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Everyone knows the phrase “a diamond is forever” in part because there is no harder material on earth than a shiny, beautiful diamond. But despite the fact it’s harder than nails, many of our customers want to know if it’s possible to damage a diamond ring.
It’s a great question since most diamond rings cost a pretty penny, and no one wants to see their precious item damaged or broken.
The short answer is yes, there are many ways that a diamond ring can be damaged. Just like any other piece of jewelry, it can get damaged or break. In fact, we cover the general topic of jewelry breaking in another article titled why did my jewelry break?
However, let’s stay on subject and start off with the diamond itself.
Many people are under the impression that diamonds are indestructible, but this is a common misconception. Although a diamond is the hardest known substance on Earth, it is not impervious to damage. Diamonds measure a ten on the Moh’s hardness scale, a scale used to measure the hardness of minerals. Since diamonds are at the top (a ten out of ten!), that means they are far more durable in comparison to other gemstones, but they still require care and attention. While it is true that diamonds are virtually impossible to scratch, diamonds are still susceptible to cracking or chipping.
But a diamond is just one part of the ring. We can’t forget about the mounting for the diamond, which is referred to as the setting.
A setting essentially protects the diamond, almost like a shell. A setting is usually made up of prongs which lay alongside the diamond and mimic the shape to hold it in place. However, there are other types of settings such as a bezel, which is a piece of metal that goes all the way around the circumference of the diamond. Regardless of the type of setting, this is where the signs of wear and tear usually appear. Over time, anything that your hands and fingers touch will brush against your ring. If the setting, or “outer shell” is badly damaged, you could be exposing your diamond to damage.
Despite what we just described as the setting being the protective shell, it is possible for the setting to chip, crack, or damage your diamond.
In fact, most diamonds get chipped around the girdle, or the widest point of the diamond around the center. The girdle sits into the notched prongs, which exerts pressure on the diamond and holds it in place. However, with a hard hit or bang against something, the diamond can easily chip or crack.
In order to keep your ring in tip-top shape, it’s important to take it into your jeweler for routine cleanings and maintenance. This will help to ensure that your setting is still strong and durable, and your diamond is protected.
How often is routine? Well here at Braunschweiger Jewelers, we recommend coming in for a jewelry evaluation and cleaning every 6 months. It’s like owning a car or going to a doctor. Routine, preventative maintenance will help keep your jewelry clean, polished, and safe from damage.
Aside from visiting your jeweler every six months for cleanings and evaluations, there are some helpful tips and tricks that you can do to be aware of your diamond ring and its condition.
~ Shake it! If you put the ring up to your ear and shake it, you should not hear anything. If you hear some rattling, this is an indication that your stone is loose and needs to be tightened and checked.
~ Is it routinely getting snagged? If your ring is getting caught on your clothing and pulling threads, this is an indication that a prong may be out of place or lifted. It may have broken off or was pulled ever so slightly, and needs to be realigned.
~ TLC goes a long way! Just as you wouldn’t wear your new suede boots out during a rainstorm, try not to wear your diamond ring during circumstances that could be harmful to its integrity. This means if you’re going swimming, working out, or washing the dishes, it’s best to take your ring off and keep it somewhere safe.
~ Take your ring off when you get home. Some of our customers love wearing their diamond rings as much as they can, and we don’t blame them! However, it’s best to take your rings off as soon as you are home and settled. Whether you’re relaxing or busy around the house, your best bet is to store them in a safe place and put them on again when you are ready to leave the house the next day. The less time you’re wearing jewelry the less likely it will be damaged.
If you find yourself with a chipped, damaged, or even lost diamond there are ways to go about fixing or camouflaging it.
First, take it to your local jeweler to be examined under magnification. They’ll be able to determine the severity of the damage. The jeweler will advise you on what steps you can take next based upon the amount of damage they find.
For example, if a diamond is chipped on the girdle, it’s possible for the stone to be repositioned in a manner where the chip is under a prong and hidden from sight.
Or in some cases, it’s possible for the setting to be altered from a prong setting to a bezel setting in order to keep your diamond safe and secure.
And worst comes to worst, the stone could be recut to eliminate the damage. Re-cutting a diamond is a delicate process and takes time to get right, so this is not a quick solution. And, once a diamond is re-cut, its mounting may need to be adjusted to the diamond’s new size. There is also the possibility that the stone will break further in re-cutting, so this is should be a last resort.
In cases where it’s the setting that’s damaged, there are also options. For example, if your setting became too weak and the stone’s fallen out, a jeweler can help you choose a new stone and repair the setting. But if the damage to the setting is too extensive to be repaired, it may need to be replaced with a new setting entirely.
When in doubt, or if it’s been awhile since the last time you brought your ring in, visit your jeweler. Alternatively, swing by either of our two New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown and New Providence to have us take a look at what you have.
At Braunschweiger Jewelers we offer free cleaning and inspection of most jewelry up to a certain degree. In fact, a simple cleaning can be done while you wait! If you have a large amount of jewelry to be cleaned and inspected, you most likely would have to leave it at the store for a few days, ad there may be a small fee associated with the task. When in doubt, just ask!
To learn more about preventing your diamond ring from damage, feel free to contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply fill out our contact form and we’ll answer your questions quickly.