05 April 2023 4 min read
Few things are tougher than a diamond. Practically indestructible, they can cut through other stones and metals. And a diamond can only be cut using another diamond. Pretty impressive.
But that doesn’t mean diamonds are invincible. Even the most brilliant diamonds can, over time, lose their sparkle. The key to keeping your diamond jewellery looking as good as the day you first wore it is proper care and cleaning. And we’re going to tell you how.
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The main reason diamonds lose their sparkle is thanks to oils from our fingertips. When we touch our jewellery, it transfers oil from our fingers onto the surface of the gem, which then collects dirt and grime, creating a film which makes the stone appear dull.
By resisting the urge to touch your diamond jewellery as often, or by holding it by the ring band, earring post or necklace chain, you’ll limit the amount of dirt coming into contact with the stone.
Did you know, a diamond’s sparkle comes from its many facets, which act as miniscule mirrors, reflecting light?
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There’s no clear guidance on how often you should wash your diamond jewellery. Some say once a week, others once a month. Ultimately, it depends how much oil and dirt it’s likely to come into contact with.
Cleaning your diamond jewellery is super simple. And you don’t have to use anything fancy. Here’s what you’ll need:
• A bowl
• Mild dish soap
• A new soft-bristled toothbrush (a baby toothbrush works well)
• A soft, lint-free cloth (such as those used for cleaning your glasses)
Step 1: Fill a clean dish with warm water.
Step 2: Add a few drops of mild dish soap.
Step 3: Leave it to soak for 5 minutes (longer if it’s really grimy).
Step 4: After, use the soft-bristled toothbrush to gently (very gently) remove any remaining dirt.
The back of the diamond is where most oil and dirt builds up. But don’t scrub too hard, especially if the diamond’s setting is fragile.
Step 5: Rinse with water (if rinsing in the sink, don’t forget to close the drain first).
Step 6: Dry gently with a clean, soft cloth.
An alternative solution is to soak the jewellery for 30 minutes in equal parts ammonia and water, and simply rinse it afterwards - no scrubbing needed.
There are ultrasonic diamond cleaners that can remove ingrained dirt. But there is a risk that any stones might become dislodged or loose. This is particularly the case for treated diamonds (the diamond’s grading report would tell you if your diamond had been treated) or stones with more delicate settings.
You can always ask a jeweller, who can advise whether your jewellery might need repairs before using this method of cleaning. Jewellers usually offer professional cleaning services anyway, so if you’re unsure and there is some really encrusted dirt on your jewellery, it’s best to ask an expert.
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Chemicals such as chlorine bleach, or abrasive cleaning solutions can irreversibly damage jewellery - particularly precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum.
If you’re using these, remove your jewellery first and put it somewhere safe.
But it’s not just harsh cleaning chemicals you should avoid your diamond jewellery coming into contact with. Chemicals in things like hairspray, perfumes and lotions can also affect the metals used in your jewellery.
Put your jewellery on last when getting ready, to minimise the chance of it coming into contact with chemicals.
Similarly, if you’re going swimming in a chlorinated pool, it’s best to remove your jewellery beforehand and store it somewhere safe.
Did you know that prolonged contact with water causes our fingers to shrink in volume? It’s why you should take off your rings before swimming, as they can easily slip off in the water!
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If you cherish your fine jewellery, odds are you aren’t simply tossing it into a drawer or on a table. Storing your jewellery somewhere safe and appropriate will help keep it looking brilliant. The box or pouch the jewellery came in is a good place to keep it. Or in a jewellery box with dedicated padded slots. Make sure wherever you store it is cool, dry and secure.
Our illi boxes are perfectly suitable for keeping your jewellery safe and clean. Find out more about our packaging.
When travelling with jewellery, store it in a separate padded case or box to help protect it.
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Many jewellery manufacturers recommend taking your fine jewellery to a jeweller once or twice a year. They will be able to check any prongs, settings or mountings and can make any repairs. They can also do deep cleaning.
While fine jewellery is far better quality and more durable than cheaper alternatives, meaning it can be worn everyday without tarnishing, exposure to dirt can still leave it dull and less brilliant. So, with that in mind, there are a few things you can avoid to help keep that dazzling sparkle and cut down the need for cleaning. By removing your jewellery before engaging in any of these activities, you’ll keep it cleaner for longer:
• Showering - soap can add a dull layer to your diamond.
• Rigorous exercise is usually fine, but if your jewellery has micro pavé stones, they are more likely to shake loose.
• Swimming - chlorinated or salt water can damage precious metals.
• Hard, manual work where it might get knocked or damaged.
Keep jewellery dishes in spots around the house so you don’t lose your jewellery when you take it off.
Diamond jewellery is something to treasure. Something made with care and given with love deserves to be well looked after. Keeping your fine diamond jewellery clean and secure doesn’t take a lot of effort. But it’s certainly worth it to keep that signature sparkle as good as new.
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