Diamonds are among the hardest substances on earth. In fact, diamonds have the highest rating on the Mohs hardness scale. The Mohs hardness of a mineral is determined by observing whether its surface is scratched by a substance of known or defined hardness. Diamond is at the very top of the scale, being The Very Hardest mineral. Despite this, diamonds do still have weaknesses and can break. Understanding that diamonds can chip or break - and how and why that happens - is paramount.
Inclusions in diamonds don’t necessarily lead to stones being chipped, but they can make diamonds weaker - depending on where the inclusions are located. This is definitely a rare occurrence, but if you have a princess cut diamond and an inclusion is located close to the pointed corner, it is susceptible to chipping.
However, any shape of diamond can chip if it is hit hard enough, so it is best to consider not wearing your diamond ring if you are doing extreme activities (e.g., rock climbing, rigorous sports, etc.)
What to Do If Your Diamond Is Chipped
There are many cases of chipped diamonds this is because of the difference between hardness and toughness. Hardness is the ability to resist scratching, while toughness is the ability to resist breaking. Diamonds are very hard, but they are less tough than most other gemstones, so they are more vulnerable to breaking. The reason why diamonds become chipped easily is because of their shape.
Because of their shape, it is almost impossible for them to break in half rather than chip. If diamonds were shaped differently, such as octahedrons, then they would be more likely to break in half than chip, just like other gemstones like quartz or topaz.
Once a diamond is chipped, you may have an option to re-cut the diamond. There are many factors to consider if this does happen.
The first thing to do is to have the stone assessed by a diamond specialist. The location of the chip and how severe the chip is will determine what can be done. A diamond specialist can assist you with the following:
- Estimating the re-cutting cost
- Determining the weight loss and whether the stone will fit back into the setting
- Assessing the overall value of the diamond vs. the cost of re-cutting
- Reviewing your insurance policy to see if you are covered for diamond repair
Sometimes the chip in the diamond is so small that it will lose little weight with minimal cost for repair. This is the best case scenario. Other times, the cost will outweigh the benefit of re-cutting. Another key thing to consider when deciding how to move forward is the sentimental value. If the cost outweighs the benefits, you can consider other options like:
- Re-setting your stone in a bezel setting to cover the chip
- Covering the chip with a prong
- Replacing your diamond completely
It is one of the worst feelings when you discover that your diamond has chipped. The most important thing to know is that there are options available to you other than just replacing your diamond. Reach out to your trusted diamond specialist to review all your options, so you can make an educated decision.
Contact a Diamond Specialist
A GIA-certified diamond specialist at K. Rosengart is ready to evaluate your chipped diamond and assist you in weighing your options. Contact us today.