A diamond ring is one of the most durable and beautiful pieces of jewellery on the planet, but without proper cleaning, that lustre can fade, as can the enamel on whatever metals the diamond is set in. Unfortunately, taking a diamond ring to be professionally cleaned can be expensive, and cleaning it with rough chemicals can actually strip protective coatings away from the diamond, remove lustre, and cause it to lose its shine. And since diamonds can lose their shine if not cleaned regularly, it is important for anyone with a diamond ring to learn how to clean their ring properly.
Rules to keep in mind when cleaning a ring include using gentle soaps and cleaners, drying the ring properly, and applying special care products to rings that have been fracture filled or have special enamels that might easily come off in a cleaning solution. Anyone either buying a used diamond ring in need of cleaning or wanting to clean their own ring should pay special attention to the manufacture of the ring, as well as to what cleaning products are recommended for the specific metal or enamel.
Basic Cleaning Solution
Basic cleaning of a diamond ring is usually as easy as soaking it in a mild dish soap-water solution and then gently scrubbing the ring with a soft toothbrush. Warm water removes dirt faster, and any mild cleaning solution including mild dish soap or an ionic cleaner most likely works very well on the ring without damaging the finish or the polish.
Using a soft-bristled brush can help to gently remove any caked grime or dirt, but the brush needs to be soft bristled as stiff bristles can scratch the metal or other gemstones surrounding the diamond. On the same level, the owner of the diamond ring can use a soft wooden or plastic toothpick to gently remove caked dirt from around the setting. One should remember that cleaning too vigorously with a toothpick can scratch the metal around the setting or even move one of the prongs, especially if the ring is made of high karat gold or silver.
For rings that need extra help or for anyone who frequently cleans rings, a dental device that flushes water around the teeth such as a waterpik can aid in removing built-up dust, dirt, and grime. Buyers can combine this with a quick soak in warm water and soap, and then flush away any loose dirt that is still around the ring. As a special note, anyone cleaning their ring in a sink instead of a bowl should either place a net or a strainer over the drain to prevent the ring from going down the drain in case of accidentally removing the plug.
Drying the Diamond Ring
Drying a diamond ring should be done by carefully patting and rubbing the ring dry with a soft cloth. One should use a lint-free felt cloth, fabric made especially for cleaning jewellery, or fabric made for cleaning electronics screens, as these are all made of lint free materials. If any of the fabric gets caught in the setting, it can be gently removed using a pair of tweezers.
Cleaning a Fracture-Filled Diamond Ring
Fracture filling is the process of filling minute fractures in diamonds, usually with the intent of covering them from the naked eye. Fracture filling material is usually clear and glassy, meaning it perfects the appearance of the diamond to the eye. However, it does affect cleaning to the point where fracture-filled diamonds should not be cleaned with any type of ammonia solution. Diamonds that have not been fracture filled can be cleaned using warm water and ammonia instead of soap. This is because ammonia can cloud or whiten fracture filling, and can even remove it from the diamond, which can cause imperfections in the stone to reappear.
Considerations for Different Metals and Gemstones
Different types of metals might prefer different cleaners, and diamond rings are set in every precious metal, from low purity silver to very high purity gold. Softer metals require more care than harder metals, and owners should also consider the other gemstones that might be set alongside diamonds. Most stones are not as durable as diamonds, and many require special cleaning. Some stones are even glued in rather than set in a tight clasp, meaning that they should most definitely not be submerged in water.
These rings should be cleaned with a cloth that has been gently dampened with a liquid cleaner, and then wiped dry with a damp cloth. Allowing the ring to dry upside down to allow any water to drain off rather than soak into the setting is also a good idea. Most gold jewellery should be cleaned using this method as water can become trapped under the diamond setting, which can cause rust and discolour the diamond.
Removing Silver Tarnish
Cleaning silver can be somewhat different from cleaning gold, especially if the ring is old and has begun to tarnish due to lack of care or simply because of age. While diamonds are most often set in gold or platinum settings, they are sometimes set in silver as well. Owners can choose to purchase a silver jewellery cleaner to remove tarnish or can use a baking soda and table salt water solution that they can prepare at home. For the silver cleaner, one should follow the method provided with the cleaner for the best results. For the baking soda method, one should line a pan or bowl with aluminium foil, place ring or rings inside, cover them with water, and add a spoon of salt and a spoon of baking soda. The rings should stay in this solution for a few hours, then be removed, rinsed with hot water, and rubbed dry with a lint-free cloth. Using this method, the silver diamond ring can recover its lustre and beauty.
Using Ultrasonic Jewellery Cleaners
An ultrasonic jewellery cleaner can be useful for anyone who wants to remove tarnish from diamond rings; however, the cleaning method should be used with care in order to avoid damaging jewellery. Ultrasound cleaners use ultrasonic waves to remove dirt, oil, and other substances, and work with either a jewellery cleaner or diluted household cleaner. Ultrasonic jewellery cleaners should be used with care because they can damage very porous gemstones such as opals and pearls which might be set alongside diamonds. Also, particular care should be taken to ensure that the stone is secure in its setting before placing it inside of an ultrasonic cleaner.
What to Avoid when Cleaning a Diamond Ring
An important thing to consider when cleaning diamond rings is that while it is very hard to scratch or damage diamonds, the same cannot be said of the silver, gold, or platinum rings they are set in. One should remember to exercise caution when using hard cleaners such as toothpicks or bristles. It is also important to keep jewellery, especially plated jewellery, away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine, which can discolour and damage most plating and fillers.
When cleaning multiple rings at once, it is important to keep the rings from scratching together as diamonds can scratch other diamonds, and can definitely scratch and damage soft precious metals. Either cleaning rings separately or keeping them apart in water can help to prevent damage.
Buying Diamond Rings on eBay
Whether you want to collect diamond rings, resell them, purchase new rings, or used ones, you can find what you are looking for in eBay's wide selection of fine jewellery. eBay's range includes wedding and engagement bands, every day wear bands, vintage and antiques, and modern pieces in new or used condition. Essentially, you can find whatever diamond ring you are looking for, in whatever condition you want.
Start your search from eBay and try to specify the number of stones, the material, and maybe the size of the ring, depending on your needs. If you are looking for rings for resale, simply specifying that they should be diamond and checking to ensure they are listed as fine jewellery should do the trick. Make sure that you see any and all photos of the ring before making a purchase, and feel free to ask the seller any questions you have about the item or the shipping before you buy.
Cleaning a diamond ring can easily be done at home, without taking the ring to a jeweller. However, ring owners should take precautions to protect their jewellery, especially when cleaning older rings or rings with multiple types of gemstones. Care should also be taken to avoid scratching, bending, or otherwise damaging the setting, the metal, or the enamel or filling, should it be present.
Ring owners can choose to clean their diamond rings using anything from simple soap and water solutions to more expensive ultrasonic jewellery cleaners. In either case, the ring should be examined for loose settings, any signs that it has been filled, and any materials such as opal or pearl that might not stand up to strong cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners. Most rings can be easily cleaned at home, in a simple mild dish soap and warm water solution. Owners should take care with their ring in order to avoid losing it or the stone while cleaning, but otherwise the cleaning process should be relatively easy and inexpensive.