Can You Crush a Diamond

Diamonds are the hardest gemstones we know. This toughness not only makes the stones more durable but also enables them to maintain their polish for a long time.

Keeping this in mind, you may find yourself wondering, “Can you crush a diamond?”

Yes, it is very possible to crush, crack, or break a diamond. Your diamond can withstand a lot, for sure, but if something hits it at its weak spot with great force, you are going to see a fracture in that stone. Read on to find out why a diamond would crush despite its hardness.

Diamond’s Hardness Doesn’t Prevent It From Breaking

Even though diamond is a hard stone, its hardness doesn’t equate to its strength. Whether a stone is hard or strong solely depends on its molecular structure.

Diamonds are made of crystalized, lattice-structured carbon atoms. Since these atoms are packed tightly together, moving them closer or further away from each other will require sudden and extreme force. This closeness of atoms is what makes diamonds hard.

If you compare it to something like steel, for instance, you will notice that steel will not break no matter how much force is applied to the metal. This is simply because steel has an ionic structure. The ions can be moved about easily and any force applied to them is easily absorbed. While the diamond crushes, steel will just shift sideways.

Because atoms in diamonds are very close to each other, they cannot move about and that’s why hitting the stone with a hammer shatters them instead of displacing them. This lack of flexibility in their structure makes diamonds weaker than steel.

Also, diamonds have cleavage patterns. Cleavage is the angle at which the stone crystallizes. If you examine a diamond closely, you can see these patterns. Each diamond has four cleavage angles and hitting it at any of these angles would cause it to break.

Common Misconceptions About Breaking a Diamond

You can crush a diamond by biting it with your teeth

There is a system for ranking mineral hardness called the Mohs hardness scale and diamond ranks at level ten, which is the highest on the scale. This technically means that it is the hardest material produced by the earth’s core.

That said, you cannot crush a diamond with your teeth. Your enamel will just chip off. Diamond can cut through all the other minerals on the Mohs Scale, so scratching or even breaking your tooth would be a piece of cake.

You can break a diamond with a pair of pliers

If your diamond is real, then you cannot break it with pliers. A diamond will only do so if it is fake. Pliers are one of the many ways to test diamond toughness. However, for the test to bear any results, you must have a strong grip.

You can crush a diamond by shooting at it

Bullets are usually made of lead, a relatively softer metal than diamond. Normally, when a bullet hits a tough object, it flattens on impact.

If you shoot at a piece of diamond, the stone will likely deflect the bullet. The only time a bullet may crush a diamond is if it hits a cleavage angle. And for this to even have an impact on the diamond, the shot must be taken extremely close to the stone.

Things That Will Likely Crack Your Diamond

Considering how hard they are, diamonds barely crack. However, if the inclusions are too close to the edges, especially in a square or rectangular-shaped diamond, they may make these parts of the stone weaker.

Because of this, the jeweler may accidentally scrape the corners of the diamond during the setting phase. Below are three more ways through which you can easily crack or chip off your diamond.

Hitting It With a Hammer

We don’t know why anybody would want to do this but hitting a diamond with a hammer is the easiest way to break it.

Diamond toughness is about 2 MPa and this is a pretty decent level compared to other gemstones. But it is certainly not the best compared to engineering materials like steel hammers. So, if you hit your diamond hard with a hammer, it will surely break.

As we mentioned, the atoms in diamonds are packed closely together, and thus they are not able to absorb impact easily. So, if your diamond takes a blow, it will crack across its cleavage angles.

Dropping the Diamond

One way to keep the diamond on your engagement ring in good shape is by being careful when taking the ring off. But sometimes accidents happen; you may unknowingly drop the ring on the floor or you may hit it against a hard object.

When this happens, you may find yourself stressed and thinking that something you cherish so much is crushed and ruined. But you really don’t have to because it is almost unlikely that dropping or knocking a diamond against a hard surface will break it.

In most cases, the diamond will just chip, and even for this to happen, the fall or blow must be extremely hard.

However, after the impact, you may notice a horizontal line that looks like a crack or feather inclusion on the stone. Don’t panic. This is not a crack.

The line is caused by girdle reflection, a phenomenon created by the pavilion facets in the diamond. Funny thing is, this line is always there, but you may not know it even exists until you drop your ring!

Storing All Your Diamond Jewelry In One Box

In reality, any gemstone will break if hit hard enough with a strong object. Sure, diamond takes the highest number in the Mohs hardness scale, but that doesn’t make it immune to impact from another diamond.

If you store two or more diamonds in the same box, they will likely scratch on each other, and if you hit them hard enough against each other, they will not just chip, they would break.

We advise storing each piece of your diamond jewelry in a separate box to avoid scratching. And if you must put all the pieces together, make sure each is wrapped separately before placing it next to another piece.

How to Keep Your Diamond From Chipping

Don’t worry too much about your diamond, really. Provided that you are taking care of the ring and are aware of it, your diamond can survive for a long time.

In the same token, do not constantly do things that can damage your diamond. Things like always taking your ring off will often increase its chances of dropping and chipping the diamond.

However, if you are doing a task that may put the stone at risk of scratching, it would be wise to take the ring off.

Can You Fix a Chipped or Broken Diamond?

If you find a chip, scratch, or fracture on your diamond, go to your jeweler as soon as possible. They will offer you several options for fixing the problem like:

Recutting the Diamond

The jeweler will take the broken diamond off the ring and shape it again into the desired cut. They will then put it back into place and your ring will look brand new again.

Of course, this will leave you with a much smaller stone, but you will still be able to enjoy the fire, brilliance, and scintillation the original stone gave you.

Depending on the nature and extent of the dent, you may even end up with a more improved stone. Some jewelers may remove the inclusions for you or even repolish the diamond. But this is not always guaranteed.

Resetting the Diamond

Your jeweler may suggest resetting the diamond to hide insignificant damage. If the stone is only chipped, this would be a more pocket-friendly option.

For instance, if you have a round cut diamond, the jeweler can simply rotate the stone such that the affected part is concealed by a prong. And just like that, you will have your diamond looking pristine again. However, this method will only work if the damage in the stone is completely negligible.

Replacing the Diamond

If nothing can be done to get the damaged stone back in shape, then the jeweler may suggest replacing the stone.

Of course, there are some factors you may need to put into consideration when exploring this option, for instance, how much you are willing to spend. However, getting a replacement may be the easiest way to fix the problem if your stone is damaged beyond repair.

But to be honest, any of these options will get you spending a considerable amount of money. So, to avoid this, make sure to have your jewelry insured. Most jewelry insurance plans will cover repair and replacement costs and make the situation less stressful for you.

While a diamond is an incredibly hard gemstone, sometimes accidents can happen and leave your stone with a significant amount of wear. Ever had to deal with such a problem? Tell us in the comments.

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