Although diamonds are very hard and therefore nearly impossible to scratch, they can be damaged by certain chemicals. These tips explain how to care for diamond jewellery so it remains in perfect condition for a lifetime or more.
How to Store Diamond Jewellery
Storing diamond jewellery in a box with other trinkets runs the risk of the hard diamonds scratching other gems. Although diamonds are unlikely to be damaged by contact with other stones, any metal parts of the diamond jewellery could be scratched or broken by being tossed into a jewellery box with other pieces. Keep each valuable diamond ring, necklace, brooch, or other item in its own compartment or pouch within the jewellery box to protect it.
Maintaining the Diamond Setting
Before slipping on a diamond ring or other treasured piece of jewellery, check the setting to make sure the stone is not loose. For necklaces, bracelets, and brooches, also check the clasp to make sure it will not come undone while the piece is being worn. Performing these simple inspections can reduce the risk of losing the stone or the whole item due to a poorly maintained setting.
How to Clean Diamond Jewellery
Diamonds can be safely cleaned at home, but it's important to choose cleaning products that will not harm the stone or the mounting. Here are some methods that can be used to clean diamonds.
A gentle soak will clean most everyday grime from diamonds, leaving them shining brightly once again. Fill a bowl with warm water and some mild dish soap, then gently place the jewellery in the bowl and leave it to soak for about a quarter of an hour. If the diamond or mounting needs more cleaning, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently dislodge dirt. Don't use a pan scrubber or other abrasive pad, as this could easily damage a gold or silver mounting.
Ammonia is a suitable chemical for cleaning diamonds, but other gems react badly, so this method should not be used to clean jewellery that features other gems alongside the diamond. Use a solution of one part ammonia with four parts warm water, in which the jewellery should be left to soak for about 10 minutes. Once again, a toothbrush is a useful tool for scrubbing away dirt. Ammonia cuts through dirt very effectively, so it's a useful method for cleaning diamonds that haven't been cleaned for a long time.
Specialist Gem Cleaners
Many specialist products exist for cleaning jewellery and precious stones. Make sure that the product indicates it can be used for diamonds, as different types of gems vary in the types of cleaners they can tolerate.
Professional jewellers often use ultrasonic cleaners to clean diamond jewellery. An ultrasonic jewellery cleaner uses very fast vibrations to dislodge dirt. These machines are not suitable for all types of diamond jewellery, so check with an expert before investing in one. For example, the vibrations can sometimes loosen the diamond in its setting, which would make this method unsuitable for certain pieces. Ultrasonic jewellery cleaners are available for sale on eBay.