Stone Sourcing: How To Replace A Gem
Written by Annabelle
April 29, 2020
When you’ve lost a gemstone, it can be hard to even look at your jewelry’s empty setting. Fortunately, you can get it replaced by going to an experienced jeweler who can provide stone sourcing and setting services. Here’s how to replace a gem via stone sourcing.
The Stone Sourcing Evaluation
Before your jeweler proceeds with the stone sourcing process, they need to know the following information:
- What kind of stone do you want? Is it a diamond, emerald, ruby, or something rare like a morganite or Mexican fire opal? Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to replace the original stone with a stone of the exact same type; you can get creative and see what the jeweler can source!
- What is the size? The next step is determining the size of the stone. The jeweler can simply measure the setting to get an idea of how big the stone needs to be in order to perfectly fit within the setting. Keep in mind that the larger the stone, the more difficult it is to source a replacement.
- What is the cut and shape? The style and shape of the stone affects the lapidary’s work. If your stone is round and smooth on the top, chances are it’s a cabochon, a non-faceted stone. You’ll also need to know the shape as it needs to fit inside your existing setting.
- What quality or color do you want? Diamonds and gemstones come in different qualities and colors. The higher the quality and the rarer the color, the more expensive it is to source that gem. However, this boils down to personal preference; for instance, some people prefer lower-grade diamonds with visible inclusions because they find that attractive. You don’t have to limit yourself to what the market considers high quality.
The Stone Sourcing Process
Once you’ve decided on what stone you want, the jeweler moves into the stone sourcing process. Some jewelers will have a standard stock of diamonds and gemstones available on hand; if you can find a gemstone from this selection, the price will be lower. On the other hand, a stone that needs to be specially sourced and cut will be more expensive.
If the jeweler doesn’t have the stone in stock, they reach out to lapidaries and vendors to procure the stone. Depending on what you requested, this can be a lengthy process! Certain stones are only available from certain sources, like tanzanite or chrome diopside. This means that these stones have to be sourced from overseas lapidaries. The process for these rare stones can take weeks to even months.
Once the jeweler has the stone, they have to evaluate the gem and see if it needs to be specially cut. Sometimes the stone procured from the lapidaries is in a raw form, or a different shape and size than what’s needed. The jeweler will modify the stone accordingly for your setting.
After that, it’s just a matter of setting the stone into your jewelry! A quick polish, and your item is now restored and ready for pick up.
Stone Sourcing Pricing
When you’re checking out a stone sourcing service to replace a gem, expect to always pay for the setting labor and the replacement stone. The price of the replacement stone will vary depending on what you’re sourcing, and there will be additional charges for recutting if necessary.
Keep in mind that the larger the stone, and the rarer it is, the more expensive it’ll be to source the gem. The price of the stone will also include any customs and international sourcing fees associated with its procurement.
Now you’re all set on how to replace a gem with stone sourcing! If you’re ready to get started on a new stone, comment below and we’ll help you out!