How to Take Care of a Diamond Ring
Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, and the most durable; this is why they’ve lasted over a million years. A diamond truly does last forever–-but do you know how to care for a diamond ring? If you want your diamond ring to last a lifetime, learning about proper diamond maintenance is a necessity that you can’t ignore.
Chances are, you may have many questions about diamond ring care. Can you clean a diamond ring with alcohol? Is it safe to clean a diamond ring with vinegar? What is the best way to clean a diamond ring?
Until you’ve looked at a diamond ring care guide, you shouldn’t attempt to clean it, since some cleaners can damage diamond rings. To help you get the most out of your diamond jewelry, we’ve put together a guide with 10 tips to figure out the best way to care for and clean your diamond ring.
Even the cleanest people can’t keep dirt from getting between the prongs and crevices in a diamond ring. Over time, the lotions, oils, hair products, and dust that your diamond ring gets exposed to will build up. If you don’t keep up with cleaning, grime will start to show up and make your diamond ring cloudy and dull.
The good news is that with a little bit of jewelry maintenance you can keep your diamond ring looking new. Even better news, cleaning your diamond ring isn't difficult. But, you do need to know the proper way to do it. Here are a few of our top tips for proper jewelry maintenance.
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Clean it Monthly
A lot of people wonder, how often should you clean a diamond ring? Well, you can clean your diamond ring at home at least once every month. You’ll want to clean it more often if you notice dirt on it or residue.
Set a day every month to dedicate to cleaning your diamond ring. You can use a commercial jewelry cleaner that’s specific to diamond rings, or you can create a homemade jewelry cleaning solution.
An easy way to clean a diamond ring is to soak it in a bowl with dish soap and warm water. After a few minutes, clean the ring with a soft cloth or soft brush (not a stiff toothbrush! Eyebrow brushes and other makeup brushes, or soft toothbrushes are safe to use) to remove dirt from the prongs and around the diamond of any shape.
Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals
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Don’t clean a diamond ring with any bleach or bleach-based products. Don’t use chlorine products, acetone, or anything with abrasives in it.
What you can use to clean your diamond jewelry:
- Soap and water (best option)
- Windex and hydrogen peroxide
- Alcohol (unless your ring has plastic materials, copper, or acrylic).
- Commercial cleaning solution
Even if the diamond can withstand abrasive cloths and cleaners, the metal part of the ring cannot. Precious metals are much softer than diamonds, so when you clean the ring, you have to take all of it into consideration.
Rinse Your Ring Well After Cleaning
After you finish cleaning your diamond ring, you want to make sure to rinse all of the soap or cleaner off with warm running water.
Make sure to plug your drain when rinsing your ring. You do not want to lose it in the sink!
If you don’t remove all of the soap off of the ring, particles could stick to the soapy residue, which defeats the purpose of cleaning.
Take Special Care of Other Gemstones
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Some men's diamond rings have other gems, such as rubies, emeralds, topaz, or other stones that are not as hard as diamonds. You don’t want to use a cleaner that’s too harsh on the other components of your ring, even if the diamond can withstand it.
This goes for the metal as well. Rings that are gold-plated or silver-plated are not as durable as solid gold and sterling silver rings. If you’re too rough with cleaning or the cleaner is too strong, it can remove the plating.
Wash Your Hands Often
A good way to prevent residue from building up on your diamond ring is to keep your hands washed. You can wear your diamond engagement ring while washing your hands with soap. The soap can remove residue from your ring as well as your hands. Keeping your hands clean will prevent the daily buildup of residue from forming quickly on your ring.
Protect it Daily
Take care of your diamond ring on a daily basis. The only thing better than cleaning a diamond ring is not getting it dirty in the first place. Always take off your rings when using harsh chemicals, so if you’re cleaning your home, the ring should come off.
If you’re cooking, oils that heat up can produce particles in the air through steam. These oils can stick to your ring and remain on it even though you can’t see them. If you’re using the stovetop or oven in your kitchen, it’s a good idea to take the ring off until you’re done, and wash your hands before putting it back on.
When you work out or go on a run, the sweat from exercise can also stick to the ring. Taking it off before exercise is an important part of diamond care.
Keep Up With Metal Maintenance
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Sterling silver will tarnish, but keeping up with preventing tarnish means that you won’t have to take as much time to intensively clean the ring. Look out for signs of dullness in gold, silver, and platinum, and polish the ring to restore shine before it starts becoming really noticeable to reduce the overall work.
White gold is often coated in rhodium, a highly durable precious metal that gives it excellent shine. Every few years, white gold rings need to be re-plated in rhodium to maintain their luster and durability. Jewelers can do this for you, as well as let you know when it’s time to re-plate.
Handle and Store Your Diamond Ring Carefully
Whenever taking your jewelry on and off, cleaning it, or adjusting it, don’t be too rough with it. You don’t want to knock it against things too frequently, so be mindful of it when you’re doing things with your hands.
Always place your ring somewhere safe when taking it off. Don’t put it in a drawer with other jewelry or metal objects. The diamond could scratch other jewelry you own, and other jewelry could scratch the metal of your diamond ring.
Be Careful With Temperature Change
It’s not good to expose fine jewelry to extreme temperatures or to take it from the warmth into the cold or vice versa. Avoid washing your diamond ring with hot water and changing it to cold.
Extreme changes in temperature can cause diamonds to crack, and metals to warp. If the metal warps, it could loosen the prongs, causing the diamond to fall out.
Weather can also cause your fingers to shrink or expand (they contract in the cold and expand in the heat), so your ring could fall off or get stuck to your finger. This is stressful and obviously something you want to avoid.
Take it To A Jeweler
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It’s important to take your diamond ring in for regular maintenance with a certified jeweler. This is vital not only for keeping your ring clean but also for keeping your diamond safe.
The jeweler will clean your ring until it shines. As an expert, they will know the perfect method to use for your specific ring according to its metal type. They will also examine the prongs with care, with specialized tools. They can often notice the earliest signs of damage and can proceed to take preventative measures.
Diamonds are expensive. Even if you took insurance out on your ring (which you should) you don't want to lose your diamond. Some insurances and warranties will require a jeweler’s maintenance. If you lose a diamond and had not taken your ring to a jeweler in a specific period of time, they may not pay the claim.
We recommend bringing your diamond jewelry for inspection and cleaning every six months, but be sure to check your specific insurance. They may have different requirements. That would be an unwelcome surprise. We recommend keeping in touch with a trustworthy jeweler, who can give you advice and let you know how to maintain your jewelry in the long run.
Founder of ItsHot.com
Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.
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