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Gemstone Replacement: What to Expect When Working with a Jeweler

Written by Anna Currell
October 25, 2023

There are plenty of reasons why you might be looking into gemstone replacement. Maybe the stone fell out of your engagement ring or a precious piece needs an upgrade after years of wear. Perhaps you’re ready to swap out the diamond in your favorite pendant necklace for a more colorful gemstone while preserving the original setting. Whatever your inspiration, the goal of gemstone replacement is to make your new stone fit so seamlessly that it looks like it was made for that piece of jewelry. Here's what you can expect the gemstone replacement process to entail:

Assessing Your Original Gemstone 

First, a jeweler will thoroughly examine your jewelry to identify specifics about the existing gemstone. They'll use tools like calipers, magnifying lenses, and gemological equipment to analyze the following factors:


The jeweler will measure the length, width, and depth of your current stone in millimeters to determine the precise size. They will make sure there’s a match between size of the new stone you select and the existing setting to ensure a seamless fit — a stone that’s too big won’t work in the setting, and a stone that’s too small will be more likely to fall out. 


The jeweler will also identify the cut and shape of your current gemstone — like round, oval, emerald, or cushion. In most cases, the new stone must match this shape to properly fit the setting. If you want to change the shape of your new stone, you’ll likely need to change the setting as well, which is entirely possible but requires a more in-depth repair. 

Setting Style

Next, the jeweler will determine the setting style, such as prong, bezel, channel, tension, etc. The replacement gemstone must be compatible with the setting so that it fits securely and also looks great. Each setting type looks unique and works differently to keep the stone in place, and therefore has different requirements of the stone it’s holding.


If you’re aiming to closely match the original stone, the jeweler will closely examine the color, clarity, carat, and cut of your stone. If your original stone is lost or damaged, your jeweler can refer to an appraisal document, if you have it (or photos if you don’t), to get a better understanding of the original gem and find a close match.  

Sourcing and Selecting Your New Gemstone

Armed with the measurements and attributes of your original gemstone, your jeweler will source a replacement stone that meets your needs. This may come from their own inventory, gemstone suppliers they work with, or if your budget allows, a custom-cut gemstone. 

If you simply want to match the original as closely as possible, your jeweler will look for the same shape, size, color, and clarity. But if you want a change or an upgrade, speak to your jeweler about the specifics of what you’re looking for. Here are some options to consider:

  • A bigger gemstone: Consult your jeweler about maximizing size while still fitting your setting. Ask them what size they’d recommend within your budget. 
  • A different type of gemstone: You might consider a ruby, sapphire, emerald, opal, amethyst, or a traditional diamond, depending on what you started with. Even if you want to opt for a similar shape, size, and cut to the original stone, the color possibilities are endless.
  • A better quality gemstone: Maybe your original gemstone wasn’t the best quality. You can upgrade to a gemstone with a better color or clarity grade to boost sparkle and increase the overall value of your jewelry.

Your jeweler will help you to find a gemstone that fits properly with your jewelry while giving you the fresh new look you’re after. 

Gemstone Replacement and Setting Adjustments

Once the jeweler sources your new gemstone, they’ll carefully perform the swap by carefully removing the original stone from the setting and replacing it with the new one. If your original stone fell out or went missing, they can get started setting the new stone in the setting right away. They'll also make any necessary modifications to the setting so the new gemstone fits perfectly. This may involve:

  • Adjusting or replacing prongs in a prong setting so they hold the stone securely.
  • Modifying the base and circumference of a bezel setting to fit the new gemstone.
  • Resizing the channel setting that holds a stone (or stones) if needed. 

If any parts of the setting like prongs are damaged, your jeweler will repair them to protect the new stone or tighten the setting so that the stone stays snugly in place. Proper gemstone replacement should preserve the original design of your jewelry while upgrading the stone within it. It’s a tricky task that requires a steady hand, so it’s best to find a professional jeweler with lots of experience to help you on this journey.

Having a trained professional jeweler handle your gemstone replacement takes the uncertainty out of the process. With their skills, knowledge, and access to gemstone inventory, you should feel confident that your jewelry will be meticulously handled and the new gemstone will be an ideal match. If you're ready to give your jewelry a makeover with a new gemstone, talk to our experts at Quick Jewelry Repairs. We can help guide you through your options and seamlessly replace your gemstone so you can fall back in love with your most precious jewelry.

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