Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

How to Protect Your Diamond from Chipping

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,297
Excellent new article on the GIA site by Al Gilbertson:

http://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/how-protect-diamond-chipping

The article starts out explaining diamond durability which includes hardness, toughness, and durability. It then explains how to minimize the risk of chipping a diamond. There is an explanation of each of these points in the article. It is an important article for diamond owners to read, and a reminder to be sure our diamonds are insured!

1. Avoid shapes with points or sharp corners

2. Protect the culet

3. Avoid girdles with very thin sections

4. Choose a setting that protects the diamond

5. Use caution with tension settings

6. Regularly inspect prongs for damage

7. Don’t wear a diamond that has already chipped

8. Be careful with inclusions near the girdle

1. Avoid shapes with points or sharp corners

2. Protect the culet

3. Avoid girdles with very thin sections

4. Choose a setting that protects the diamond

5. Use caution with tension settings

6. Regularly inspect prongs for damage

7. Don’t wear a diamond that has already chipped

8. Be careful with inclusions near the girdle
 

seekingshiny

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
46
Thanks for this article! But OMG I was like :-o looking at the pictures of chips on diamonds, definitely made my stomach turn! I deny being OCD and wanting to go immediately loupe my prongs and check for chips right after reading :errrr: :errrr:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,462
After reading the article I'd be afraid to wear any diamond from now on... ::)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,297
Well, it certainly is a reality check for those who think diamonds are pretty indestructible, that's for sure! Those insurance policies are important! Anybody can drop their ring on a bathroom floor or hit it on a door or something.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
29,161
Can I get a diamond polished into a sphere?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,462
diamondseeker2006|1464484098|4037544 said:
Well, it certainly is a reality check for those who think diamonds are pretty indestructible, that's for sure! Those insurance policies are important! Anybody can drop their ring on a bathroom floor or hit it on a door or something.
That thought had never entered my mind but thanks for scaring me... :Up_to_something:
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
29,161
diamondseeker2006|1464484098|4037544 said:
Those insurance policies are important!
Not to me.

I've saved a zillion bucks by not paying insurance premiums that are not required by law.
60 years of such savings adds up ... very nicely. :wavey:

If something bad happens I therefore have savings to replace it, or maybe not and just be happy for the years I enjoyed that lost/stolen/damaged bauble.

Bad things might happen, probably not, but maybe.
Big whoop.
I've never been a fan of fear, or much of a lemur.

Instead of seeing insurance as peace of mind I see it as a sucker's gamble, and the odds are always with the house.
I see that savings balance I've built up as peace of mind.
 

susief

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Messages
225
Great article, thanks for posting it Diamondseeker.

It seems PSers on the whole take better care of their jewellery than the general population. I remember people at work being horrified that I take off my ring for rough activities (actually even just sleep and showering) - they all wore their engagement rings for everything (housework, gardening, DIY, etc) and assumed diamonds were 100% indestructible.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,462
kenny|1464505671|4037651 said:
diamondseeker2006|1464484098|4037544 said:
Those insurance policies are important!
Not to me.

I've saved a zillion bucks by not paying insurance premiums that are not required by law.
60 years of such savings adds up ... very nicely. :wavey:
:shhh:
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,297
kenny|1464505671|4037651 said:
diamondseeker2006|1464484098|4037544 said:
Those insurance policies are important!
Not to me.

I've saved a zillion bucks by not paying insurance premiums that are not required by law.
60 years of such savings adds up ... very nicely. :wavey:

If something bad happens I therefore have savings to replace it, or maybe not and just be happy for the years I enjoyed that lost/stolen/damaged bauble.

Bad things might happen, probably not, but maybe.
Big whoop.
I've never been a fan of fear, or much of a lemur.

