Because of their natural hardness, many people assume that diamonds are virtually unbreakable. In reality this is far from the case. Anywhere from 20-30% of all sharp cornered diamonds which we purchase are chipped or broken, often unbeknownst to the seller. Diamonds with sharp corners, (those most likely to chip) include the following cuts: Princess, Pear, Marquise and Heart.
There are two main ways by which a diamond’s corners chip. The first is during the setting process. An inexperienced setter may unintentionally break a diamonds corner when mounting it into jewelry. This is hidden by prongs which cover its corners. Unless the diamond was removed from its mounting, you would never detect any damage.
The second way in which a diamond may chip is through natural wear. Most people bang and drop their diamond jewelry countless times. While diamonds are extremely resistant to such forces, well-placed strikes can cause a chip.
Chipped diamonds must be recut before a buyer can sell them. They anticipate any effects which the chip will have on the diamond’s carat weight or cut before making an offer. While most minor chips will only slightly affect the diamonds value, (the buyer will have to subtract a re-cutting fee of $100-150 per carat), major chips may cause a diamond too lose significant carat weight and value. When selling a princess, heart, marquise or pear shape diamond or engagement ring you should consider all of these factors before meeting with a potential buyer.