of grit to make them smooth. After this process, they can be polished inside the tumbler with water and a rock polish.
A Dremel tool has many uses, including polishing, so if you often partake in woodworking, you might already have one in your tool collection. If you don't, they are relatively inexpensive and can come in handy for several projects.
If you'd like to see what the process might look like for polishing a stone, take a look at this YouTube video below:
Recutting A Gemstone
Sometimes the best way to save a gemstone is by getting it recut. If the chip is too big to be glued or you don't have the broken piece, getting the gem recut can restore some of its value.
Recutting a gemstone can even make it more valuable. If the chip isn't too big and primarily on the surface of your gem, a lapidary may be able to buff the gemstone down to remove the damaged area.
How much does it cost to recut a gemstone?
The cost to recut a gemstone will depend on a number of factors. One of the main factors is the type of gemstone that needs to be recut. Sometimes the cost will depend on the number of carats.
The cost will also depend on which type of cut you would like. More complicated cuts will be more expensive. For example, one company charges between $75 and $225 for a stone up to five carats and then an additional $1 for each carat over the five.
Can we wear broken gemstones?
Whether it's acceptable to wear a broken gemstone or not depends on who you ask. Someone who is a firm believer in the spiritual power of gemstones may also believe that it's unlucky to wear a broken gemstone.
However, wearing broken gemstones may accentuate and add character to your look as far as fashion goes. Also, if your gemstone has broken and the broken piece is big enough, you could turn it into another jewelry item.
Hopefully, our article has been helpful by showing you that a chipped gemstone doesn't have to be thrown away. You can try gluing, polishing, or recutting your gemstone to give it a new life. Remember, if it's a highly valuable or sentimental gemstone, you should consult a lapidary to find out the best option for your piece.
For more reading on the topic of gemstones, check out some of our other blog posts: