Getting diamond jewelry is the easy part, whether it’s an engagement ring or a present from your loved one, but the challenge is caring for that diamond so it sparkles for years to come. After all, a diamond is meant to last forever. This is the reason why women are so fond of diamonds, especially in engagement rings. A diamond is the sign of eternity, but just like with love and relationships, proper care will ensure longevity…
Here are the different ways you can maintain your diamond jewelry:
1. Daily rub
Clean the diamond often to keep it free of lotions, skin oil and dirt. That way, it won’t look cloudy. At the end of the day, rub it against a soft cloth (or even your own shirt) to keep it sparkly. You can also wipe your jewelry clean with a soft chamois or flannel cloth after each wear to remove oils and salt.
2. Water and dishwashing liquid
Soak the diamond in a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub it clean, says Tracy Lantz, associate director of public relations at the Diamond Information Center. Do this at least once a month.
3. Ammonia and cold water
Soak your diamond in a 50:50 mixture of ammonia (like window cleaner) and cold water for half an hour. Then, let it air dry. Be sure to use this only with real diamonds, since ammonia may damage other stones. Do this once or twice a week.
4. Make a detergent bath
Prepare a small bowl of warm water and any mild liquid detergent. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush or cloth to create lather. Then, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a dry cloth.
5. Get a jewelry cleaner
You can buy this along with the diamond or at any jewelry store. Brand-name jewelry cleaners work best. Soak your diamond in this cleaner according to the instructions on its label. Handle the jewelry carefully.
6. Use baking soda
Baking soda is great for cleaning all jewelry, including diamond jewelry. Mix a cup of hot water with 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Place the jewelry in the mix for a few minutes. Rinse, and pat dry with a clean cloth. As an alternative, you could also make a paste out of 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons water. Apply this paste to the jewelry and clean it using a brush or cloth.
7. Use Alka-Seltzer
Fill a glass with water, drop an Alka-Seltzer tab in it, then place any dull jewelry in the fizzing mix, and watch it become shiny again when removed.
8. Soak in club soda
To make diamonds shiny again, soak them in a glass of club soda overnight. In the morning, your jewelry will be sparkly again, according to Reader’s Digest.
9. Polish gold jewelry
To polish gold diamond jewelry, use a paste made of baking soda as mentioned above. Then, pour a bit of vinegar over the jewelry, rinse and pat dry.
10. Use denture tablets
Another method for making diamonds shiny is by using denture tablets. Drop one tablet into a glass of water. Place your jewelry inside and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove it and rinse to see it shine again.
11. Use toothpaste for shine
Toothpaste is a well-known jewelry cleaner. Squeeze a bit onto an old, soft toothbrush and scrub your diamond jewelry gently with it. It will sparkle, just like your teeth do after brushing. Rinse and dry with a cloth.
12. Use vodka, yes, vodka!
Although this may seem surprising, Reader’s Digest claims vodka will clean any type of jewelry. Dip your diamond jewelry into a shot of vodka for a few minutes and watch it sparkle again.
13. Separate diamonds from other jewelry
To avoid scratches, keep diamond jewelry away from your other jewelry. Keep it in its original box, in a fabric-lined jewelry case, wrapped in soft tissue paper or in a separate jewelry pouch.
14. Inspect the diamond
Make sure the diamond isn’t scratched and that its setting is secure. If you notice any changes, bring it to a professional jeweler for inspection.
15. Limit exposure to cosmetics
You will get cosmetics and other substances on your diamond, but avoid them whenever possible. For example, don’t keep the diamond on a bathroom shelf, where you use perfume, hairspray, deodorant and air freshener regularly. Such substances create buildup, which dulls the diamond’s brilliance and sparkle.
16. Brush the diamond
A soft toothbrush is a great diamond cleaning tool. After soaking it in ammonia or another substance, use a toothbrush to remove leftover dirt. Brush the back of the diamond, which is the dirtiest area. Do this gently though.
17. Handle carefully
Always be gentle when handling diamonds. When done cleaning, rinse the diamond with water and wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth at all times.
18. Avoid harmful solutions
Do not use chlorine or abrasives when cleaning diamonds, which may damage the jewelry. These cleaners can erode the metals used in diamond settings by loosening the prongs or dissolving the metal completely. These chemicals may also discolor the jewelry.
19. Protect your diamonds
Just as harsh chemicals may damage the diamonds, so can sharp blows, sunlight and extreme temperatures. Remove diamonds when gardening or when outside in extreme, above normal temperatures.
