Diamond is the hardest natural substance on Earth. It can cut any kind of rock or metal, but only another diamond can cut a diamond. In fact, to burn a diamond, it must be heated to between 1290-1650 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet the oil deposited from the mere touch of a human finger can cause dirt to collect and make this nearly indestructible gemstone quickly lose its sparkling appeal.
Diamonds are natural magnets for grease, so they’re not easy to keep clean. When a diamond is handled, the oils from your fingers adhere to the diamond’s surface and affect its brilliance and fire.
A simple plan to keep your diamond jewelry looking beautiful is to soak it in a gentle degreasing solution, such as water with a few drops of mild dish soap, once or twice a week. After you remove the diamond from the cleaning solution, use a soft, clean toothbrush to remove any remaining dirt. The toothbrush should be new and reserved exclusively for cleaning your jewelry. Use it to clean hard-to-reach places like the back of the diamond, which tends to collect the most oil and dirt.
Fragile settings, like older prongs in antique jewelry or a tension setting where the diamond is held in place by pressure from the shank, shouldn’t be vigorously scrubbed, so be gentle with the toothbrush. Then, just rinse your diamond jewelry with water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. If you’re working over a sink, make sure to close the drain.
Lint-free cloths, such as this gem cloth, are ideal for removing oily film and dirt. Similar cloths are available at most household stores.
Chlorine bleach or abrasives (such as household cleansers or toothpaste) should never be used when cleaning diamond jewelry. Chemicals like chlorine can damage some of the metals used to alloy gold for diamond settings and abrasives can scratch gold and other metals.
Sometimes an ultrasonic cleaner is necessary to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. By sending low frequency sound waves through a solution, ultrasonic cleaners cause vibrating fluid to remove accumulated dirt and grime. But they can also shake loose stones from their mountings or chip the girdles of diamonds that are set next to each other. Proceed cautiously if the diamond contains feathers or is included, and avoid ultrasonics if the diamond has been treated by fracture filling.
Before placing your diamond in an ultrasonic cleaner, it’s best to refer to the diamond’s grading report, which clearly discloses whether the diamond has been treated. You should also consult a professional jeweler who can determine if your jewelry needs repair, such as checking for loose stones and tightening them, before it is cleaned.
The key to a diamond’s sparkle lies in its FACETS – which work like a series of many tiny mirrors reflecting light in and out of the stone. Regularly cleaning the facets will keep your diamond sparkling and your diamond jewelry in gleaming condition, ready to shine for your next special occasion.
Gems are among the most enduring of nature's creations. With a little care, your fine jewelry will keep its good looks forever.
To keep your gems sparkling, clean them when dust and fingerprints dim their brilliance. The best way to clean fine jewelry is in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Using an old toothbrush or other soft brush, scrub gently behind the stone where dust and soap can collect. Then just rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.
A home ultrasonic cleaner can be used to clean ruby, sapphire, diamond, amethyst, citrine, garnets, and unadorned gold and platinum jewelry but shouldn't be used to clean emerald, peridot, pearls or silver jewelry. When in doubt, don't use it.
To protect the beauty of your jewelry, don't keep it in a tangle in a jewelry box. Remember, gems can scratch metal or each other. Store each piece separately or wrap each one in tissue paper or a soft cloth. When you travel, make sure your jewelry pieces don't rub against each other in your bag.
Be careful when removing your jewelry to wash your hands. Don't leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can slip down the drain! Remove gemstone rings and bracelets before vigorous exercise or working with your hands. Some gem varieties might be damaged with a sharp blow. When taking off your rings, don't pull them off by the gemstone: this won't damage the gem but it can, over time, stretch the metal that holds it in place, making the setting less secure.
Keep jewelry away from chlorine and other household chemicals. You won't have to clean jewelry as often if you put it on after applying hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics. Always make sure it is dry and clean by wiping with a cloth before putting it away.
Rhodium finds use in jewelry and for decorations. It is electroplated on white gold and platinum to give it a reflective white surface at time of sale, after which the thin layer wears away with use. This is known as rhodium plating or rhodium flashing in the jewelry business. It may also be used in coating sterling silver to protect against tarnish, which is silver sulfide (Ag2S) produced from the atmospheric hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Solid (pure) rhodium jewelry is very rare because the metal has both a high melting point and poor malleability, making such jewelry very hard to fabricate — rather than due to its high price. Additionally, its typically higher cost assures that most of its jewelry usage is in the form of tiny amounts of powder, commonly called rhodium sponge, dissolved into electroplating solutions.
Rhodium has also been used for honors or to signify elite status, when more commonly used metals such as silver, gold or platinum were deemed insufficient. In 1979 the Guinness Book of World Recordsgave Paul McCartney a rhodium-plated disc for being history's all-time best-selling songwriter and recording artist.
The primary use of this element is in automobiles as a catalytic converter, which changes harmful unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions from the engine into less noxious gases. Of 30,000 kg of rhodium consumed worldwide in 2012, some 24,300 kg (81%) went into and 8,060 kg recovered from this application. About 964 kg of rhodium was used in the glass industry, mostly for production of fiberglass and flat-panel glass, and 2,520 kg in the chemical industry.
Like any precious heirloom, pearl jewelry requires some care to preserve its freshness and beauty. The following suggestions will help you keep your pearls looking their best.
As an organic gem, pearls are vulnerable to chemicals found in cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume. To preserve your pearls' luster, always put on your jewelry after applying make-up and styling products.
Pearls can also be harmed by perspiration. Before placing your pearls back in the jewelry box, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.
Contact with other jewelry may scratch pearls. Avoid tangles by fastening clasps, then lay each jewelry piece in a separate compartment of your jewelry box. When traveling, use a protective jewelry pouch or wrap each item in a soft cloth. Pearls can dehydrate when stored too long, so enjoy them frequently.
Never use an ultrasonic cleaner on your pearls. It can damage their nacre. Occasionally wipe your pearls gently with a cloth dipped in mild, soapy water. Then rinse the cloth in fresh water and wipe the pearls clean. Dry them with a soft cloth.
If pearls come into contact with an acid substance such as fruit juice, vinegar, or other chemicals, immediately wipe clean with a soft cloth. Be careful not to submerge your pearls in water as this will weaken the silk thread.
From time to time, check the clasps or screws holding your jewelry together. With frequent wear, even well cared for pearls may loosen and they will require restringing.