Diamonds are Flammable! How to Safeguard Your Jewelry

Are Diamonds Flammable

Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. Formed millions of years ago, these natural stones have become the symbol of lasting love because of their indestructibility. Once you buy a diamond, you need never worry about breaking it. But, what about fire? Are diamonds flammable?

Burn, Baby, Burn

As it turns out, diamonds are flammable, though burning one is not an easy task. To do so requires extreme heat and plenty of oxygen. You can’t inadvertently set your diamond ring on fire with a cigarette lighter. But, because diamonds are pure carbon, they do react with oxygen by burning. Burning a diamond requires liquid oxygen and a very hot torch. But, the reaction is quite amazing. A diamond will burn very brightly, and then completely disappear.

Here you can watch a diamond burn

Aside from the fact that most of us don’t want to burn up our diamonds, there are other reasons you should not attempt this experiment. When diamonds get very hot, these can burst, sending diamonds shards flying, which can be extremely dangerous.

SEE ALSO >> The Melting Point of Diamond: How Hot Does It Have to Get to Burn?

If My Diamonds are Flammable, what is the Best Storage Method?

Most people don’t think about protecting their jewelry from fire, but it is very important. Because diamonds are flammable, a house fire can destroy your jewels. Gold and platinum are not flammable, but will melt in a fire.

The best way to store your diamonds and other jewelry is either in a fireproof safety deposit box at the bank or in a fireproof safe in your home.

Are All My Jewels Flammable?

Interestingly enough, some of your less valuable jewelry will withstand fire much better than your diamonds and other natural stones. Cubic zirconia, and synthetic jewels like rubies and sapphires will not burn. So, while you need to keep your diamonds and precious metals in fireproof storage, your less precious jewelry is safe in your jewelry box.

What About Insurance?

If you store your precious jewels and metals at home, it is important to have these insured. Your homeowner’s policy will cover jewelry, but most policies have a fairly low limit of coverage. If you have a significant amount of jewelry, it’s a good idea to add additional coverage to your homeowner’s policy, through a rider, or take out a separate policy.

In general, when you purchase insurance on jewelry, each piece must be appraised for a proper documentation of value.

Insurance on expensive jewelry is a great way to protect your investment. In addition to covering your jewelry in the event of fire, insurance will also replace it if it is lost or stolen.  Be sure to take pictures of all your jewelry and store these, along with the appraisals, and diamond certificates, if you have these, in your safety deposit box, separately from the jewelry.

Your diamonds and other precious jewels and metals are a significant investment. Be sure to take appropriate steps, like proper storage and insurance to protect both the sentimental and the financial value of your pieces.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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