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Cyndi

Are diamond's fire safe?

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I have a question that hopefully someone can help me with.

 

Recently my house caught fire and more than half of it was destroyed. The other half was trashed by the water and the firefighters. The fire broke out at night and luckily me and my 10 year old son got out ok.

 

But I always take my engagement ring off before bed and put it in a small dish by my bed. When we went back throught the house several days later (it took a few days before the fire fighters would let us go through the house) I couldn't find the ring! It's probably lost somewhere in the debris. My insurance company is busy tallying my stuff and they're interested in whether I've found the diamond.

 

Sorry to take so long to get to the question, but my question is: can a fire damage a diamond? Could it have gotten cracked and destoyed? Or is is just missing somewhere?

 

Cyndi

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First of all, my regrets to hear about your tragedy. Addressing your question, I will speak out of turn here (I'm a physicist, not a jeweler).

 

The melting point of gold is around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Even when alloyed, I don't think the melting point would drop below 1500 F or so. Although a house fire can burn quite hot, they do not reach these high temperatures. Therefore, I doubt that the gold actually melted.

 

Second is the diamond itself. The melting point of diamond at atmospheric pressure is the highest of all known materials, in fact it is so high, it cannot be measured because the testing equipment would melt in the process! Bottom line, it would not be possible for the diamond to melt.

 

IF a diamond is subjected to high temperature very quickly, it is possible that it would crack. However, because the temperature in house fires increases slowly (relatively speaking), I have serious doubts that the diamond cracked.

 

So, if I were a gambling man (which I'm not, I'm a physicist :ph34r:), I would bet that your diamond ring is still in whatever remains of your house. It will be very difficult to find, but I would bet it's still there somewhere.

 

On to the practical side of your question... I would just tell your insurance company that the ring is lost, because for all practical purposes, it is. Get the settlement money to buy a new one. Then come back and let the fine folks on this forum help you get the best deal for your (insurance agency's) money! :(


"Fish and Visitors stink after three days"

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Sorry to hear about your fire. Bottom line is that you and your family are safe.

 

Ben is correct. Bench jewelers sometimes "burn" a diamond when they get the soldering torch to close to the stone when tipping ring prongs, etc. A "burned" diamond will display a chalky frosted look which can be quickly and easily removed and polished off on the cutting wheel with a very minimum amount of carat weight loss by a competent diamond cutter.

 

Put in you claim, move forward to getting a new diamond, and if you find your ring, consider it a fortuitious bonus.

 

Good Luck,


Barry
www.exceldiamonds.com
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Thank you everyone for all your help. I figured as much. I'll keep sifting a little more until the bulldozers come and report it as a total loss.

 

You guys rock. Really. I read through this site and even bookmarked it. I am after all in the market for a diamond again. :(

 

Cyndi

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Put in you claim, move forward to getting a new diamond, and if you find your ring, consider it a fortuitious bonus.

Cyndi,

 

I agree with barry but with a single caveat. If you put in a claim and the company buys you a new diamond, the old diamond now belongs to them, not you. If you find it, you must report it to the company or you can end up in some pretty serious trouble. They will make a repair/resell decision and move on to the next claim. Most companies are very agreeable about clients who want to buy the 'salvage' and they get very upset about clients who file claimes on items that are later recovered.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

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Thanks everyone. I've contacted my insurance. The house is scheduled for demo. I've found a few things that weren't completely damaged, but not many. All the videos of my son when he was little I especially cried about... Keep trying to remember that I HAVE my son.

 

Anyway, the next person to find the diamond may well be wearing a hard hat. It won't be me. I'm done there. Sweep it away. Get on with the new. I can't stand going there any more.

 

Cyndi

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