How To Clean a Diamond: The Ultimate Guide

You have just received your new diamond or piece of diamond jewelry, and the radiant shine of your new gem is unlike anything else. With such a priceless piece of jewelry, you cannot help but want to make sure it continues to perfectly sparkle for years to come… 

So what should you do? Here is a simple guide with all you need to know about cleaning your diamond to maintain its beautiful shine.

What Are Diamonds Made Of?

To better understand how to clean your diamond, it is important to know what a diamond is made of. Diamonds are made of one element: carbon. Some people believe that diamonds can be made from coal, and while coal contains carbon, it also contains other minerals, making it a sedimentary rock. To become a diamond, carbon must be the only element involved.

In simple terms, natural diamonds are formed deep under the surface of the earth with the combination of carbon, intense pressure, and intense heat. For such a valuable gem, a diamond has to go through an intense natural process. 

There are multiple areas under the earth’s crust where diamonds can form and reach the earth’s surface, but the main way is through what is called a kimberlite pipe. Along with diamonds exists magma, a molten natural material often associated with volcano eruption. 

Magma travels in areas with the least resistance which causes natural pipes to form, hence the name. Diamonds travel with magma in these pipes to the earth’s surface where they are mined and sent to be cleaned, cut, and sold.

Another way in which diamonds form is in a lab. Lab-grown diamonds were first invented in the 1950s but did not reach gem-quality until the 1980s. There are two main types of diamond growing methods: High-Pressure High-Temperature and chemical vapor deposition. 

The HPHT method works by replicating the natural diamond forming process and usually forms one diamond at a time. The chemical vapor deposition method uses diamond seeds (single crystal diamonds) that are exposed to pure carbon gas. This gas sticks to the diamond seeds which causes larger diamonds to form. This method is desirable because it allows multiple diamonds to be grown at once. 

It is often misconceived that lab-grown diamonds are not as genuine as natural diamonds, but this is a myth. Because both lab-grown and natural diamonds are made of pure crystallized carbon, lab-grown diamonds are 100% genuine! 

How Do Jewelers Clean Diamonds?

When you first receive your diamond, you cannot help but want to preserve its shine and radiance. Many jewelers offer jewelry cleaning and maintenance services, often using an ultrasonic cleaner.

Ultrasonic cleaners are devices used to clean jewelry, weapons, ceramics, hard plastics, and other materials. This type of device is used to remove encrusted dirt from jewelry and is not necessary to use for minor cases of dirt and oil. Knowing how your diamond jewelry piece was made and set will help you to decide which cleaning method works best.

Ultrasonic cleaners work by sending high-frequency sound waves through a cleaning solution to essentially ‘shake’ dirt and oil off of the object it is cleaning. The solution becomes agitated by the sound waves and causes cavitation of the solution molecules. 

In simple terms, cavitation is a phenomenon in which small bubbles develop as a result of the agitation of the cleaning solution. These bubbles eventually implode which causes any dirt or contaminants on the object being cleaned to be removed. 

Ultrasonic cleaners are mostly used by professionals but must be used with caution when cleaning jewelry. If you are considering using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your diamond, be sure to ask your jeweler whether your diamond contains feathers or inclusions and whether it has been treated by fracture filling. 

If your diamond fits into any of these categories, be very cautious when using an ultrasonic cleaner to avoid damaging the diamond. To avoid damage, you can either clean your diamond with a gentle cleaning solution, or you can choose to have your diamond cleaned by your jeweler.

Can I Clean My Diamond at Home?

Because the diamond is one of the most sought-after gems, it may sound intimidating to clean your diamond at home. However, you can clean your diamond at home with your own household supplies! Whether you are wearing a diamond ring, necklace, bracelet, or earrings, all of these pieces of jewelry are easy magnets for dirt and oil. Maybe you unintentionally twirl your ring around your finger, or you hold the diamond that is hanging on your necklace. Because it is normal for dirt and oil to accumulate on a diamond, it is important to clean your jewel once or twice a week because of these contaminants’ abilities to dull your diamond’s shine.

The supplies that you will need to clean your diamond at home are most likely already in your house. These supplies include warm water, gentle dish soap, and a soft, clean toothbrush. Always use precaution and care when cleaning your diamond to preserve its shine and the metal that it is encased in.

