How Much Does Replacing Small Diamonds in a Ring Cost?

Diamond is the most famed and romanticized of all gemstones, and as such, a diamond ring is a worthwhile investment. So naturally, should one of the diamonds in your multi-diamond ring go missing or get chipped, you’ll want it replaced quickly to keep your investment intact. 

It costs anywhere from $50 to $500 to replace a diamond in a ring just for the labor. As for the stone, average-grade small diamonds cost between $300 and $400 per carat. Jewelry insurance will cover the amount needed to repair or replace a lost or damaged diamond in a ring.

The replacement cost of small diamonds varies. Read on to learn what factors impact how much you’ll ultimately pay.

Determining the Cost of Replacing Small Diamonds in a Ring

The more a diamond weighs, the bigger it is. And given larger diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds of comparable quality, they cost more per carat. That said, weight is just one of the factors that determine the price of a diamond. 

Diamonds come in many shapes, sizes, and colors and with various internal and external characteristics. These factors combined determine the quality of a finished diamond, and diamond quality, in turn, determines the value of the diamond.

Another factor to consider when seeking to replace a small diamond in your engagement or eternity ring is the labor cost.

Evaluating a Diamond’s Value

Diamond graders use the following four traditional factors referred to as the 4Cs to assess the quality and value of a diamond:

  • Color: for diamonds in the D-Z color range, the higher the degree of colorlessness, the higher the diamond’s value. The opposite is true for fancy color diamonds, whose value generally increases with the degree of color strength and purity.
  • Clarity: the extent to which a diamond has visible inclusions and blemishes when examined under 10× magnification by a diamond grading expert. Diamonds without these birthmarks under 10-power magnification are rare and expensive.
  • Cut: how well a diamond’s facets interact with light to create an attractive face-up appearance. Other factors that affect diamond cut quality are design and craftsmanship. All things being equal, the better the cut grade, the more valuable the stone.
  • Carat weight: the standard unit of weight for gemstones, including diamonds. One carat (ct) equals 0.200 grams. Small diamonds or melee diamonds—tiny diamonds that encircle the center stone or sit on the ring band—weigh less than 0.2 ct and can be as small as 0.001 ct. These stones cost less per carat than larger ones of comparable quality.

When it comes to the 4Cs, value and rarity are related. So diamonds with certain qualities, such as no visible inclusions or blemishes, are rarer and hence more valuable than those without said qualities.

Diamond Replacement Labor Cost

Replacing rather than repairing small damaged diamonds is typically the best course of action, as recutting results in loss of carat weight. The labor cost to replace a small diamond will depend on the complexity of the process and the style of your engagement ring setting.

Fixing a simple setting will be less expensive than fixing a more complex one. Here are three popular ring settings for small diamonds:

Pavé Setting

Pronounced “pah-vey,” pavé is a setting style where the jeweler sets many small diamonds so close together that you can’t see the surface of the ring. The result is a band with continuous sparkle, which helps highlight the center stone.

As the diamonds are placed in drilled holes in the metal surface and secured with tiny metal beads or mini prongs, there’s minimal risk of loss. However, should a diamond fall out, it can be difficult for a bench jeweler to replace it.

Channel Setting

Channel setting is where small diamonds of the same size are nestled close to each other along a track and against two parallel metal walls. Lips extending from the vertical walls of the channel hold the diamonds securely in place.

These metal edges also help protect the diamonds from external forces, making channel settings more durable than pavé settings. And because there are no prongs, channel-set diamond rings don’t snag on clothing and other material.

That said, the complex design of this setting style means additional work and expertise are needed to repair a chipped stone or set a new one. So should a diamond in your channel set ring get damaged or missing, the replacement cost will be more expensive than a simple setting.

Bezel Setting

For this setting technique, a thin metal strip encircling the diamond’s girdle holds the stone in place. Bezel settings are designed for durability and provide extra protection against bumps, bangs, and other accidents. They’re, therefore, a good choice for physically active individuals.

The metal collar around the gem makes smaller diamonds appear larger due to the impression of a bigger circumference. Bezel-set diamonds are typically round and oval.

Invisible Setting

An invisible setting is when small diamonds have grooves cut into their sides to slip them into a thin wire framework. The absence of prongs allows the jeweler to set the stones against each other. And this, coupled with the hidden metal mountings, makes a group of small gems appear like one large diamond.

The invisible setting is quite elaborate, making it extremely difficult to repair or replace a chipped or lost diamond. As a result, it’s the most expensive setting, starting at $70 or more on average to mount a stone.

Where To Get Small Diamond Replacement Services

Getting an insurance policy that covers the full value of your jewelry can save you hundreds of dollars in repair or replacement costs in the event of loss or accidental damage.

If you’ve insured your diamond ring, it’s best to go to the jeweler you bought it from for diamond repair or replacement. Doing so will help you avoid insurance claim disputes.

If paying everything out-of-pocket, ensure to go to a reputable jeweler to avoid jeweler deceptions such as diamond switching. Remember, diamonds carry both a high financial and emotional value. So it’s crucial that you have confidence in the jeweler you entrust with said investments.


The cost of replacing a small diamond in a ring varies based on two main factors:

  • The cost of the replacement stone if you lost the original one.
  • The labor cost for repairing a chipped diamond or setting a new one.

Small diamonds are inexpensive compared to diamond center stones. So labor will likely account for the majority of the cost. Make sure to work with a trustworthy jeweler for a seamless experience.

If you found this article useful, make sure you save this pin below to your Jewelry board.

Leave a Comment