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Diamond Hardness - Can a Diamond Be Broken or Scratched?

Jul 8, 2008
A diamond is a type of gemstone which is often believed to be everlasting in nature and unable to be damaged in any way. Although this is a nice notion to have, the truth of the matter is that diamonds can be damaged if not treated in a careful manner. It is important to note what can happen to a diamond if not treated properly and ways to safeguard against damage to one's diamond ring, diamond necklace or other type of jewelry item in which this beautiful gem is part thereof.

How Can a Diamond be Damaged?

A diamond has an extremely hard consistency to it which is one of its many wonderful attributes. However, there are ways for this lovely gemstone to be broken, scratched or otherwise damaged. Damage to a diamond can occur by dropping it on a hard surface, scraping it roughly against concrete or other similar matter or simply repeatedly storing it in a place where it is not properly contained. Although damaging a diamond is not an easy thing to do, it is something which can occur from time to time.

Ways to Safeguard Against Diamond Damage

Many pieces of diamond jewelry are worn on a daily basis, such as a diamond engagement ring, which makes the occurrence of damage highly possible due to frequent wear. In order to safeguard against damaging one's ring, bracelet or other diamond jewelry piece, there are a few steps one can take in their daily wear and storage of such an exquisite item. When wearing the diamond, one should always be cautious when doing so and try not to bang into any walls or other fixtures which may put a chip in the diamond or even break it if the contact is hard enough.

Another way to carefully wear one's diamond jewelry piece is to ensure a tight fit on the ring or complete closure of the clasp. If one's diamond jewelry item does not fit right or is not closed properly, they are more likely to drop the jewel and have it be stepped on or crack upon hitting a hard, unforgiving surface. In order to ensure that the diamond jewelry item fits well and closes properly, it is a good idea to have a jeweler look at it from time to time to ensure that it is in tiptop shape.

Damage in the form of scratching can also occur to the diamond if it is not stored properly. The best place to store one's diamond jewelry is in a felt covered jewelry box where each jewelry item has its own separate compartment. This will help to ensure not only that the item is in a spot where it will not bang up against other jewelry items but that it is in a place where one will not lose sight of it. In order for a diamond to be scratched it must come in contact with another diamond which has the same hardness.

Insure Your Jewelry Items

An additional safeguard to have in place involves insurance on the diamond jewelry item. Since diamonds are often pricey in nature, it makes sense that one would want to insure the jewelry item in case it were to be lost, stolen or damaged. Although most insurance companies will not insure loose diamonds, there are many which are more than happy to offer insurance policies which will cover your diamond once the gem is placed in a fixed setting. An insurance policy which covers this precious stone is a great way to cover your losses should it be damaged in any way.
About the Author
James Greene is a Graduate Gemologist and Master Gemologist Appraiser. James has been in the jewelry and appraisal business for over 25 years and specializes in Insurance and estate appraisals. http://www.diamondmarketwatch.com
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