Diamond rings, more than any other jewelry, each have a unique story to tell. The heirloom diamond rings passed down from mother to daughter share a wealth of family stories. Newer, personally selected designer pieces are perfect for honoring our milestones or celebrating our successes.
Engagement rings, of course, tell our love stories.
So what story is your engagement ring telling the world these days? If your center diamond isn’t throwing fire and sparkle or if your wedding band has lost its luster, it may be time for a good cleaning and some tender care. Dullness and neglect is never a diamond’s best look.
So, how to restore your certified diamonds to their original magnificence? For best results, return to your jeweler twice a year to give your most cherished stones a safe, professional, thorough cleaning. Between visits, however, it’s easy to keep your finest stones shining brightly.
Wash and Wear. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, Grandma says.
- Wash and Wear. For a quick touch-up, mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm water, then wash your ring in the mixture for a minute or two. For stubborn dirt, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub. Don’t forget the underside of the diamond and all the places where the setting meets the stone, as they are natural places for grime to collect. Then be sure, double sure, that the sink drain is closed while you rinse.
- Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. Pour a little non-bleach household cleaner, like Windex, into a small bowl or cup and let your ring soak for a half an hour or so. Rinse it well with the sink drain closed and buff it a little with a soft toothbrush or washrag to help it dry.
- Grandma says…Vodka makes your evenings sparkle a little brighter, so why wouldn’t it work on diamonds, too? It’s true: soak your diamond rings in a shot glass of vodka or gin overnight and after a good rinse in the morning they will shine.
Many swear by baking soda solutions and toothpaste, too. Your diamond will come through squeaky clean with either one, but proceed with caution. The abrasiveness of these can dull the finish of purer golds, which are softer, or even damage other metals.
Once our diamonds are back to their sparkly finest, all it takes is a little care to keep them that way. If you wear your rings every day, be sure to give them a gentle wash every one to two weeks to maintain their shine. Many jewelers also offer the following advice:
- Clean it, but don’t clean with it. While diamonds are safe enough from most common chemicals, the precious metals that typically hold them aren’t always so impervious to damage. Also consider any other stones in your setting. Pearls, for instance, are very delicate.
- Don’t go near the water. Swimming pools wouldn’t be safe without harsh chemicals including chlorine. At the beach, abrasive sand can dull gold settings while sweat and suntan lotion can dim the shine on gemstones. The biggest danger, however, is right there in your slippery wet hands: thousands of rings are lost on beaches every year.
- Be a good sport. Whether you are playing tennis or pulling weeds, if your hands are hard at work, do let your wedding rings sit it out on the sidelines. Sweat, oils, and dirt will dull the shine on engagement rings. Worse, these hand-to-hand activities are where many rings are lost, bent or damaged, sometimes without our noticing until it’s too late.
- Think inside the box. Your ring’s box is the perfect place to keep it when not being worn, protecting it from loss, damage, dust, and dirt.
Even greater care needs to be taken with unique engagement rings, such as antique heirloom pieces, custom designed settings, or rings made from alternate materials or unusual metals. In these cases, a jeweler’s advice is even more important, especially in the case of antiques or rare stones. Settings can become worn or weakened over the years, leaving the diamonds perilously close to being lost.
Fortunately, regular professional cleanings at your jeweler’s will include a thorough inspection, catching such weak spots as they develop, helping you prevent any damage or loss. Once the setting is sound, your jeweler can give it a quick polish, too, restoring the original luster that can showcase the center stone’s shine.
Finally, the jeweler can treat your valuables to a bath in ultrasound cleaning machines which are specially designed equipment that can loosen grime and residues better than any home remedies, giving even vintage rings a fresh start.
Engagement rings, especially, are precious far beyond their material value. Maintaining the integrity and brilliance of such an investment only makes sense, but these very special rings deserve the little extra effort it takes, to keep them at their dazzling best.
How have you cared for your precious pieces? Are they shining at their brightest?
Keeping it shiny on the edge,
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