Telltale Signs of a Cracked Diamond

what to do if your diamond is cracked

Can Your Diamond Crack And Shatter?

If you had done some research prior to buying your diamond, you might have read about the things people do in order to protect their diamonds from chips, cracks and etc…

Now, you most likely ended up on this webpage because you were looking for information about “cracked diamonds” in the search engines.

Like most people, you probably freaked out a little when you banged your hand hard against the wall or dropped your diamond ring accidentally and want to find out whether you damaged your diamond.

Let me calm you down by saying it is relatively difficult for a diamond to become seriously damaged and what you might see as a problem may have nothing to do with cracks.

In this article, I will address some of the questions that readers had sent me and perform a closer examination of the “problems” that might be mistaken for a crack. I’ll also show you how a cracked diamond actually looks like in real life to quell irrational fears.

Daily Wear And Tear: Cracks Are Unlikely, While Blemishes Are

After purchasing their first diamond jewelry piece and wearing it for a few weeks, there are some people who get paranoid and start to worry whether they had damaged their diamond. Do you know the main reason behind this phenomenon?

Well, based on my interactions with readers and other shoppers, most people only start noticing details they never saw before because they had plenty of time to scrutinize their jewelry after owning it. The fact that the majority of people don’t inspect their jewelry in detail when making a purchase perplexes me deeply.

Instead, the questions only arise after they looked at their jewelry for a lengthy period of time and they start noticing stuff like girdle reflections or feather inclusions which were there all along. (By the way, don’t you think it’s a little too late to realize those issues now?)

Most of the Time, It’s Just a Cleanliness Issue

People often mistake a diamond to be cracked when they see a whitish looking line running through the diamond. Instead the culprit behind this is due to the mundane problem of having a dirty diamond. You see, throughout the course of the day, a diamond ring worn in your hand will inevitably come into contact with external agents (e.g. hand soap, water, your fingers etc…) and accumulate grim.

Initially, this layer of grim may result a layer of blemish that looks like a layer of clouds or oily stains. Overtime, some of this muck that is built up can become so thick begins to look like a thick white line. If this gunk was found on the pavilion of a mounted diamond, it can easily be mistaken as a sign of physical damage to the stone.

“Repairing the Cracks” – Cleaning the Diamond

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Also, as the diamond’s surface becomes dirtier, the stone will begin to look dull and lifeless. In turn, some of the inclusions that were previously masked by the stone’s brilliance and scintillation could now be seen easily. This could trick you into believing that new flaws had developed when they had been there all along.

By cleaning your diamond and removing a good deal of the grim, you will easily restore the stone to its initial condition. Most of the time, a soft brush and some detergent solution would be sufficient to get the job done.

If your ring setting has corners which are difficult to reach with a bristle brush, you might want to consider using an ultrasonic cleaning device or take it back to the jeweler for professional steam cleaning.

You Only Get What You Paid For: How It Could Actually be Broken

In truth, diamonds are rather hard to break. In order to really cause a crack in the stone, you have to apply the right amount of force at the correct angle along its cleavage plane to see results.

fracture propagated from crack in diamond

Feathers that extend to the surface of pavilion facets

There is also a direct relationship between the quality of the diamond and its “breakability”. A diamond with low clarity grade and a poor cut grade (crowns that are too shallow or extremely thin girdle thickness) will be more susceptible to damage when subjected to external forces.

From a mechanical engineering view of the crystalline structure, severely included diamonds have a weaker material integrity due to the presence of defects and foreign material. This is why you always want to inspect the diamond carefully before making any purchase commitments.

feather and huge crack in emerald

This I1 emerald cut has high risk of breakage due to the big feather inclusion (crack) it has.

Generally speaking, the saying “you get what you paid for” applies tenfold in the diamond industry. By paying more for quality, you indirectly buy yourself long-long years of durability and enjoyment.

