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Did you know that diamonds can actually chip?

Did you know that diamonds can actually chip?

Diamonds are hard but they are not tough! Diamond is one of the hardest substances known to mankind, but that doesn’t mean that it is invincible and unbreakable and that is why you need to care for your diamond jewellery.

It is the very special combination of chemical composition, crystal structure and the formation process that make diamonds what they are.

  • Diamonds and the Mohs scale of mineral hardness
  • How are Diamonds damaged

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Diamonds and the Mohs scale of mineral hardness

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was named after its creator Friedrich Mohs, a German geologist who created this scale in 1812. It characterises the resistance to scratching of a material by calculating the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.

Diamond is on the top of this scale, on its own, as the hardest mineral on earth, with a 10 out of 10. This means diamonds can only be scratched by other diamonds, no other natural mineral can actually scratch it. Then how can diamonds be damaged?

Diamonds are entirely made of one element only, carbon, that has been put under extreme heat and pressure, deep into the earth’s mantle, at around 140 to 190km beneath the earths’ crust. Believe it or not, the growth occurs over a period ranging from 1 to 3.3 billion years. The diamond is then transported to the surface through a different process, where it can be found by man.

We will now delve a little more into the crystal structure of diamonds to understand why and how a diamond can actually be damaged and how to care for your diamond jewellery.

How are Diamonds damaged

After briefly looking into the formation of diamonds, we need to understand the crystal structure of diamonds.

A diamond’s crystal structure is cubic and isometric, which means that the carbon atoms are bonded in the exact same way in all directions. It is a repeating pattern of 8 atoms which makes it extremely resistance and constant.

Nevertheless if a diamond is hit at a particular angle by a steel hammer, it can shatter in a thousand pieces. That is why it is important to still care for your diamond jewellery.

Try to avoid wearing your diamond jewellery when doing hard manual work, when in contact with toxic substances and obviously try to choose diamond jewellery that protects to a certain extent the culet and the girdle of the stone as they are the more sensitive parts of the stone and more likely to be damaged by daily wear.

BAUNAT offers all the advice you may need on how to best take care of your diamond jewellery, and has an array of experts at your disposal to give you all the information regarding diamonds and where they come from.

Written by: CHLOÉ POUPON-DUMONTET Diamond Jewellery Advisor

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