Can You Scratch a Diamond

You know, the beautiful kind of diamonds that you see on the rings of fingers of celebrities? They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? They look as if nothing could ever take them down. Especially when they’re so proudly worn by their superstars.

This leaves people wondering: is it possible to scratch a diamond? That is the question we are going to break down. The short answer is yes, diamonds can be scratched. However as you will see, they are not as easily scratched as other kinds of gemstones.

The softer material is, the easier it is to scratch, luckily for us, diamonds happen to be the hardest known gem on the planet.

They’re ranked 10 in the famous Mohs Scale of Hardness, every other mineral is ranked lower than a 10. The way this works is that anything with a hardness rank below itself cannot scratch it, meaning that essentially only a diamond can scratch a diamond.

Still there several myths floating around this issue and today we are going to go through each material and examine whether they mark a diamond. I hope you enjoy it.

What makes a diamond so hard in the first place?

You know both diamonds and graphite are made 100% from carbon, yet bizarrely, they exist on opposite scales of the Mohs hardness scale, but how can this be?

What makes the diamond so hard is its atomic structure. Like mentioned before, diamonds are made from carbon atoms, but what makes them so strong is they’re arranged in an almost immovable lattice structure. Moving 2 carbon atoms apart or together is extremely difficult.

Unlike other materials which have very flexible atomic structures, in order to scratch a diamond, the structure requires extreme force. For example, should you decide to slam a hammer against any material, the force would be absorbed. Yet if you did it to a diamond it won’t flex it would rather shutter in lots and lots of pieces.

And if you don’t believe me then check out this YouTube video below, which shows my point exactly, diamonds are the hardest material known to man and even hydraulic presses can’t leave a scratch on them:

Can sandpaper scratch a diamond?

The short answer is: no, sandpaper won’t be able to scratch a diamond. This is because sandpaper ranges from between 6-9 in the Mohs Hardness Scale.

However, using sandpaper is perhaps the most common method of determining whether a diamond is real or not. If you think about it, this should work, since it is perhaps the single easiest test you can make on your brand-new diamond.  However, like most people discover, it can end up destroying the look of the gem if it is not an authentic diamond.

Be careful on using sandpaper to determine whether or not you think your diamond is real or not. The issue is that sandpaper grit comes a material known as synthetic sapphire, which can destroy a range of gemstones including emerald and rubies.

So if you recently got jewelry as a gift for yourself, and you suspect it might be fake, it’s always best to get professionally checked and tested to preserve the integrity of the diamond.

Can you scratch a diamond with metal?

Can you scratch a diamond with metal

Since most metals will fall at or below 5 in the Mohs Scale, the answer is no you cannot scratch a diamond with a piece of metal.

However, you can scratch other metals including gold and silver using a diamond. Some metals are harder, but it’s still nowhere near hard enough to be able to scratch a diamond.

For example, steel still falls between 4-4.5 on the scale, whereas titanium, on the other hand, is a six, and you should know that hardened steel falls between 7-8. However, even took zinc or iron is only 8.5 to 9 on the most scale which is still lower than that of a diamond. Like mentioned before this means the metal cannot scratch a diamond since it isn’t as hard.

So diamonds can scratch other things?

Since it is the hardest metal known to exist, diamonds can scratch anything, but this isn’t normally a problem since many of us don’t just carry diamonds casually around with us.

However, sometimes there are creative designs that allow diamond rings to accidentally scratch against other objects, for example, take this video of a diamond scratching an iPhone:

The reason I tell you this is because you’re bound to be wondering whether a diamond can scratch another diamond, and the answer is yes. This applies to all man-made diamonds including those made in the lab and earth mined diamonds. Both types are equally hard.

While diamonds are almost scratch-proof themselves, they are not immune to damage, totally. Two diamonds rubbing together can cause imperfections and incisions on the gemstone.

Is it possible to repair a scratched diamond?

So, if you’re in this situation, where you’ve got a brand new diamond ring and it brushes against another diamond, or you have used sandpaper to test it, and you end up damaging the diamond do not worry.

Yes, it is possible to repair a scratched diamond as long as there’s enough carat weight present, which I will explain now.

The most common way to repair a damaged diamond is the polished stone, the reason this is so effective because the polish will remove any of the scratches that appear on the surface. The best thing about it is that it will not impact the overall weight of the carat. Always remember to get this done professionally without trying it yourself.

Generally speaking, unless a diamond is very severely damaged with many scratches and chips it won’t be necessary to get the diamond re-cut.

If you scratch your diamond by accident, always check the terms of the insurance policy before performing any repairs, just to make sure that you won’t lose the coverage that you might have.

So if my diamond scratches, does that mean it’s not real?

So if my diamond scratches, does that mean it’s not real

So, as we mentioned before, if your diamond is scratched at any point, it might be a sign that it is fake. Although some diamonds can be set in ways that leave them vulnerable to damage, a scratch in a diamond is still extremely rare.

So yes, if you scratch your diamond, whether it was on a wedding ring or any other piece of jewelry it is possible that it was never a diamond all along.

Keep in mind that only a diamond can ever scratch a diamond. It won’t be possible to scratch a diamond if you bump into some kind of random surface regularly. If it’s not subjected to other diamonds and your stone is scratched it could be an imitation

So if you think your diamond might be fake, the best course of action is to get it inspected by a jeweler just to give you peace of mind.

How to keep your jewelry from being scratched.

So maybe if you have damaged your diamond in the past and you don’t want to repeat the same thing in the future, here are some top tips on how you can keep your diamond from being scratched in the future.

First, always make sure to take off your diamond jewelry before you perform any intensive physical tasks. For example, if you’re doing the household chores you might want to put them aside, for taking a bath? Leave it inside, playing sports? Leave it in a specific place and if you’re gardening? Yeah, you definitely might want to leave it aside.

Secondly, when you are putting your diamonds aside make sure that you don’t put diamonds next to each other, for example, they may smash against each other endlessly, and if you’ve been paying attention, then we don’t need to explain why that’s an issue!

You should schedule an appointment with your local jeweler at least one time per year or twice a year to ensure that your diamond is in good shape. Just to make sure that it doesn’t have any scratches or any kinds of deformities at all. On top of this, the only other kind of advice that we can give is to avoid doing anything reckless with your diamonds!


In conclusion, then, there is only one way to scratch a diamond, and that is by using another diamond as we have examined. Using the Mohs Hardness Scale, only materials that are stronger than itself can leave a scratch. So sandpaper, metal, steel, titanium, and all other kinds of materials that aren’t as strong cannot scratch diamonds.

If you do notice a scratch on your diamond then it may be an imitation, it’s always best to get it checked out professionally with a jeweler and without trying to examine it yourself. Always make sure to take care of your jewelry and possessions to keep them in the best shape possible.

Thank you so much for reading, and we hope you find this article useful!

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