Diamonds are the Hardest Natural Substance known to man.
It says so right on the Mohs Scale!
On the MOHS Scale, Diamond is Rated a 10.
The MOHS scale is a Scale that measures the Hardness of Gemstones from 1 to 10. Diamond is the only Gemstone measuring a 10. No doubt about it, Diamond is the KING! And even though Diamond is a ten and Corrundum (which is Sapphire and Ruby) is a 9, Diamond is actually about Ten Times Harder and more Durable than its second place contender.
So with Diamond being so Durable and Hard, can it be Chipped or Broken? If it’s the Hardest Substance known to man, you’d think it would be Unbreakable. Is it?
Diamonds can certainly be Chipped or Broken!
Diamonds grow and Crystallize with Cleavage Lines. If struck at the Right Angle and the Right Amount of Impact, Diamonds can actually Separate. Almost like Putting a Wedge in a Tree. Once a Direct Blow is made, that Tree can Split all the way down the line. Cleavage Lines are the Diamonds Weak Spots. Diamonds are Cut and Shaped following these lines.
Other than that, Diamonds are VERY Durable. So Durable in fact, that the only way to Polish a Diamond is with another Diamond! Diamond Dust is what does the Polishing Job.
Easy to Chip
But no matter how Hard a Diamond is, it’s still Easy to Chip the Edge of it. The Edges are the Weakest Part of a Diamond, called the Girdle. The Girdle, or the Edge of the Diamond, is Thin and Vulnerable. Prongs are Spaced around your Diamond’s edge to help Protect the Girdle from Chipping, let alone losing your Diamond.
A Good Strike at the Right Angle can take a section of the Girdle away. Sometimes a Good Hard Strike can Fracture your Diamond and turn it into pieces of Cloudy Sections.
Diamonds that have been Worn for years and years get tons of little Small Chips all the way around the Girdle. These Fine Fractures are termed “Bearded Girdles“.
Chances are Good if you scope an Antique Diamond or a Diamond handed down, you’ll see what is known as a Bearded Girdle. Fine Little Breaks in the Edge of the Girdle are common. You can probably run your Fingernail around the outer Edge of the Diamond and feel the little Indentations. (see picture below)
So what can be done about Chipped Diamonds? Is there anyway to Fix a Broken Diamond? Yes there is!
The first thing is to get it Replaced! Ha, now that’s a Sneaky way of Fixing it, but did you know that most Insurance Companies WILL cover the Cost of Replacing a Chipped or Broken Diamond? Check with your Insurance Policy, you may be able to get a NEW Diamond!
The second thing you can do is have your Chipped Diamond Recut! Most people don’t even know this can be done, but it can. Having your Diamond Recut won’t be Cheap or Fast. And depending on how Badly your Diamond is Chipped, will determine how much of your Diamond’s Surface will have to be Removed. You could lose 20% or more!
Having your Diamond Recut will make your Diamond Smaller. Sometimes Visibly Smaller! Keep in mind this brings up other issues… Like the Mounting! A Smaller Diamond may also change how it Fits in your Mounting. You will probably need a New Head, and maybe even a New Mounting.
Cover it up
If the Chip is Small enough, you can Cheat… have your Jeweler turn your Diamond in the Mounting so that a Prong is covering it. (Hiding it is what you’re doing! – Just be Careful though, because if the Chip is too Delicate, applying Pressure to it with a Prong could Crack your Diamond even MORE!) That’s why I say, if the Chip’s Big, contact your Insurance Company and hope they’ll Replace it!
And if that still doesn’t work, live with it or Upgrade!
There you go… Chip FIXED!