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How easily does a diamond shatter?

Last week while getting my son in the car I bumped my engagement ring. I didn’t even think about this until the next day when I looked down and noticed my diamond was very foggy. I mailed my ring back to the jeweler my husband purchased it from and they just left me a message that it has been shattered and that they “hoped my hand was ok”. I barely hit the ring! Is this normal? I am just heartbroken as there is no way we can replace it at this point in time. And if this is how easy diamonds can shatter, I’m not sure that I’d want to!

Hi Lisa,

I’m so sorry to hear of your circumstance. Diamond is the hardest substance (resistance to scratches), however it is not the toughest (resistance to breakage). You can cleave a diamond in four direction if you exert enough force at an exact position. It’s possible but very low probability. Also, if the diamond is of a lower grade in clarity (SI2 or below), this possibility increases quite a bit. Lower clarity grades allow for larger feathers (or fractures). Some clarity enhanced diamonds have a 1 in 10 chance of breaking, nicking, or shattering. See this video:

In order for me to help you narrow down the possibilities, please tell me all the specifications of your diamond. Have a great day!

The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, Fred is one of the top diamond experts in the world, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy Helper

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