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Repair Blue Sapphire by Re-Faceting it

This oval blue Sapphire had been worn for many years and was badly damaged.

I asked the jeweler what his customer wanted to be done to it. They decided they wanted the stone to remain an oval shape and to be re-faceted to make it like new again.

This Sapphire was also windowed. I the process of re-faceting it, they wanted me to close the window. I predicted that the finished stone would be appx 6 mm wide after closing the window. See below how close I came.

Below, you will see photos and description of the cutting process.

An oval blue Sapphire which is badly chipped and scratched on top.

Broken oval blue Sapphire

As you can see, this stone is very badly worn and damaged.

When I received this stone it was 6.9 mm wide and 7.5 mm long and weighted 2.92 carats.

click this photo

Picture showing how I have ground the girdle to make a new smaller oval shape to remove the chips.

Making the new girdle

The first step in re-faceting a gemstone like this when repairing it is to make a new girdle. You can see in this photo where I have made a very thick new girdle as I make the new oval shape.

On the right side of this stone, you can see the remaining big chip. That will be cut away in the cutting process.

Showing the first 10 facets and the a chip is still showing but now much smaller.

Making the new pattern on the pavilion

Notice in the previous photo that the stone was a step cut. The pavilion was also lop-sided. In the process of re-faceting and closing the window I will also use a more brilliant facet pattern on the pavilion.

In this photo you will see the beginning of the new facet pattern and the remains of the chip.

Many more facets on the stone now and the chip is almsot gone.

Adding more facets

Here you can see that the facet pattern has gotten more complex as I am working on the end of the stone.

You can see a tiny remnant of the chip at the lower left edge of the new facets.

In the last photo on this page you will see a photo of the finished facet pattern on the pavilion.

Shows the stone in the faceting machine with the stone on the polishing lap.

On the faceting wheel

Here I am polishing the pavilion on a special polishing lap.

I have now cut 8 new facets on the crown.

Working on the new Crown

Here you can see the new 8 main facets on the new crown.

Next I will add the stars and girdle facets and the stone will soon be finished.

The stone is now finished and a very brilliant blue.

the Finished re-faceted blue Sapphire

Here you can see the finished blue Sapphire.

The stone now weighs 1.98 carats and is 6.7 mm wide x 7.7 mm long.

It finished a wider stone than I had predicted. It would have been nice if it had finished at 2.00 carats but it didn't work out that way this time. The important factor to the customer was that their stone was now repaired and the window was closed and is brilliant again!

Shows the facets on the bottom of the stone.

Pavilion of the re-faceted Sapphire

This photo shows you the new facet pattern which replaces the old step cut.

This makes for a more brilliant gem than the previous step cut. There is a time and place for step cuts.

Feel free to contact us for an estimate on repairing your broken gemstone.

→  Take me back to examples of Repairing Faceted Gemstones


Denton Anderson,
Gemologist & Gem Cutter
click photo for Video

Photo of Denton the gem cutter.

Graduate Gemologist, GIA, GG
Over 20 years of experience.