Diamonds are prized for their lustrous beauty, and as one of the hardest substances on Earth, they're also practically indestructible. Yet it's incredibly easy to dull a diamond's shine just with simple daily tasks. You can make sure your diamond keeps sparkling by following some tips and tricks.
Why Clean Your Diamonds?
Image via Flickr by ilovebutter A diamond's sparkle sets it apart from other gems and stones. That coveted sparkle comes from the facets in a diamond, which function like a series of tiny mirrors that reflect light in and out of the diamond.
Proper daily care and regular basic cleaning will make sure your diamond maintains its sparkle. Whether you have a piece of jewelry you wear only for special occasions or something like an engagement ring that you wear on a daily basis, there are certain things you should keep in mind to keep your diamond looking its best.
Particularly if you wear diamond jewelry every day, you will need to stick to a basic cleaning routine. Oils from your fingers can cause dirt to collect and make a diamond look like it's lost its shine. Your skin produces oil naturally, so this is unavoidable.
Additionally, some basic products you're likely using daily can leave a cloudy sheen on your diamond. These include:
As you can see, it's easier than you think to dull your diamond just by going about your daily activities. Fortunately, a few simple tricks will have you showing off that shine factor again. Use our guide to daily care and cleaning to make sure you diamond sparkles.
Follow a Basic Weekly Cleaning Routine
Cleaning your diamond once or twice per week will help it maintain its beautiful appearance. You'll need a few basic tools to get started:
Make sure you have a new toothbrush, and reserve this toothbrush specifically for cleaning your jewelry. The toothbrush should be soft and clean. When it's time to clean your diamond, start by soaking the jewelry in a gentle degreasing solution. You can create this easy-to-make solution simply by mixing a few drops of mild dish soap into water.
Remove the jewelry after soaking, then get out your special toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to remove any dirt that remains after soaking. The toothbrush technique is especially useful for places that are hard to reach, such as the back of your diamond. In addition to being more difficult to clean, these hard-to-reach spots often collect the most dirt and oil.
Use caution when it comes to fragile settings. Some examples of more fragile settings include:
Tension settings (where a diamond is kept in its place by pressure from the shank).
Older prongs on antique jewelry.
Go gently with the toothbrush instead of vigorously scrubbing. Just rinse off your diamond with water after using the toothbrush, then dry it using a lint-free, soft cloth. Pro-tip: Make sure that you've closed the drain of the sink before rinsing!
Touch Your Diamond Only When Necessary
Because diamonds naturally attract grease, touching your diamond with your fingers can leave smudges. Diamonds' natural beauty also means they're difficult to keep clean. When you touch a diamond, oils from your fingers will adhere to the surface of the diamond. The oils and smudges will affect the fire and brilliance of the diamond, making it appear duller than it is. If you can avoid touching your diamond with your fingers as much as possible, it will go a long way in keeping your diamond looking its best. You should also take off your diamond jewelry to protect it if you're doing certain activities. You should not wear your diamond jewelry when:
Doing rough work.
Going into a chlorinated pool.
Going into a chlorinated hot tub.
Using Ultrasonic Cleaners
If you have dirt encrusted on your diamond, you may need to use an ultrasonic cleaner. You should always be careful when using this kind of cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning can be risky because the force of the cleaning can create flaws or worsen existing ones.
An ultrasonic cleaner works by sending low-frequency sound waves through a solution. The vibrating fluid then removes grime and dirt that has accumulated on the diamond. Unfortunately, the process can cause damage to your jewelry, including:
Chipping the girdles of diamonds set next to each other.
Shaking stones loose from their mountings.
Use ultrasonic cleaners with caution if your diamond is included or if it has a feather. You should avoid these cleaners completely if your diamond has been treated previously by fracture filling.
Refer to your diamond's grading report before you put it in an ultrasonic cleaner. A grading report will tell you whether or not your diamond has been treated.
You should also consult with a professional jeweler, who will determine if you need any repairs to your jewelry before you proceed with cleaning. A professional jeweler can check for loose stones and can also tighten them before you start cleaning your jewelry.
Some Products To Avoid
Certain products do more harm than good if used to clean a diamond. For instance, when cleaning your diamond jewelry, you should never use products such as:
Abrasives can scratch gold and other metals. Chemicals such as chlorine can cause damage to metals used to alloy gold for the diamond's setting. Even if your diamond can handle it, you can damage the rest of the piece of jewelry.
How Often Should Diamonds Be Cleaned?
You can do your basic at-home cleaning once or twice a week. Beyond that, you should also take your diamond jewelry to a jeweler for a deep clean about twice per year. If you're very active or get your hands dirty frequently with tasks such as gardening, you might opt for a professional cleaning more frequently, especially if you have a big event coming up.
If you have questions about your diamonds and how you should best care for them, contact one of the diamond experts at Martin Busch Jewelers today. We can help you ensure your diamonds look their best for years to come so you can show off that classic shine from special events to everyday occasions.