Don’t make the same mistakes of buying blindly. James Allen offers you the ability to inspect and interact with loose diamonds under magnification. Now, you can examine every single detail of a diamond at the comfort of your home.

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  1. Hadfield-
    March 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I paid a good price for my diamond ring 10 years ago Now there is a crack and the diamond as discoloured Have no idea what as happened Can you help me What can l do

  2. Paul Gian-
    March 27, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Give the stone a good cleaning first to make sure it isn’t a blemish caused by dirt build up. If it is still there, take it to the jeweler you bought it from or an appraiser and ask for advice on how to proceed with whatever you want to do with it.

  3. Margie perez-
    June 10, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Have a chance to purchase a 1.50 canary marquise cut diamond,but found a slight crack or a little deep scratch on it by one of the 6 prongs that holds stone in place can happen,and can it be fixed if it is real.

  4. Paul Gian-
    June 10, 2017 at 8:47 am

    There’s no way to “fix” diamonds except to get it completely polished away which may result in a significant loss of carat weight. If this canary diamond doesn’t come with a GIA report, you can be sure you are in for a giant rip off.

    June 13, 2017 at 7:45 pm


  6. Paul Gian-
    June 14, 2017 at 3:40 am

    You should be talking to your jeweler about this issue.

  7. Cali-
    July 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I have an opportunity to purchase a 4.02 Radiant, F in color, SI2, 9.72 x 8.09 x 5.98 mm. It’s GIA report is good polish and symmetry with a strong blue fluorescence. My concern is it has an extremely thin girdle. My jeweler, who I’ve bought from before, doesn’t believe it’s a problem. If I buy it the deal isn’t done until it’s mounted on my ring and I pay for it. If the girdle doesn’t cause a problem during mounting what’s the likelihood it will give me future problems?

  8. Paul Gian-
    July 26, 2017 at 6:12 am

    It depends on where the extremely thin portions of the girdle is. In general, this causes high risk issues with chipping and abrasion. If the extremely thin portion is exposed instead of being under a prong, a slight knock on the area may result in catastrophic damage.

  9. Michael Farrell-
    April 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    I find your writing to be extremely condecending and, in truth, quite off-putting. While you may fancy yourself an “expert” many people do not have an education in gemstones and would prefer friendly advice as opposed to downtalking.

  10. Paul Gian-
    April 2, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Well, it is not in my character to sugar coat words or when I’m offering constructive advice. If you want to listen to “nice” words of “advice”, you can get that from salespeople behind the counter who may not have your interest at heart.

  11. Stephanee-
    July 6, 2018 at 1:54 am

    I took my engagement ring in for its 6-month check up and they found a crack. Two of the jewelers looked at it under the microscope and at first said it could be an inclusion. They cleaned it and looked again and said it was a crack. One also commented that the surface of the diamond wasn’t smooth which could also indicate it was cracked and not just an inclusion. Does this sound accurate to you? Thanks in advance!

  12. Paul Gian-
    July 6, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Technically, a feather (crack) is a type of inclusion. Do you have a grading report for the diamond ring?

  13. Albert-
    July 6, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Michael Farrell , what is your problem? Paul gian gives constructive advice and this for free and definitely NOT off- putting or condescending but rather honest and direct. I personally enjoyed reading every bit and in no way it felt condescending. Take your negativity and your stupid comments elsewhere. Why can’t people just be grateful?

  14. Sheen-
    July 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

    My 18k gold engagement ring with cubic zirconia stone was replaced to a diamond stone. The diamond stone was from a pawn shop and staff of the said pawnshop did all the work to replace it etc. When we had it checked and appraised, the lady said that it is an old cut diamond and saw a black spot and a crack (probably included) in the stone. Is an old cut diamond nowadays valuable or of greater/lesser value? I am just very curious.

  15. Paul Gian-
    July 21, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Well, I can assure you that you probably had a garbage tier diamond with that purchase and you likely overpaid for it by alot.

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