Can a Diamond Shatter When Dropped? A Simple Answer

When someone buys a wedding ring, they want something that will last a lifetime. Diamonds are known for their elegance, hardness, and durability, making them the go-to when choosing a stone for that special someone. As one of the hardest natural materials in the world, can a diamond shatter when dropped?

A diamond won’t shatter if dropped. A quality diamond is a very hard and durable material. At most, if a diamond is dropped and lands at just the right point, it may chip or even crack. However, using extensive force to strike a diamond intentionally could cause it to shatter.

In this article, I’ll explain, in great detail, the amount of force it would take for a diamond to shatter. I will also discuss how quality can affect the breakability of a diamond and explain what you can do if your diamond becomes damaged.

The Amount of Force It Takes To Shatter a Diamond

Although diamonds are one of the toughest materials on earth, they are not indestructible. Diamonds are incredibly scratch-resistant and durable when it comes to accidental drops and bumps. 

While an accidental drop won’t shatter a diamond, it can be shattered when applying the right amount of force at just the right angle.

Technically speaking, it takes 10,000 to 30,000 PSI (68.94 to 206.84 mPa) to crush a diamond. 

This, of course, will vary depending on the dimension and grade of the diamond. The larger a diamond is, the more force it will take for it to shatter. Likewise, the better quality of the diamond, the less likely it is to break easily.

Simply put, a diamond dropped in a moment of clumsiness will likely be unharmed in most cases. However, deliberately pounding a diamond hard enough with a hammer or some other blunt object will shatter the stone to pieces. 

Factors that Impact Diamond’s Fragility

Although diamonds are hard, the tenacity of a diamond is low. This means that diamonds cannot withstand a blow since they are very brittle due to their structure. However, there are factors that can make one diamond more fragile than another. 

Low Clarity Grade Diamonds Break More Easily

If the clarity of a diamond is low, it has many blemishes and inclusions, which can make a diamond fragile. When diamonds form naturally in the earth’s mantle, they often have inclusions

This happens when other minerals in the earth become trapped inside the diamond as it forms. Depending on where the inclusion is located, it can compromise the structure of the diamond, making it more susceptible to damage. Cleavage and feather inclusions are two types that can easily break.

Feather Breaks

A feather inclusion is a natural inclusion, with a feathery design created as the diamond crystallizes. These inclusions are not always noticeable; however, one of a large enough size can take the attention away from the diamond’s beauty. Feather breaks in a diamond go against the grain and can break easily if hit just right.

Cleavage Breaks

A cleavage inclusion is a crack forming a straight line inside the diamond. Cleavage breaks inside of a diamond and goes along the grain. These types of inclusions can be a significant flaw in a diamond and can cause the diamond to split easily.

A Poor Cut Grade Increases the Risks of Damage to a Diamond

It may be surprising to learn that the cut of a diamond has nothing to do with its shape. While a diamond’s shape determines how it looks on the outside, its cut refers to the piece’s brilliance and light performance. When grading a diamond’s cut, a range of parameters are factored in. These factors include:

  • Proportion
  • Cutlet size
  • Girdle thickness
  • Polish
  • Symmetry descriptions

Diamonds are graded as follows:

  • Excellent
  • Very good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

Diamonds with a poor cut grade are more at risk of damage from external forces due to shallow cuts or an immensely thin girdle thickness.

What To Do if Your Diamond Is Damaged

If your diamond is shattered, then unfortunately, there is no hope of salvaging it. However, for chips or breaks, you may have options. This, of course, will depend on where the chip or crack is located on the diamond. After considering its location, you’ll know if you can do anything for it and which options may be available to you.

Reset the Stone

One option for a chip or crack is to reset the stone. If it’s a small chip located on the edge or corner of the diamond, there may be certain settings that can hide it to restore the beautiful look of the diamond. 

Resetting the stone is also appealing because it can give your jewelry an all-new look and feel. There are different ways to improve or modernize the look of your piece, like adding more stones or accent diamonds around your original diamond. 

Replace the Stone

If there is no hope for the diamond due to its damage, but you still love the piece of jewelry you wore, you always have the option of replacing the stone altogether. 

This can be a pricier option depending on the stone you choose to replace your diamond with. The size and quality of the stone will also factor into the price.

Re-Cut the Diamond

Re-cutting the diamond is a way to use the same diamond but cutting it to remove the chip or crack. This is only possible if the diamond is large enough to be re-cut and the damage is in an ideal place to remove. 

This can be an expensive route, so if the diamond holds no sentimental value, it may not be the best option. It is also possible that once your diamond has been re-cut, it may be too small to go back into the original setting. 


Diamonds are precious and rare gemstones highly sought after for their beauty and durability. As a jewel that can be worn on a daily basis and not get scratched up or shatter if dropped on a hard surface, diamonds are worth every bit of the hype and the price tag. 

Although diamonds would take intentional force to shatter, properly caring for and maintaining these precious stones is important to keep them beautiful, intact, and long-lasting.

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