For many people, diamonds are amongst their most valuable assets. Whether part of an heirloom piece of jewelry, or held in a safety deposit box, diamonds are treasures. But like any valuable asset, such as a rare car or real estate, diamonds must be properly maintained in order for them to remain beautiful, and to keep their value. Failure to preserve your diamonds in the best possible condition could ultimately cause your diamond jewelry to depreciate over time. Let’s take a look at some of the most important tips for keeping your jewelry looking its best over all the years that you choose to enjoy it.
1. Handle your diamonds sparingly
Although diamonds can be captivating to look at, if you handle them too frequently, grease from your fingers, makeup, and countless other household and environmental chemicals that you come in contact with every day will transfer onto them. These chemicals and oils not only make your diamonds look and feel dirty, but many are corrosive, and over time can damage the diamond, as well as the metals that hold them in place. You should keep your diamond jewelry safely hidden away, with proper storage, and keep the handling to a minimum. Avoid exposing your diamonds to household chemicals like sunscreen, shampoo, soap, and hair products.
2. Be gentle with them
Although diamond is the hardest natural substance on Earth, diamonds are not immune to small chips and cracks, which can ruin the stone. Diamond jewelry should never be worn at the gym or while playing any kind of a sport. You should take your precious jewelry off if you’re doing housework, or any activity that could lead to bumps on furniture or other scratches. Remember, too, that diamonds can damage other materials that they come in contact with around the house or office.
3. Avoid pools and the sea
While most people wouldn’t think twice about wearing their jewelry in the pool, the harsh chlorine and bromine in most swimming pools can damage diamonds, as well as metals and other jewels. Also, if a diamond were to be lost in the pool, it could be very difficult to find. In the ocean, the wave action is more than enough to pull a piece of jewelry from your body, never to be found again. Contact with sand can also scratch the metal, and greatly increases the risk of the stones getting dislodged.
4. Put your makeup on first
Makeup can damage jewelry, but few people take the correct precautions to prevent this. Putting your makeup on before you put on your jewelry can help to avoid transferring chemicals to your precious pieces, and enhance their beauty and sparkle for your evening on the town.
5. Store them away from your other jewelry
Diamonds are, of course, very hard, and will scratch anything else that comes in contact with them. Diamond jewelry should never be left loose with other pieces. Consider a separate jewelry box, or one with multiple storage drawers. Take care to keep each piece in its own individual compartment. Individual felt jewelry bags are a great choice as well, especially if space is tight.
6. Keep your jewelry out of the shower
The shower is the most common place in the house where jewelry is lost. Smaller pieces will fit through the cracks of most household shower drains, and be lost forever. In addition, the shower has a host of chemicals that can be unkind to your precious stones, and soap residue will stick to your diamond, forming a cloudy residue.
7. Wash your diamond jewelry frequently
Cleaning your diamonds frequently is a must, even when proper care is taken to store them. Using a very soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of mild detergent, like dish soap, is a gentle and effective way to clean your diamonds. Make sure to get into all the crevasses where dirt and grease can build up over time. Never use bleach or other household chemicals, and never use a heavy wire brush or pipe cleaner. Interestingly, a 30-minute soak in vodka has proven to be an effective method for cleaning diamonds, and won’t damage most metals either. Jewelers typically recommend cleaning your diamonds at least once a week. A hair dryer on a low setting is a great way to remove any excess water spots after cleaning.
8. Be wary of ultrasonic cleaners
There are many different ultrasonic cleaning systems on the market. These units use high-frequency sound waves emitted through a liquid substrate to literally shake the dirt and grease off the jewelry. While these systems can be effective, they have been known to shake diamonds right out of their mounts from time to time. Be careful when using these devices and never leave your jewelry unattended. The choice of cleaning solution is important as well, and you should always err on the side of using mild solutions. Also, heat is an important element in making ultrasonic cleaners effective, so you should only use a unit that heats the liquid, and preferably one with a shut-off timer. You should never use ultrasonic cleaners with any diamonds that have been treated with fracture fillings.
9. Don’t ignore the metal
While not typically the most valuable part of your diamond jewelry, the metal is critical in keeping your piece properly mounted and looking its best. Metals should be polished to keep them looking new, as even hard metals like platinum can become scratched and dull over time. Almost any professional jeweler will offer polishing services at a relatively low cost.
10. Take them in for regular maintenance
Just like your car needs regular attention from a professional, so do your diamonds. Regular observation from your jeweler can help him or her to spot potential problems, and keep your jewelry clean and polished. Many people also have their larger diamonds re-set every five to seven years, as the metal in claws can become worn down and brittle over time.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity. No one should act upon any opinion or information in this website without consulting a professional qualified adviser.
Diamond industrialist Ehud Arye Laniado is a man passionate about diamonds. From his early 20s in Africa and later in Belgium honing his expertise in forecasting the value of polished diamonds by examining rough diamonds by hand, till today four decades later, as chairman of his international diamond businesses spanning mining, exploration, rough and polished diamond valuation, trading, manufacturing, retail and consultancy services, Laniado has mastered both the miniscule details of evaluating and pricing individual rough diamonds and the entire structure of the diamond industry. Today, his global operations are at the forefront of the industry, recognised in diamond capitals from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and Hong Kong to New York.