Diamonds may be forever, but it takes work to keep diamond jewelry looking its best. Poor care can lead to dull stones, or even worse, missing rocks.
“Diamond jewelry is durable but not indestructible,” says Mark Mann, a director for the Gemological Institute of America.
Here are some expert tips for helping your diamond ring last as long as your marriage.
Keep it clean
Rings need regular cleaning in order to maintain their sparkle. Diamonds can easily pick up grease, and that can change the appearance of the stone.
“Clean your rings frequently with warm water, mild soap and a soft brush,” says Mann.
The GIA recommends cleaning diamond rings once or twice a week by soaking in an ammonia-based household cleaner, such as window cleaner. Let the ring soak overnight and then brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush. For rings with fragile settings or estate jewelry, skip the brushing step.
If the ring has a lot of built-up dirt on the diamond, take it to a professional jeweler for an ultrasonic cleaning.
Make sure it fits
Proper sizing may also be an issue with a ring. To resize a ring a jeweler will cut the ring and either add or remove a piece. “You’re fusing metal one way or another,” says Steve Quick, of Steve Quick Jeweler stores in Chicago, adding that accurate sizing can be difficult.
“You really are trying to hit a moving target,” he says. “The size of your finger at 11 a.m. may not be the size of your finger at 7 p.m.” Quick recommends the best sizing is slightly tight once in a while and slightly loose once in a while.
“If you need to resize your ring, have your finger measured at least three times at different times of the day, to ensure the best fit,” says Mann.
Tend to wear and tear
Everyday use can also do damage to a ring, including causing stones to fall out. Something as simple as opening a metal filing cabinet can hurt a ring if it’s done often enough. “Every shock you put into that metal is a shock to the ring’s system,” says Quick.
“If you wear your diamond rings every day, have them professionally cleaned and examined about every six months to prevent the loss of a stone,” says Mann.