Whilst classed as one of the hardest natural substances on Earth, diamonds may be tough as old boots, but they still need to be handled with care. When looked after properly, a diamond will retain its sparkle and brilliance, and will not crack, break or become discoloured. There are various ways that you can care for your diamonds and keep them in tip-top condition.
If you're the proud owner of a beautiful piece of diamond jewellery, inevitably you'll want to show it off as much as possible, but make sure that you only wear it on occasions where it won't get damaged in any way.
It's always wise to remove diamond jewellery when you undertake any type of manual or heavy-duty task, such as cleaning, gardening or DIY, as the diamond may be susceptible to getting damaged. In particular, if you are doing any tasks where the diamond may be exposed to chemicals, such as bleach or household cleaning fluids, these may cause discolouration of the diamond or the surrounding metals or settings.
If you participate in any type of sport, especially contact sports, remove diamond jewellery beforehand. This safeguards it from getting accidently knocked or even loosened from its setting. Diamonds can also get damaged or discoloured if they come into contact with chlorinated water, so also remove jewellery before you go for a swim. It's always a good idea to leave your jewellery at home, rather than in a locker or your sports bag, just in case they get lost or stolen.
It might seem harmless enough to keep your diamond jewellery on whilst taking a shower or bath, but over time, exposure to soap and other body cleaning products can cause a layer of film to build up on the jewellery, which can compromise its shine and sparkle. Additionally, if you use make up, hairspray, perfumes and other body lotions, you can avoid any unfavourable chemical reactions or oily build ups on diamonds, by always using or applying these products first, before you put your jewellery on.
No matter how carefully you handle and look after your diamond, over time, the natural oils in your skin can cause a build up of grime on your jewellery, which can affects its sparkle. To keep your diamonds looking in pristine condition, therefore, it's advisable to clean them regularly.
Be careful what you use to do this, however, as the wrong choice of cleaning fluid or cleaning tool may scratch, damage or discolour your jewellery, and may even loosen prongs or completely dissolve the metal. If in doubt, seek expert advice, and always read the instructions of any cleaning products that you use.
Inspect your jewellery first before you clean it. If you notice any small cracks or loose settings, don't attempt to clean it. Take it to an expert jeweller who will repair it first and clean it for you.
Always handle your jewellery carefully when cleaning it. Soaking the jewellery in a mixture of mild detergent or ammonia, warm water and a soft brush may be all that's needed to bring out the brilliance in your diamonds. Some people even recommend soaking diamonds in vodka to induce its sparkle!
You can use a toothbrush for cleaning the jewellery, but always use one with very soft or fine bristles so that it doesn't cause any scratches to the metal. Dirt and oils can collect under the stone, so clean this part, too. Once your jewellery has had a good soak, carefully dry it with a soft, clean cloth. Avoid using paper towels or tissues, as these may scratch any sensitive metals or embellishments on your jewellery, or leave small fibres on it.
It's recommended to get your diamond jewellery checked over about once a year with a professional jeweller. As well as being able to give your jewellery a thorough clean, an expert can give your precious stones an inspection, to ensure that the prongs or mountings are secure and not warped, and that the stone has not become loose. This is not only a good investment to ensure your diamond is looking its best, but it can offer great peace of mind every time you wear it.
In between cleaning your jewellery, try not to touch the diamond as much as possible, as this will reduce exposure to the oils from your fingers, which can affect your diamond's brilliance. When putting diamond jewellery on, such as a ring, pick it up from the band, rather than the stone.
It's not just about how you look after your diamonds when you wear them that is important, but how you keep them when you are not wearing them can impact on their appearance, too.
It is always crucial to store your diamonds away with great care when not in use, especially if they are not being worn that often. Keep your jewellery in an enclosed box, case or container, so that they don't gather any dust. Look for one that has a soft cotton or fabric lining, so that the jewellery is cushioned and won't move about easily, or wrap each item of jewellery in soft tissue paper.
Each item of diamond jewellery needs its own storage space, so keep each item separate from other jewellery in individual boxes or compartments, so that the metals don't accidently get scratched or damaged, if they come into contact. If your diamond is very expensive, you might even want to consider storing it in a safe, for additional peace of mind.
If you remove your diamond jewellery to complete a task, such as cleaning the kitchen or washing up, be careful where and how your store it. It might seem handy to place your jewellery at the side of the sink, but it could easily slip down the drain, so keep your items save, even if they are only removed for a few minutes.