Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: magnetic diamonds

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Once I had a strong magnet next to my mother's jewelry to see if the jewelers have made a scam on her, and my mum had some diamonds and when i put my magnet next to it it stuck to my magnet. Does this mean that diamonds have some iron or any other magnetic materials inside or the jewelers have ripped us of?
- Netsi (age 11)
Crestwood college, England
A:

Pure diamond is not magnetic. If you're lucky, your mum may have gotten a real diamond with some small magnetic impurities. I found a jeweler's web site describing such things: https://www.gemsociety.org/article/fundametals-jewelery-metals-overview/.

If you're unlucky, that strong magnetism may come from some entirely different clear crystal. I'm not sure what the common fake diamonds are or whether any of them are magnetic. It sounds worth having this checked by a jeweler.

Mike W.


This may sound too obvious, but be sure to check also whatever's holding the diamonds -- rings, necklaces, and earrings all have metal parts to them. Most rings are made of precious metals, but I wouldn't be surprised if earrings had stainless steel parts.

Tom


(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.