If you want your diamond to look better than most rings worn today-keep it clean! A clean diamond will have the same sparkle and brightness that it did the day you bought it while a dirty diamond will look dull and dark.
It’s hard to keep a diamond ring clean. Diamonds are natural grease attractors and can become coated with grease when they are immersed in dishwater or when they come in contact with any greasy substance including hand or body lotions and natural skin oils. Powders, hair spray and soap are also cut down on a diamond’s brilliance.
A safe and easy way to clean a diamond ring is to soak and wash it in warm sudsy water using a mild liquid detergent. Then it can be dried with a soft, lint-free cloth. If the dirt on the diamond cannot be washed off after soaking, try using a tooth pick, a Water Pick or un-waxed dental floss to removed caked-on dirt. Brushes should be used with caution because hard bristles can scratch gold mountings.
You can also buy one of the brand-name liquid jewelry cleaners, which usually include a container of cleaner, a basket to soak the ring in and a small brush to clean hard to get at areas. Read the label and follow its instructions. Don’t touch your clean diamonds with your finger since that simply puts oil back on them. For frequent travelers, jewelry cleaner now is available in a foam dispenser that ensures you have beautiful jewelry wherever you go.
Ethyl alcohol and ammonia are also good for cleaning diamonds because they help avoid the problem of water spots.
Caution: Fracture-filled diamonds should not be cleaned in solutions which are acidic or which contain ammonia since they can cloud, discolor or even remove the filling material.
Don’t let your jewelry come in contact with chlorine bleach which can be very damaging to the metal. Gold prongs can get pitted and actually dissolve to the point they can no longer hold the diamonds or other gemstones. Prolonged exposure to chlorine in hot tubs or swimming pools can have the same effect. You might already protect your hands from harsh chemicals, but if you don’t think about your fine jewelry. Remove your rings or wear gloves to protect them from products that contain chorine, because it can damage metal. Avoid dripping bleaches and hair dyes on your fine jewelry.
To get rid of encrusted dirt, it is sometimes necessary to have the diamond cleaned professionally with steamers and ultrasonic cleaners. There are many types of these small machines on the market that will clean any piece of jewelry that can be dipped in a liquid. They consist of a metal cup that you fill with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high frequency motion creates the cleaning action. Since each machine is slightly different, read the instructions very carefully before use, especially concerning what types of jewelry should not be cleaned using this method.
A wrist watch should not be “dipped” in any liquid, since many are not water proof and even those that are can be damaged if dipped in chemicals that can disintegrate the material used for sealing it tight. The best method for diamond watches is a jeweler’s polishing cloth for all metal parts of the watch and diamonds. Be careful with the diamonds so as not to loosen the settings.
When you are not wearing diamonds and precious jewelry, they still require attention. Never trust putting jewelry in your pockets. Even pockets with zippers can be susceptible to opening or have a hole in the bottom.
Keep your precious pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case, or a box with compartments or dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in tissue paper. Don’t jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewelry case, because diamonds can scratch other jewelry and can even scratch each other.
When traveling, take special care of your diamonds and other precious pieces of jewelry. There are many types of carryalls, specially designed for jewelry travel. Most have padded compartments for protecting each piece.
Don’t leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can easily slip down the drain. When you are away from home, you might leave it and lose it. This is especially true in public bathrooms where anything left on a counter will probably disappear in a matter of minutes.
There are some simple steps you can take to protect your jewelry from theft. Install good locks on your doors and windows and establish family procedures for locking them. Most burglaries would be eliminated if people had properly locked doors and windows. Make your house look lived in, even when you are gone. Get the lawn mowed and have your mail and newspapers picked up.
When not wearing your jewelry, put it in a secure place, such as a home safe or safe-deposit box. If you don’t have these, choose a secure hiding place, preferably a locked container attached to the wall or floor. Jewelry boxes and dresser drawers, as well as almost any other spot in bedrooms, are probably the first places a thief will look for your valuables. Be careful of your hiding place if others in your house are not aware of it. Hiding jewelry in the refrigerator is not a wise idea if someone mistakenly throws out that container.
Never leave jewelry in your luggage to be transported by airlines, cruise lines, or other public transportation. Now that luggage must be left unlocked to allow inspection, the risk of theft or loss when the bag falls open is greater than ever.
When traveling, store unworn jewelry in the hotel’s safe-deposit box. Items left in hotel rooms are an open invitation for theft. Cleaning personnel are in your room when you are not. Doors can be rigged to not close completely. Master keys can be duplicated and professional thieve target jewelry which is easy to carry and turn into cash.
Even though you wear your diamond engagement ring 24 hours a day, you should still give a thought to its care. Don’t wear it when you are doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow. Grocery cart handle are notorious for being hard on diamond rings. Hitting a diamond with a handle on the grocery cart or a car door has much the same impact as hitting the diamond with a steel hammer. Remove your jewelry and place it in a safe location before gardening, playing sports, swimming, or performing difficult chores around your home. Take extra care when removing gloves.
The bottom line is to use common sense and be kind to your jewelry so you can enjoy its beauty for many years.
Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have them check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and unusual wear of mountings. They will usually get a professional “shine-up” too. If a jeweler is not convenient, checking your diamond with a 10x loupe or magnifying glass will provide early warnings to damaged prongs.
Sometimes, small problems, like loose stones, worn or damaged prongs and faulty clasps, can be detected and repaired before they turn into bigger problems. Most diamonds are lost weeks and months after the damage could have been noticed, if someone had just taken a few minutes to examine the jewelry item closely. If you notice that the stone has become loose or any other damage to the setting, do not wear your jewelry until it has been taken to a jewelry repair specialist for repair.
Even if you take good care of your jewelry, you need insurance to assure that you can replace it if lost, stolen, or damaged.