Cleaning and Storing Diamonds
Cleaning and Storing Diamonds.
Precious diamond rings, earrings or pendants, can be kept for a lifetime with proper cleaning and storage.
Diamonds naturally attract grease. Some diamond mines separate diamonds from the broken rocks by running the material over a conveyor belt covered with a layer of grease. Diamonds stick to the grease and the rocks slide off. After the grease is removed and melted away only the diamonds remain.
Diamonds are attracted to grease and accumulate dirt, dust, powders and oils which coat the diamond and reduce the sparkle.
The same is true when a diamond ring touches the oil in hair, hand creams, lotions, hair spray, soap, and grease from food.
Dish water containing liquid soap, dirt and grease, will adhere to any diamond.
Fortunately, diamonds are easy to clean by placing them in a warm solution of mild liquid detergent and clean water. But always cover or close the drain before rinsing diamond jewelry in clean, warm water as small stones may dislodge (due to damage to the claws or settings) and may well be saved if the drain is closed.
Jars of “Jewelry Cleaners” are available at jewelry and department stores and typically have a small basket with a soft brush to clean around the precious diamonds.
Harsh chemicals like chlorine or bleach can weaken and discolor the metal settings of the jewelry.
Wearing jewelry in swimming pools and hot tubs is not recommended as these usually contain high levels of chlorine.
Ultrasonic cleaners produce high-frequency turbulence and are an excellent way to clean stubborn areas of jewelry.
However not all gemstones are as durable as diamonds so softer materials like emeralds, opals and pearls are not to be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Diamonds are the hardest natural material. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond so use great caution when wearing multiple diamond rings on the same or adjoining finger. If the diamonds of one ring touch diamonds in another ring, both diamonds may end up scratched in a relatively short time.
The next most dangerous place for damaging diamonds is in a jewelry box. If this does not provide separate compartments, soft lint-free cloths should be used to isolate and protect the pieces of jewelry. Since diamonds will scratch other diamonds, consideration should be given to their capacity to damage other gemstones and precious metals as well.
Avoid sharp impacts with hard surfaces. While diamonds are very durable, they can chip or crack. A diamond ring is subjected to damage from filing cabinets, metal seat belt buckles, car doors etc. which are just a few of the metal surfaces that can hit a diamond in the course of a normal day.
Store jewelry in an environment which is free of moisture or condensation.
Keep valuables in a safe or in a well hidden place if a safe is not available. Although insurance coverage may replace the value of precious gemstones, the loss of a sentimental diamond ring or other jewelry is a heart-breaking experience.