20. Remove in times of rough work
Diamonds are durable, but they may chip. Take the diamond off when doing rough work like gardening, cleaning, home renovating, etc., to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.
21. Keep it away from sinks
A piece of diamond jewelry, like a ring or small bracelet, may easily fall down the sink drain. It might get damaged or lost forever, as a result. Avoid placing diamond jewelry on the rim of a sink.
22. Handle the diamond carefully and sparingly
Your diamond is already covered with oil from your skin along with cosmetics. Try holding it in your fingers as little as possible. When handling a ring, for example, hold on to the band rather than the diamond.
23. Use the glass jar method
You can clean your diamonds with another homemade mixture, according to Charles Walker of Edward Petri Jewelry. Mix 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon of ammonia and 2 drops of dish soap together in a glass jar. Seal the jar and shake it. Place your jewelry in the jar for a few minutes, no more than five, then remove it and clean with a soft toothbrush.
24. Let it skip the shower
Don’t shower in your diamond jewelry. Put it on after showering, drying and after applying lotions and other cosmetics. Cosmetic buildup makes it look dull and lifeless.
25. Use a toothpick if you must
To get a piece of dirt out from underneath the diamond, use a toothpick or q-tip gently. Simply push the dirt out, then clean and dry as usual.
26. Keep it on a chain
Since you need to take off your diamond jewelry for housework and other chores, it’s important to still keep it safe so it doesn’t get damaged or lost. Keep a jewelry box in your kitchen for fast storage, or if the jewelry is a ring, hang it onto a chain if you’re wearing one.
27. Let the diamond rest
If the diamond is in a ring, take it off when doing lots of work with your hands such as cleaning, bathing, swimming or dishwashing. Contact with water may ruin the diamond. It may also slide off your finger easily since fingers shrink when under water.
28. Check the jewelry at the end of the day
If it’s a piece of jewelry you wear daily, like an engagement or wedding ring, check it every night before going to bed. Check to see if any stones wiggle and if the prongs seem secure. At this time, you can also rub it clean with a cloth so it sparkles in the morning.
29. Keep the diamond safe
When not wearing it, such as at night, keep the diamond in its original box, or in a special jewelry bag. Store it in a safe, and keep it away from view to avoid luring potential thieves.
With a professional
1. Insure your diamond
If you have home insurance, you can add a jewelry rider to your insurance. As an alternative, you may also get insurance with a specialty insurer like Jewelers Mutual, according to Martha Stewart Weddings. Be sure to read the fine print.
2. Get to know your diamond
Knowing its cut, carat weight and metal is helpful, especially when insuring it. Talk to a certified independent jeweler about this. Keep a photo of the diamond at home. If it ever gets lost or stolen, you’ll know exactly how to describe it.
3. Talk to a jewelry expert
Whether you’re the buyer of the diamond, or have received a diamond from someone else, it is a good idea to talk to someone at the jewelry store about proper care. They may recommend a specific jewelry cleaner or home cleaning method.
4. Visit your jeweler
When purchasing a diamond, you should receive a warranty on it. Even without the warranty, you should visit your jeweler about twice a year for maintenance. The jeweler will check the setting and will clean it professionally. A loose setting may cause the diamond to dislodge, so this is a helpful step to ensuring the diamond stays put.
5. Use an ultrasonic cleaner
Ultrasonic cleaners remove encrusted dirt on diamonds well, by sending high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution. They may cause stones to loosen, so be sure to use this method at the jeweler’s, according to Diamond Ideals.
6. Have it cleaned professionally
When you take your jewelry to the jeweler you purchased it from, you will get it cleaned professionally using steam or ultrasonic cleaners. You won’t clean your ring like this at home.
7. Get it polished
Your jeweler will also polish your jewelry, either on their own or if you ask for it. This is done using a high speed polishing wheel. This will remove small scratches and will make the jewelry shinier.
8. Re-plate white gold
White gold diamond jewelry requires rhodium plating or re-dipping about twice a year. Be sure to get it cleaned and polished thoroughly before getting it re-plated. Take the jewelry to your jeweler to get this done.
9. Get rings re-sized
Your finger size may change drastically due to weight loss or gain. It may also change depending on the time of day, pregnancy, and during the seasons. However, it isn’t recommended or even convenient to get diamond rings re-sized several times, so find a ring size that suits you best. You may need to resize the original ring to be sure it doesn’t slide off.
Remember, diamonds can last forever, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t get scratched, chipped or smudged. However, continuous maintenance will ensure that your diamond jewelry will truly last forever.