What to Do With a Chipped Diamond

What's your biggest fear when it comes to your favorite diamond jewelry? If we had to guess, it would probably be about losing it. While losing your diamond is a legitimate worry, you should also take care not to chip your diamond either.

Wait, you can chip a diamond? You sure can! We'll cover why diamonds chip, how you can prevent it, and what you can do with a chipped diamond.

Related: How to Safely Store Your Jewelry

Why Do Diamonds Chip?

Even though diamonds are extremely hard, 58 times harder than the next toughest mineral, they can still get chips. If you hit your jewelry at the right angle and the right amount of impact, your diamond can chip.

The prongs along the girdle of your ring work to keep your diamond in place and help prevent it from chipping.

How to Prevent Chipped Diamonds & Warning Signs

Accidents happen; however, there are some things you can take into consideration when selecting your diamond and as preventative measures while you're wearing it.

For example, one of the best ways to prevent chipped diamonds is by avoiding shapes that have sharp corners or points. Radiant, emerald, and princess cuts are at a much higher risk for chips. Round and oval cuts are a better bet since they don't have any sharp points or corners.

The setting matters, too. You should choose a setting that protects your diamond and covers corners or vulnerable points with prongs or bezels.

When to Remove Your Diamond Jewelry

There are also times when you should remove your diamond jewelry to help ensure it doesn't chip or get damaged.

  • When you're breaking a sweat. During physical activities, you have a real risk of hitting your ring on another person or equipment, loosening the prongs, and putting your diamond at risk.

  • When you're working on projects. If you love DIY, you might want to store your ring somewhere safe, especially when working with hard surfaces like granite counters. These surfaces can chip your diamond if you bump it the wrong way.
  •  When you're working outdoors. Whether it's in the garden or on a hiking trail, tools and hard rocks can lead to a loose or chipped diamond. And if you happen to lose it, it won't be easy to see in the dirt.
  • Diamond Chip Warning Signs

    Other than remaining cautious while wearing your diamond jewelry, there are two warning signs you can check for:

  • Look at the prongs. If your prongs are bent, missing, or too short, you run the risk of losing or chipping your diamond.
  • Give it the shake test. If you feel like your diamond ring will fly off when you shake your hand, you should get it properly fitted ASAP.

  • Related: Your Diamond Shape & What It Means

    If you think you find a chip in your diamond or a damaged prong, get your jewelry inspected immediately. Don't keep wearing a chipped or damaged diamond; you'll put it at risk for further damage.

    There's good news, though. A chip in your diamond is not the end of the world. Jewelers can handle chipped diamonds in a variety of ways.

    Diamond Chip Misconceptions

    A close-up view of a diamond

    Next, let's go over some common misconceptions about diamonds and chipping.

    • Diamonds can't crack. If you're reading this, you likely already know this is not true. However, diamonds won't crack a little; they will either chip completely or not at all.
    • You'll feel the chip. You won't always feel when you chip your diamond. It's like dropping your phone: you never know which time it's going to chip, and you won't know while it's falling.
    • Re-cutting is the only option. Although it is a popular one, there are other ways you can hide a chipped diamond. We'll talk about these options next, but you can hide your chipped diamond with different settings, replace it, or swap it as alternatives to re-cutting.

    3 Ways to Hide a Chipped Diamond

    Fortunately, there are some ways that jewelers can help hide a chipped diamond.

  • Chips from the girdle and running underneath: A jeweler will likely be able to hide the chip in your diamond underneath the claw in a claw setting. Then, they'll likely run some solder under the claw, filling in the void that the chip left.

  • Chips from the edge to the table: You might be able to hide the chip by switching to a talon-style claw. This unique style runs higher into the crown part of your diamond, hiding chips that are out of reach for more traditional claw settings.

  • Chips around the edge: For these types of chips, you can consider a semi-bezel or bezel setting to hide it. If that's not your style, you might be able to use a double claw setting to get the width you need to help hide the chip.

  • Related: Round Brilliant Cut vs. European Cut

    3 Options to Deal With a Chipped Diamond

    If you don't want to simply hide your chipped diamond, there are some other options:

  • Get it re-cut. One option is to have a jeweler recut your diamond, turning it into a slightly smaller stone without a chip. The larger your chip is, the more your jeweler will need to cut the stone down. Diamonds under 1/5 of a carat are usually too small to qualify for recutting. But for large stones, particularly ones with sentimental value, re-cutting might be your best choice.

  • Replace it. If it's a smaller diamond and doesn't carry sentimental value, usually replacing it is the best option. This is also true for large diamonds that have massive chips. Some jewelers will also let you exchange it for a new diamond; however, you'll likely get a smaller stone or one with a lower clarity rating in return for your chipped diamond.

  • A new diamond ring sitting on a cloth

  • Swap it. If you think a different gem or larger diamond would suit your jewelry better, you could always consider swapping out your chipped diamond for something a little different. You can even keep your chipped one and have it set in a different piece of jewelry that can effectively hide the damage.

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