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Can You Break a Diamond?

Considered the hardest naturally occurring object on Earth, you might think that diamonds are unbreakable. After all, diamonds are used in industrial tools to cut and otherwise destroy other materials. The very name comes from a Greek word meaning “indestructible.” This may lead some to be a bit careless with their jewellery. After all, a diamond is tough enough to withstand the nicks of life, right? Unfortunately, it’s not true that diamonds are indestructible, and this attitude might lead to some disappointing experiences.

Remember, if it were impossible to break a diamond, there really wouldn’t be any diamond jewellery at all. Diamond settings are cut from larger stones, shaped, crafted and polished into the stunning pieces everyone craves. So it is possible to cut and chip away at a diamond.

Of course, most of us are not hacking away at our jewellery with a chisel. Typical damage to diamonds comes from a more subtle source – every day wear and tear. As diamonds are shaped into pleasing styles (think princess or pear), this makes some of the edging less thick than the core of the diamond. So it is possible with just the right nick in just the right spot to damage a diamond. It is also possible that diamonds rattling around together in a jewellery box for example might damage each other. Diamonds can cut or nick other diamonds, if too much grating or prolonged contact is sustained. This is unlikely to happen in the course of day to day activity, but if one’s ring is knocked hard enough, you just might nick the diamond. Of course, diamonds are far too beautiful and precious to be rattling around in a jewellery box! Diamonds are hard – but they’re not “tough.” Take care with your precious pieces.


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