You’ve spent a lot of money on a diamond and the last thing you want is for it to chip. How can you prevent this, and are there any signs that your diamond is at risk of damage? Let’s see what you should watch out for.
Check Your Prongs
One of the most common reasons diamonds chip is that the prongs holding them in the setting are bent or broken.
Even when only one prong is damaged, your diamond is no longer held securely in its mounting.
If you happen to hit your ring somewhere, for example, the part of the stone where the prong is out of alignment would not be protected and the diamond can easily chip when bumped.
That’s why you should always have your prongs repaired as soon as you notice any damage to them.
Be Careful With Tension Settings
There are some settings that pose a higher risk to the stones mounted in them than others.
A good example is the tension setting, in which the diamond is held in place by the two ends of the ring that press tightly against the stone’s sides.
The first problem with this mounting is that it exerts pressure on the diamond, and you have to be careful not to bump your ring or the stone may chip in the setting.
If you are going to have your diamond set in this type of setting, be aware that sometimes stones may also get chipped when mounted in rings with such a design.
The second problem with tension settings is that they leave a good portion of the diamond exposed to hits that may be damaging. So, if you have a ring with this kind of mounting or you’re planning on getting one, be very careful with it.
Avoid Diamonds with Lots of Inclusions
Nobody likes heavily included diamonds – not only are these stones not the best visual treat, but they are also more prone to chipping and cracking. The more internal flaws a diamond has and the bigger they are, the weaker its internal structure is.
In general, stay away from diamonds whose clarity is graded I2 or I3 on the scale of the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) – the inclusions in those stones can sometimes threaten their integrity.
Handle Chipped Diamonds with Care
If your diamond has already been chipped, you should be extra careful with it. Once damaged, a stone can be more easily nicked or cracked a second time if you hit it where it is already vulnerable.
Examine your diamond by using a loupe or by touching it to see if you can detect any chips. If your stone is damaged, handle it with care.
It is best if such a diamond can be set in a mounting that covers the damaged place and protects it.
Secure Diamonds with Thin Edges
Round diamonds with thin girdles (this is how the edge of the stone is called) are also at risk of chipping as the edges of these stones are very vulnerable.
If you have such a diamond, you should try to have it set in a mounting that protects the stone’s girdle well.
In a similar way, there are stones that are more prone to chipping simply because of the shape they are cut in.
Typical examples of such stones are trillion and marquise cut diamonds, which have sharp edges and points that can make these stones chip more easily at their ends.
In general, have such shapes set in a mounting that can adequately protect their edges – a V-prong setting is a good solution.