Diamond breathing holes are one of the jewelry designs concepts that arouse most curiosity among consumers. So much so, that all kinds of theories and myths are created around them, are any of them real?
Let's discuss to what extent they are really useful and how accurate is everything that is said about them.
No, diamonds do not need to breathe. A diamond is a solid composition of carbon that does not expand or contract (change its shape or size) by the effect of weather, temperature, light, air or the constant presence of any liquid.
This may be one of the biggest myths related to the design of breathing holes in jewelry.
If a diamond does not need breathing holes, why are they there? - For ease of handling and maintenance.
The pavilion of the diamond (the lower conical part) ends in a sharp point that has a nearly flat facet called a culet. This "diamond tip" is quite fragile and if it comes in direct contact with the metal during assembly it is possible to break it inadvertently. The holes alleviate this problem.
As for maintenance, these holes give valuable access to the back of the diamonds or gemstones. Especially useful in settings with several small stones set in a row where a large amount of dirt (soap, skin cells, cuticle traces, oils...) can accumulate.
Being able to access all the nooks and crannies of the setting and gemstones ensures that good maintenance with chemicals or ultrasonic jewelry cleaner will completely restore the true charm of a piece of jewelry.
No. Possibly another misconception that arose from misunderstanding the references used by some diamond suppliers, among them, to refer to jewelry characteristics. In this case, breathing as a synonym for receiving more light from the diamond.
Certainly, some cuts such as princess and oval may appear more desirable in light settings "as they breathe better", that is, when their entire figure is allowed to show through (this may be the source of the confusion) but this is not the case with the round brilliant cut.
By receiving and reflecting most of the light through its upper flat side, we can say that this is the only window the diamond would need to shine optimally.
Regardless of how this myth has come to spread, a diamond with breathing holes does not receive any lighter. The holes are on the bottom, when placed on the finger they are completely covered (it would not make sense).
As explained above, the holes are a practical setting element for some rings to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.
In fact, many rings don't even need them. This feature in no way defines the authenticity of a diamond. If you want to know if a diamond is authentic, you can consult our guide on the subject.
There is some truth to this myth. Some porous compounds and materials of organic origin such as pearls, turquoise, coral or amber do need a source of oxygen and have the tendency to expand (or contract) depending on the amount of liquid they are exposed to.
In this context alone, you may want to consider using holes to maintain good drainage and not affect the materials that make up the jewelry. This in no way applies to diamonds and stones in general.
Diamonds don't need to breathe, but skin does. The holes in some rings allow the sweat that accumulates under the band to evaporate much faster. This helps decrease the level of irritation on sensitive skin and creates a slightly more comfortable feel.
This is not the reason the holes are actually there, but it is a welcome favorable side effect.