Show your jewels you care... diamonds
So you've fallen in love, bought the ring, worn it a few times, and noticed that the sparkle has begun to diminish... What now?
If you're anything like us, your favourite jewels get worn on a nearly daily basis. When you consider everything you come into contact with during that day, is it any wonder that your gemstones aren't shining so brightly any longer?
Diamonds have a peculiar quality in that they hate water and love oil. The posh words for this are 'hydrophobic' and 'oliophilic'. It's one of the ways that miners use to separate diamonds from the base rock that they are found in. However, no glittering diamond has ever looked good covered in a layer of grease.
When talking about gemstones, we think in terms of facets. These are the flat planes that cover a fashioned stone. The ones on the top of the stone (the crown) act as windows and allow light to enter the gemstone. The ones on the back (the pavilion) behave as mirrors, and reflect the light back out of a stone, allowing it to sparkle. In our homes we are quick to notice smudges and smears on our windows and mirrors and we know how badly this can affect our ability to see through them or see our reflections clearly. It's the same with our diamonds.
The best (and most economical) way to clean these precious stones is with a drop of washing up liquid, an old toothbrush, and a bit of warm water. Very important - do not use boiling water! This could shock the stone and cause it to crack. Not the desired result! Just run the tap until it's warm but stil bearable to put your hands under. Fill a jug with the warm water and pop it to one side.
In a separate container, take your grubby sparkle and using a washing up liquid laden toothbrush, give it a good brush over on all sides. Add a little warm water to the mix from your jug if needed.
Once your sparkle is nicely foamy, leave it in the container and pour warm water over it. A couple more goes with the toothbrush and we're ready to rinse.
Most importantly, when rinsing out your sparkle, do not do this straight into the sink. If there's a loose stone it may come out and fall down the drain, and you really don't want to frisk through the contents of your u-bend to retrieve it! A larger container works very well. Just hold your sparkle by the metal mount and pour the rest of your jug of warm water over it.
Pat dry with a soft, lint free cloth and allow to air-dry. A quick polish over with the same cloth and your diamonds will shine like new.
This technique will work for any hard crystalline stone in a metal mount. Think transparent and sparkly to decide if this is right for your piece of jewellery.
We don't advise this method for any organic materials (ivory, horn, coral, wood, pearls etc), or for strung necklaces with silk, elastic or leather cord. It's also not the best approach for opals and some hardstones (opaque materials). We'll come back to those another time.
This technique is also not advised for those jewels which have a collet setting (where the back of the gemstone is encased in metal). If you are at all uncertain, please feel free to contact us for advice.