Instead of seeing insurance as peace of mind I see it as a sucker's gamble, and the odds are always with the house.
I see that savings balance I've built up as peace of mind.
Kenny, I certainly think it is fine to self-insure many things. I do not insure most of my jewelry. If I lose something that cost $5k, then I can replace it myself if I want it badly enough. However, when I wear a $30k diamond daily, it has more opportunity to come into contact with something and be damaged or lost. I would not be happy to have to pay another $30k to replace it. The insurance is $300 a year on that diamond. So 10 years of coverage is $3000. 20 years is $6000. It's worth it to me. For others, it might be a really big deal to have to replace a $5k ring, especially during the years they have a mortgage and young children. It is a financial decision and not one of fear for me. We also insure new cars and drop the collision insurance as they age. It's all a matter of balancing risk and the cost of the premiums.
 

motownmama

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
7,721
I'm with you, DS - it's for the catastrophic for me too. With Chubb all my jewelry is covered - no deductible. The scheduled pieces (ie premium pd) have to be $5000 or more. I'm thinking of taking one off and self-insuring now, like you.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,462
diamondseeker2006|1464542603|4037772 said:
Kenny, I certainly think it is fine to self-insure many things. I do not insure most of my jewelry. If I lose something that cost $5k, then I can replace it myself if I want it badly enough. However, when I wear a $30k diamond daily, it has more opportunity to come into contact with something and be damaged or lost. I would not be happy to have to pay another $30k to replace it. The insurance is $300 a year on that diamond. So 10 years of coverage is $3000. 20 years is $6000. It's worth it to me. For others, it might be a really big deal to have to replace a $5k ring, especially during the years they have a mortgage and young children. It is a financial decision and not one of fear for me. We also insure new cars and drop the collision insurance as they age. It's all a matter of balancing risk and the cost of the premiums.
That is a fair premium for a $30K ring. Where we live here in Ca. they want like $275 per $10K of coverage... :knockout: it would cost me $825 per yr. to wear a $30K ring.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,297
Dancing Fire|1464549321|4037820 said:
diamondseeker2006|1464542603|4037772 said:
Kenny, I certainly think it is fine to self-insure many things. I do not insure most of my jewelry. If I lose something that cost $5k, then I can replace it myself if I want it badly enough. However, when I wear a $30k diamond daily, it has more opportunity to come into contact with something and be damaged or lost. I would not be happy to have to pay another $30k to replace it. The insurance is $300 a year on that diamond. So 10 years of coverage is $3000. 20 years is $6000. It's worth it to me. For others, it might be a really big deal to have to replace a $5k ring, especially during the years they have a mortgage and young children. It is a financial decision and not one of fear for me. We also insure new cars and drop the collision insurance as they age. It's all a matter of balancing risk and the cost of the premiums.
That is a fair premium for a $30K ring. Where we live here in Ca. they want like $275 per $10K of coverage... :knockout: it would cost me $825 per yr. to wear a $30K ring.
Yes, that is much more problematic. Mine is about $1 per hundred or $100 for $10k. There definitely can be a tipping point where the premiums are too high. That is one reason I insure for the price I paid and not an inflated amount.

MotownMama...I have Chubb, too. We were fortunate to get that when we did!
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,516
diamondseeker2006|1464481331|4037519 said:
Excellent new article on the GIA site by Al Gilbertson:

http://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/how-protect-diamond-chipping

The article starts out explaining diamond durability which includes hardness, toughness, and durability. It then explains how to minimize the risk of chipping a diamond. There is an explanation of each of these points in the article. It is an important article for diamond owners to read, and a reminder to be sure our diamonds are insured!

1. Avoid shapes with points or sharp corners

2. Protect the culet

3. Avoid girdles with very thin sections

4. Choose a setting that protects the diamond

5. Use caution with tension settings

6. Regularly inspect prongs for damage

7. Don’t wear a diamond that has already chipped

8. Be careful with inclusions near the girdle

1. Avoid shapes with points or sharp corners

2. Protect the culet

3. Avoid girdles with very thin sections

4. Choose a setting that protects the diamond

5. Use caution with tension settings

6. Regularly inspect prongs for damage

7. Don’t wear a diamond that has already chipped

8. Be careful with inclusions near the girdle
Thank you for posting this excellent article DiamondSeeker. There is a lot of great information in it. However, if you look at figure 15 in the section about avoiding diamonds with very thin girdles you will see someone holding the diamond in tweezers from table to culet. This in itself is a good way to cause minor chipping on the culet.

