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Diamond is indeed the hardest substance in the world. Material hardness is determined by scratch resistance, and only a diamond can scratch another diamond. But does that mean that diamonds are indestructible? If only that were true.

 

Unfortunately, diamonds can chip and crack under certain conditions, even if they've withstood daily wear for many generations.

 

In this post, we'll look at common ways diamond rings can become damaged and then suggest preventative tips to help you avoid problems.

 

Common Ways Diamonds are Damaged

Before we dive into it, let's look at some background. Diamonds are made from pure carbon, and their atomic bonding gives them the hardness for which they're famous.

 

On the Mohs hardness scale, diamond scores 10 on a scale of 1-10. In fact, diamond is four times harder than corundum, which is the next hardest substance. Rubies and sapphires are formed from corundum.

 

But remember, hardness tells us whether or not a substance is easily scratched. It doesn't tell us anything about toughness (a substance's tendency toward breakage), and when it comes to toughness, diamonds are average.

 

So while diamonds resist scratching better than any other substance, they're brittle and can fracture along cleavage planes.

 

In addition to the diamond itself, several other mechanical elements of your ring can become damaged, including the ring band, prongs or claws, accent stones and setting. With all of this in mind, let's look at several common ways diamond rings sustain damage.

 

Inherent Flaws

The number one reason a diamond becomes damaged is the presence of an intrinsic flaw (natural inclusion) in the diamond itself. Although natural inclusions are typical (and part of the diamond's unique fingerprint), the presence of an inclusion makes the diamond vulnerable to chips and cracks.

 

A damaged diamond is perhaps the most severe and hardest-to-fix problem you'll face with your engagement ring. After all, the diamond itself is often the most valuable element of the entire piece.

 

Setting Accidents

Sadly, diamonds can be damaged during setting when the stone is fixed to the ring band. Pressure must be applied to the diamond in order to set it properly, and in some cases, this pressure chips or cracks the diamond, particularly with fancy shapes like marquise, pear and hearts.

 

If a diamond has an existing imperfection such as a cavity, the chances are higher that it will be damaged during setting.

 

Filing Mishaps

Filing is another high-risk activity that can be dangerous to your diamond if not done correctly. The polishing and recutting processes are also prone to incidents in which diamonds may be damaged.

 

Daily Wear and Tear

Hands engage in all kinds of activities that could lead to ring damage. In any given day, a ring-wearing hand may wash the dishes, plant flowers, use hand tools, wield a tennis racquet and many other activities.

 

Some rings have several diamonds that are set right next to each other. If they were set by an inexperienced jeweller, they might rub up against each other. Over time, this contact can lead to injuries for one or more of the diamonds.

 

Exposure to high heat can also cause problems for diamonds. Even snagging your diamond on your clothing or knocking it against furniture or walls can damage it. Sometimes, damage occurs all at once, and sometimes, repeated insults add up to slowly damage it over time.

 

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Tips for Preventing Damage

To avoid future damage to your diamond ring, incorporate these tips into your habits.

 

Seek Professional Help for Problems

If you notice any cracks, chips or looseness in your diamond ring, it's not a good idea to try and treat these issues yourself. A trusted and experienced jeweller should always be your first choice to fix any structural issues your jewellery is suffering.

 

Keep Your Diamond Ring Clean

However, there are some routine things you can do at home to clean and care for your jewellery. Use an old soft toothbrush, warm water and gentle detergent to clean your ring. Gently brush the diamond to remove the gels and creams that get caught under the claws, and thoroughly rinse it with fresh, clear water. Dry your ring with a soft cloth to restore its gorgeous shine.

 

Remove Your Ring for Certain Activities

Your diamond ring is a symbol of your marriage and you want to wear it as often as possible. But some activities are a little too risky for diamond rings.

  • Impact sports
  • Rock climbing
  • Snorkelling and scuba diving
  • Working with power tools
  • Cleaning with harsh chemicals
  • Gardening
  • Moving furniture

While you're not wearing your ring, be sure to store it in a safe place where it won't get lost or damaged.

 

How to Know if Your Ring Requires Repairs

If your precious ring suddenly loses its centre stone, you should call your jeweller and insurer straight away. However, other damages are more difficult to spot. Here are a few simple ways to gauge whether your ring needs repair.

 

Hold the ring close to your ear and tap it with your finger. If you can hear a rattling noise, this is a sure sign that something is loose and should be repaired.

 

Do a visual check for cracks or chips in your diamond. If anything appears different from when you bought it, consult your jeweller. If you still have the paperwork from when you purchased the diamond, compare your ring to the picture on the paperwork.

 

Take note if it becomes repeatedly snagged. If your diamond continues to catch on your clothes, consider the possibility that the claw isn't performing as designed. You may need to have the setting fixed or even redesigned.

 

Protect Your Ring With Specialised Insurance

As you can see, your jewellery isn't indestructible and needs to be protected. Specialised Q Report jewellery insurance ensures that you're covered for damage and can return to your original jeweller for repair or replacement.

 

To see how little it can take to protect your jewellery with 12-month worldwide cover, get an instant online quote today.

 

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