Diamonds are timeless. In the past, it was common to honor big achievements with these loose stones. Today, a diamond at the center of an engagement ring symbolizes the promise of eternal love and commitment. This article will discuss the steps and the costs of resetting diamonds into a new ring. Whether you were given an heirloom stone or you simply have an old ring you want to update, we’ll discuss your options and the approximate costs.
New Look: Old Diamond, New Ring
Resetting diamonds, especially heirloom pieces, celebrates the achievements of generations passed. Additionally, resetting and reusing existing stones is more eco-friendly than sourcing new ones. It’s an excellent way to bring new life to an older piece that holds meaning for you.
The most common sources of diamonds include:
- Heirloom rings, pendants, and earrings
- Loose diamonds bequeathed to you by a family member
- Diamonds from an existing engagement ring that you want to redesign
(Related: How To Tell If A Diamond Is Real)
Steps in Resetting a Diamond
The following steps highlight how diamond resetting works:
- Design Consultation
The first step in resetting a diamond is booking a private consult. This includes a discussion about your existing jewelry and its sentimental value, as well as coming up with ideas for your new piece. After that, a design meeting—where your old jewelry is assessed—will take place. This ensures that your pieces are in good shape for resetting.
- Drafting and Design
All your ideas come to life in the drafting and designing process. This stage is where your designer will come up with sketches to bring your ideas and inspirations to life. Feedback is welcomed during this process.
- Sourcing Stone Add-ons
One way to make your old jewelry more elaborate is to reset it with accents or additional stones. If you want to reset your diamond with more stones, then your jeweler will source stones for you.
- CAD Engineering
This step is to engineer a 3D CAD (three-dimensional computer-aided design) model of your design. Once you approve it, your jeweler will cast the jewelry in metal and handset the stones. This completes the design and creation process.
Once the piece is complete, you can pick it up or have it shipped to your home. Your jeweler will also advise you on cleaning and give you an appraisal of the new piece.
Ways to Reset a Diamond Ring
Resetting a diamond gives it new life. Below, we share seven different ways to inspire your imagination and help you create your dream design:
Adding Diamond Accents
Not ready for anything too drastic? Adding diamond accents on the side of the center stone gives it a subtle yet charming upgrade. You can do this by changing the band to a setting with diamond accents, providing extra sparkle. You can also try adding some diamond alternatives for a less expensive upgrade that maintains the same appearance.
Add More Diamonds
You can easily upgrade the number of diamonds in your ring by opting for a three-stone design. In this concept, the center stone is set with medium to small-sized diamonds on both sides. This makes your ring look bigger, and it tends to catch more attention.
Go For a Larger Center Stone
A simple way to redesign your diamond is to get a larger center stone. While this doesn’t involve resetting your current gemstone, it will give your ring a new look. This option is perfect if you want to celebrate a certain milestone and have a larger diamond to symbolize your accomplishments.
Center Stone With a Halo
Adding a halo of diamonds around your center stone gives your ring a dramatic flair. The surrounding gemstones add extra sparkle to the center diamond, making it look larger.
Fun fact: the iconic engagement ring of Princess Diana—which is now worn by Duchess Catherine, her daughter-in-law—features a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds.
If you want a design fit for a princess, then the halo setting is for you.
Diamond Setting Upgrade
Resetting a diamond also allows you to change its setting. For example, if your current ring has a cathedral-style pointed setting, then you can have it upgraded to one with bezels. Making these simple changes can do wonders in terms of look and function.
Including Colored Gemstones
One way to be adventurous and creative is by adding colored gemstones to your new design. Colored gemstones—such as rubies and sapphires—complement diamonds beautifully, and these make your ring stand out. You can even add a personal touch by selecting your birthstone, and that works well for the halo, three-stone, or sideband accent settings.
Trade for a New One
If you want a completely different style and resetting just doesn’t cut it, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trading in your current ring for a new piece. In fact, many couples who have been married a long time do this. They choose to trade old rings in for new ones—usually with larger or better diamonds.
How Much Will it Cost to Reset a Diamond?
Resetting a diamond generally costs anywhere from $100 to $500. Note that this cost covers only labor and may vary depending on the diamond’s size and shape. The finished product—either ready-made or custom—has a separate price depending on the new setting and accompanying stones. There are two primary options for resetting your diamond, including:
- Ready-made Jewelry
If you’re looking for an affordable piece, then ready-made jewelry is the less expensive option. The jeweler can find the piece based on the metal you choose (e.g., white gold, yellow gold, platinum, etc.), order it, and then set your stones.
- Custom Jewelry
Go for custom jewelry if you’re looking for options that aren’t in ready-made selections. The total fee for custom work includes a premium for the design time, the price of the metal used, and the labor cost. Choosing custom-made jewelry may require a budget of $500 for design, $1,500 for the piece, and the labor fee of anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the jeweler/designer.
Diamond Resetting FAQ
Why would a jeweler hesitate before resetting an heirloom stone?
- They face liability risks, such as loss and damage.
- It’s a long process, especially if you choose to ship the stones to the jeweler, who will be prompted to send you a liability waiver.
- It’s difficult to unset a diamond.
- It can be challenging to fit the diamond into a setting that it isn’t suited for. This usually happens to antique stones with outlines that aren’t perfectly even.
- It isn’t profitable.
Why would a jeweler not want to set a new diamond you bought elsewhere?
- The jeweler makes most of their money on the stone and setting combination. Resetting stones is a lower profit margin, by comparison.
As an engagement ring buyer, what can you do?
- Inquire politely about an heirloom diamond or gemstone that you've inherited.
- Prepare to sign a waiver releasing the jeweler from liability.
- Don’t ask to reset a diamond purchased elsewhere.
As the jeweler, how can you communicate your policies in the best way possible?
- Maintain professionalism when dealing with clients, and work with them to come up with a solution that works for both of you. Explain policies calmly and professionally to help your customers understand what can be expected from the resetting process.