(Closed) Isn’t diamond the hardest material on the surface of this planet?

posted 12 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
18627 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think one thing that happens a lot is the setting becomes damaged and you can lose the right.  Yes, the stones are strong but if the setting can’t hold them it doesn’t matter because you have an empty ring!

Post # 4
5262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m not sure what to tell you other than that most of the ring horror stories I have heard have more to do with the setting and prongs breaking, and a diamond popping out. So that would have nothing to do with the hardness of the diamond itself. 

Post # 5
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I also have only heard horror stories regarding the prongs loosening and a diamond poping out of the ring, not about the actual diamond being damaged itself.

Post # 6
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I agree that the most often thing is losing diamonds, not damaging them. As for the diamonds themselves, I believe that the only thing that can SCRATCH a diamond is another diamond, but that isn’t necessarily true for chipping them. Just because they are hard, that doesn’t mean that they can’t fracture under enough pressure. 

Post # 7
4566 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I know which posts you’re talking about but don’t feel like finding them right now. But I can explain how diamonds chip or crack. Diamond itself is, yes, one of the hardest materials on earth, however, it can also get in invisible weak point, whether from while it’s still in the ground or while being cut… it has to do with the inclusions (I am TOTALLY not a scientist) that sometimes create a smaller than a hairline fractures, creating weak points in the diamond. If you hit it just right, it will crack or break. It happens very, very rarely and not really something you need to worry alot about!

The other opinion is that the girls *thought* they had diamonds, but had fakes instead!

Post # 8
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Im thinking maybe microscopic flaws can reduce the hardness of a diamond?

Post # 9
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Many diamonds have inclusions… in fact, a lot of people prefer a bigger diamond that may have a flaw.  If that flaw creates a weak point, then in fact the diamond can chip or even shatter when enough force is applied.

The less inclusions and fracture lines in your diamond, the less likely this is to happen…  Your grading cert can tell you whether yours might be prone to problems or not.

Post # 10
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

mine came to me chipped, because it was his great grandma’s. throughout the years, 3 people had it before me, it got a lot of use and bumps and bruises. i don’t know much about diamonds, but i do know that they can chip, and when that happens they become even weaker. we ended up getting mine recut.

Post # 11
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I’ve only heard problems with the settings breaking or the diamond popping out of the setting.  I agree with your Fiance wear that sucker!  I have an Aquamarine stone and it is a few notches down on the hardness scale from a diamond.  We spent way too much time and money on finding the perfect ring for me that it would be pointless not to wear it as much as I can.  I do take it off when I know that I’ll have my hands in cleaners, food etc.

Post # 12
92 posts
Worker bee

I think hardness refers to what can scratch it and most substances can’t scratch a diamond, but that doesn’t mean it can’t chip or break. Every crystaline structure has weak points and depending on how a diamond is cut, it may have more or less weak points. A round diamond is the strongest and least vulnerable shape to chipping. In general, the girdle is the weakest part of the diamond and most prone to chipping. If you hit the diamond in just the right place, it will chip, fracture or break, so it’s rare, but I think it happens more often than people think. Also, a diamond’s hardness doesn’t mean something unnatural or manmade can’t scratch it. Just stuff to keep in mind…

Post # 13
4485 posts
Honey bee

Yes diamonds are the hardest material on earth as far as scratching. They are not immune to chipping though if there is a fracture that is cut wrong and leaves the stone vulnerable. The horror stories you hear though are related to the metal settings, not the stone itself. My father used to be a jeweler and a hobbyist faceter who knows quite a few very knowledgeable people in that field and they all agree on those two points. 

Post # 14
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Diamonds can fracture and chip and both decrease the value of your diamond. A lot of times it is because of continous stress on the stone (repeatedly whacking it in the same spot on things) And yes diamond are extremely hard but just like anything else with time and constant abuse (and poor quality to begin with) damage can happen. But I wouldn’t worry too much – my mom has had her engagement ring for nearly 40 years and gets it cleaned regularly 2 times a year and then for special occasions (parties, insurance, etc) and just this last time the jeweler said he thought he may see a micro fracture that he had to send to a specialist just to confirm it was truly a fracture. My mom just took out extra insurance and has kept on wearing her ring because she says she feels naked without it after all these years. I hope that my marriage is as strong as my parents and even stronger than my diamonds strength.

Post # 15
3342 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i think part of the prong-breaking issue arrises from the fact that diamonds are harder than gold or platinum. the diamond rubs on the prongs a little bit over time and weakens them.

Post # 16
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

Hardness is not the same as toughness.  The hardness of a diamond refers to it’s resistance to scratching.  However this is different from a material’s toughness, which is the ability to withstand an abrupt impact.   Essentially, a diamond is unlikely to be scratched(there are some materials that can) but you shouldn’t go smacking it around because it can chip.  This is similar to the issue of people saying that you can’t cut titanium rings because they are so hard…and yes you can’t cut them as easily as other materials but as a direct result of their hardness, they are extremely brittle and can be shattered.   With rare exception -hard- materials are often brittle and can be damaged by an abrupt forceful impact.

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