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Can Diamonds Chip? Why They Can and How to Prevent It

on Sep 15, 2016 3:28 PM

Can Diamonds Chip? Why They Can and How to Prevent It

What’s your biggest worry when it comes to your diamond?

If we took a guess, it would probably be losing it. And while a missing diamond is a legitimate fear, you want to be careful about chipping your diamond as well.

Bet you thought diamonds couldn’t chip, right?

Why Diamonds Can Chip

Even though diamonds are hard, like 58 times harder than corundum, the next hardest mineral on earth, you can still chip the edges (or girdle) of your diamond.

Hitting your ring at just the right angle with just the right impact could chip the diamond. That’s why the prongs are located along the girdle of your ring - to hold the diamond in place and prevent it from chipping.

How to Prevent Chipping Your Diamond

Obviously accidents happen, but there are some considerations you can take while selecting the perfect diamond as well as preventive measures once you're wearing it.

Shop Wisely

We looked to the Gemological Institute of America to advise on which shapes and settings may be more prone to chips. Review their diamond selection tips so you can engagement ring shop confidently.

Ring Shapes

Source:  Ernest Jones

1. Avoid shapes with points or sharp corners. Emerald cuts, triangular shapes, radiants and princess cuts are at higher risk for chips. Round oval and rounded corner cushions are safer, because they don’t have sharp corners or points.

Read why else diamond shape matters, beyond just vulnerability to damage.

2. Choose a setting that protects the diamond. Vulnerable points or corners are better protected with bezels, partial bezels or V-shaped prongs.

Remove Your Ring

We know it’s hard to go sans-diamond (even just for a minute!) but at the risk of damaging it, remove it and store in a safe location when doing the following hands-on activities:

1. When you’re breaking a sweat. Physical activities present a risk of hitting your ring on equipment or another individual, which could loosen your ring’s prongs and put your diamond at risk of loss. 

2. When you’re getting your Pinterest on. That granite counter top looks beautiful, but granite is a hard surface that can chip a diamond when hit the wrong way. Make sure to remove your ring while whipping up your latest Pinterest recipe find.

3. When you’re growing your garden. Let your green thumb be all that’s on your hand while gardening. Gardening tools or even just hard rocks may be hazards for loosening or chipping your diamond. And soil doesn't exactly make diamonds sparkle.

A good rule of thumb (or ring finger in this case): If your diamond ring has a good chance of slipping off or hitting something hard, don’t wear it.

Watch For Warning Signs

Besides being generally cautious when you’re wearing your diamond ring, there are also specific warning signs to look out for:

1. Make sure your prongs aren’t too-short, bent or missing. Prongs play a big part in keeping your ring secure. 

2. Give the ring the ole shake test. If it feels like it’s going to fly off your finger, get to your jeweler for a proper fitting and re-sizing.

If you think you may have a chip in your diamond or potential damage to a prong, see your jeweler ASAP for an inspection and they’ll assess your repair options.

NEVER continue wearing a chipped ring. It’s at high risk of further damage.

Good news, though. A chip is not the end of the world. There are ways your jeweler can deal with a chipped diamond, such as  re-cutting the stone or even placing the diamond in another piece of jewelry.

It could also be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a larger diamond or that new setting you’ve had your eyes on.

Have you ever chipped your diamond? Tell us your story in the comments and you could be featured in an upcoming blog.

How to Clean & Care for Your Diamond Engagement Ring

 

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