I had taken a similar picture to show minor damage to a corner of a princess cut many years ago and received an immediate admonishment to my procedure from Lieve Peeters at Crafted by Infinity. She was, properly, furious with me. She said it was bad enough that the setter had damaged the corner without me adding to the weight loss by damaging the culet. (Fortunately I had been using only very light pressure and did not damage the culet.)

I bought a pair of tweezers with hard plastic tips the next day and the next time Paul Slegers held a Crafted by Infinity symposium in the United States, he presented all of his dealers there with the same hard plastic tipped tweezers so that they could hold their diamonds without risk of damaging the culets.

Here you can see the top half of the tweezer and can readily see that it is not hard metal.

tweezers-from-side.jpg

I especially like figure 19 as it shows an open feather, or rather a feather that is more like the Grand Canyon where it reaches the girdle.

I think this is more of what people are thinking about when they say to stay away from feathers that reach the surface. If that feather is a molecule or two wide, no big deal. But when it opens into the Grand Canyon, that is when to disqualify a diamond for a feather.

I would add further that I have been in the jewelry business since 1970. I got my GG in 1975 and it was in 1975 that I started selling diamonds. In the ensuing 40+ years, I think I have seen maybe ten to possibly as many as fifteen diamonds with big chips. It is really pretty rare, considering the tens of thousands of diamonds I have seen during those same years, and especially considering that my local clients are used to coming to me if they have a problem. I have seen more, of course, with very minor chipping and a few very old diamonds from estates that I was valuing where there was abrasion around the table from two to three generations of hard use.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: diamonds are very hard and although they can be broken and chipped, it is relatively rare. Still, this is an excellent article about precautions that can be taken, but it should not be allowed to scare people away from using their diamonds and wearing them.

I also wish that instead of telling people to avoid diamonds with points, that the article had pointed out that V-capped prongs are better for points than round prongs with a hole cut into them for the point. If you love a pointed shape, such as a princess, marquise or pear shape, telling you to avoid them is a poor solution to your potential problem.

Oh, and of course, insure, insure, insure. It is a relatively cheap solution, unless you live in a high crime area with high rates.

Wink
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,516
susief|1464510063|4037655 said:
Great article, thanks for posting it Diamondseeker.

It seems PSers on the whole take better care of their jewellery than the general population. I remember people at work being horrified that I take off my ring for rough activities (actually even just sleep and showering) - they all wore their engagement rings for everything (housework, gardening, DIY, etc) and assumed diamonds were 100% indestructible.
And I bet they all wonder why their diamonds do not sparkle like yours as I am guessing you also clean them regularly.

Wink
 

ihy138

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
1,383
Great article! I definitely checked all those boxes with my ring and still chipped my diamond. Without bad luck, I'd have none at all! :rolleyes: But for those who are really terrified, this will probably not happen to you if you take precautions. If it does, I promise there are options and life goes on!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,297
Excellent points, Wink, and thanks for the warning regarding tweezers!!! Sometimes people do have loose stones while deliberating on settings, and it is good to know they should not be held like that (table to pointed culet) when looking for a girdle inscription, for example.

I also don't recall a lot of chips here over the last 10 years. I do recall princess corners, and I'd never set a princess without v-prongs. I think all jewelers should insist on that because most consumers really don't know the danger. I recall shared prong wedding bands hitting the diamonds on the diamond e-ring shank and chipping each other (which is why we recommend spacer bands for those styles). I also recall a larger diamond eternity band hitting a 2+ ct e-ring diamond which resulted in an insured replacement of the stone and purchase of a smaller diamond wedding band! My mother's original e-ring was apparently hit on something and her diamond cracked, so I have always been aware that diamonds aren't indestructible and am cautious.
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
798
Very interesting article! Thanks DS :wavey:
I remember a visit to a local jeweler who happened to drop one of the stones he was showing me on the stone floor... :-o Don't think it got chipped though but I'm sure he spent some time checking it after I had left.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Quarter Century Anniversary Upgrade
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)
    Diamonds and the Movies – Watchlist (Part 1)
    Something Blue
    Something Blue

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top