Summary: Diamond care tips
Care for your diamond jewelry by cleaning, making sure the diamond is in a proper mounting and ensuring the prongs are not worn.
As with all other valuable items that receive wear, diamond jewelry requires regular care and cleaning. Well cared for diamond jewelry will retain its sparkle and shine forever, as they are not prone to many forms of permanent wear. While you may not be able to appreciate a diamond for the full length of the diamond's lifetime, you can enjoy it to the fullness of its beauty for the length of your lifetime. In addition, a diamond that is treated with proper care will go much further in retaining its original value than a diamond that is allowed to become dirty and worn over the years.
Proper diamond care begins with the proper mounting, and the proper mounting is dependent on the shape of the stone. A properly mounted center stone will make the diamond's care far easier than if the stone were improperly mounted. Each shape has a particular set of prongs which provide it with the most security. It is important to be sure that the prongs used are the ones which best complement your stone. For example, a V-shaped prong is going to be the most ideal for a diamond that has pointed corners, with each prong providing even pressure to the diamond and set to prevent the corners from chipping.
In addition to choosing the proper prongs and having them checked regularly by a certified jeweler, there is maintenance to be hand for the ring itself. Platinum, yellow gold and white gold all need yearly or bi-yearly maintenance to keep them looking like new. Platinum and yellow gold will need to be polished to keep their luster and shine. While, white gold will need to be polished and treated with rhodium to maintain its crisp white appearance. This maintenance is not an absolute must but it will help to extend the lifetime and the beauty of your ring.
What to Avoid
There are three obvious and damaging items that need to be avoided when it comes to the care of diamonds and jewelry: lotion and hairspray, bleach and other corrosive liquids and wearing the diamond in water.
The first, lotion, is used by many on their hands while wearing their rings, and is often mistakenly used in the care of their diamond jewelry. One reason that lotions need to be avoided is that lotions have a base that can get under the diamond's mounting and settle on the prongs. Lotion that has gotten behind the diamond and settled onto the prongs can cake up on the diamond and even cause the diamond to loosen up in its mounting. In addition to this, lotions can form a film over the diamond, which will noticeably diminish the diamond's light quality. Hairspray has a tendency to stick very well to diamonds, and may cause the diamonds to appear yellow. The only way to remove the negative affects of hairspray on a diamond is to heat the stone till the hairspray burns off of the surface. There are no permanent negative effects of lotion or hairspray on diamonds.
Next, bleach and other corrosive liquids can actually cause damage to the metal holding the diamond. This means that if you are cleaning using bleach or other corrosive liquids, or go swimming in a pool with chlorine, you should either remove your ring, or wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the corrosive element. A diamond ring can be beautiful, but it will not look as nice if the band is discolored due to exposure to bleach.
Finally, while water will not damage a diamond, and will not harm most bands, it can cause you to lose your ring. Long exposure to water will cause fingers to contract, thus loosening the hold of the ring on your finger. Unless you don't mind having your diamond ring slip off of your finger in the pool or while cleaning dishes, you should remove your ring before leaving your hand in water for long periods of time.
How to Clean Your Diamonds
Cleaning your diamonds and diamond jewelry will help you to retain their value, and will help the diamonds to retain their light properties. The more often you clean them, the easier it will be to remove the dirt and oils that can build up on any item of jewelry. Regular cleaning will also allow you to maintain your diamonds, as you will be able to quickly notice anything that needs to be worked on by a professional jeweler, such as a loose mount or loose diamond.
All you need for a regular home cleaning is water, a soft bristled brush, and either some baking soda, household glass cleaner or other non-abrasive cleaner. Simply fill up a sink or bucket with warm water and allow the diamond jewelry to soak for a short time. Gently scrub the diamond using the soft bristled brush. It is important to remember to allow the end of the bristles to do the work for you. Do not scrub hard on the diamond as you may accidentally loosen the stone or scratch the metal of the band. When using a sink, always be certain to stop up the drain as well as possible, as a sink drain can easily swallow up your precious ring.
Now and then you will want to bring your diamond jewelry to a professional jeweler to have it cleaned with professional care. This type of cleaning will get rid of the hardened dirt and grime that simple home cleaning is unable to remove, as professional jewelers will use an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaners. A professional jeweler will also be able to quickly assess whether or not your diamond is still secure in its mount. Most professional jewelers will perform this service for free, so you have little to lose in bringing it to them.