If you went on to a web browser right now and search for “how to clean diamond jewelry,” a myriad of recommendations will come back. Ultrasonic, steam, toothbrush, ammonia, even chloride are website the search engine returns on page one. It can be very confusing for anyone who does not know which situation each is should be used, so we are going to debunk and clarify.
First, understand that if a diamond is set on prongs, it can get lost if the prong is loose or the head is worn. This is your number one concern so you must choose a method that does not loosen the diamond or wear down the prong head.
Ultrasound Jewelry Cleaner – walk into any mall based specialty electronics store and invariably you will find a sonic cleaner – aka an ultrasonic jewelry machine. This device uses a special ammonia solution that bombards the jewelry with soundwaves, loosening the dirt that is embedded deep in the ring. It does a surprisingly good job of getting into even the tightest places, so that your piece comes out sparkling and new. The problem is that while it is cleaning the dirt off the ring, it is also cleaning the diamond off the ring, a little bit at a time… A machine like this does not discern between a diamond, pearl or gunk, it’s job is to “find and remove.” Prolonged use of an ultrasound machine may give you an unpleasant surprise when you look down and notice your stone is missing…. We recommend that you use a different method, shown below.
Steam Jewelry Cleaner – Steam does not use any chemicals, but it does use pressure. When cleaning a diamond piece, jewelers often quickly run the jewelry under the high pressure, steam engine that injects pressurized hot steam into the piece and all of its cracks. It only takes a second or two under the steam cleaner for the jewelry to emerge sparkling new. The problem is that high pressure steam cleaners apply a lot of “wind pressure” on the stone, therefore it could come off. Once in a while is fine, but those that own home jewelry cleaning machines should take note – use the method below to help keep your diamonds on your jewelry.
Toothbrush and Warm Soapy Water – One of the safest methods to clean jewelry is to use warm soapy water, a soft toothbrush, a pulsed water dental cleaning device and a lint free towel. The combination of these is the most-gentle and they should not harm a diamond that is solidly attached to a piece; however, if the diamond is loose attached there is no method that is safe.
Loosely attached diamonds can get lost, or scratch the diamond or other gem mounted next to them in the jewelry piece. It is imperative that you have your jewelry checked every six months by a competent professional to ensure that prongs are complete and tight, and the diamond is solidly attached.
Modern settings are far less susceptible to stone loss or damage. Prong designs are more advanced, the metal is harder and less likely to bend or break and the overall design itself often offers more prongs that necessary in case one or two fail.
Still, getting your diamond checked every six months is the smart thing to do and will give you piece of mind that no insurance policy can buy.