  1. Fill a bowl with very warm water, but not water that is too hot to touch.
  2. Add mild dish soap to your water to create a cleaning solution for your diamond.
  3. Soak your diamond in the cleaning solution for twenty to forty minutes.
  4. Remove your diamond from the cleaning solution and use a soft toothbrush to gently remove any excess dirt or oil.
  5. Pat dry your diamond with a lint-free cloth. Microfiber cloth is a great option for drying your diamond without getting lint in your piece of jewelry!

Make sure that you use a gentle dish soap at all times when cleaning your diamond. Be sure to avoid any chemicals such as chlorine bleach, household cleaners, and toothpaste. It is natural to think that these products will thoroughly and effectively clean your diamond, but using chlorine can damage the metal on your piece of jewelry, and abrasives like toothpaste can scratch certain types of metal. 

Treat your diamond as delicately as possible when cleaning it, and remember that it needs only the softest touch to be restored to its original jewelry store appearance!

The diamond cleaning process at home is simple and easy, but it is also valid to feel more comfortable with having a professional jeweler clean your diamond. You can also contact the jeweler from whom you purchased your piece of jewelry to inquire about how to best clean your diamond at home. If you have a high-quality piece of jewelry, you will not need to worry about your cleaning solution damaging the metal or your diamond.

Do I Have To Clean My Diamond Often?

You may be wondering if you must clean your diamond frequently, and the answer is a resounding yes. If you have a piece of diamond jewelry, it is most likely a sentimental, meaningful piece that you want to preserve and take care of. At Eterneva, we create stunning and sentimental memorial diamond jewelry with precision, care, and you and your loved one in mind. 

It is recommended that you clean your diamond jewelry at least once a week. Doing so will prevent dirt, oil, and debris from building up. A small amount of oil will not affect the shine quality of your diamond significantly, but the build-up of these contaminants will significantly affect the appearance and quality of your jewelry over time. 

Some people are more active or spend time outside and have an alternative piece of jewelry such as rubber rings to use when performing outdoor activities. Having alternative pieces of jewelry and frequently cleaning your diamond will maintain its shine and clarity.

While cleaning your diamond frequently at home is important, it is also important to have your diamond cleaned by a professional jeweler at least once a year. Many jewelers will offer complimentary cleaning services, so you do not have to worry about spending a fortune on getting your diamond cleaned. 

If you do choose to have your diamond cleaned by a professional jeweler, try having your diamond cleaned by the jeweler that you purchased your piece of jewelry from. Doing so is crucial because the jeweler knows how exactly the piece of jewelry was made and, therefore, knows how to best handle its cleaning procedures. If doing so is not possible for any reason, you can contact your jeweler to inquire about how to best clean your diamond yourself.

Because many diamonds are worn on rings, it is important to remember that rings are easy areas for bacteria, dirt, oil, and debris to build up. All of these contaminants can discolor your metal, affect the shine of your diamond, and damage your piece of jewelry over time. 

If you find that your diamond is too dirty to clean at home, be sure to take it to a professional jeweler to clean it with the appropriate tools. Never attempt to clean your diamond with any harsh chemicals because you think they will remove the debris on your diamond. Your jeweler has the experience and tools necessary to help you restore the original quality of your ring.

Simple Diamond Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing how to properly clean your diamond and knowing what to use and not to use can be overwhelming. You do not want to accidentally use the wrong product or cleaning method and risk permanently damaging your diamond or piece of jewelry. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts of diamond cleaning that sum up the main points in this guide.

  1. Do use gentle soaps at all times when cleaning your diamond. You can even use shampoo or body wash, but avoid anything that is moisturizing so that you do not add more oil to your diamond. If you feel more comfortable, you can also use unscented dish soap or soap fragranced with natural ingredients.
  2. Do take your diamond to be professionally cleaned at least once a year. It may be easier to clean your diamond at home, but it is important to have your diamond professionally cleaned to fully and effectively remove any dirt and oil that you missed.
  3. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your diamond on your own. It is understandable to want to avoid a trip to the jeweler if you do not have the time or ability, but only a professional should use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your diamond. 
  4. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean your diamond. Avoid using chlorine bleach, household cleaners, and toothpaste. All of these products may seem like effective cleaners, but they are not meant to clean diamonds and can damage your piece of jewelry.
  5. Be careful wearing your diamond while doing any outdoor activities that involve handling dirt or being in a wooded area. You want to reduce your risk of losing your piece of diamond jewelry or damaging it with dirt and debris as much as possible.

Conclusion

With all things considered, remember that you are wearing a valuable and meaningful piece of jewelry. Taking care of your diamond by cleaning it is an effective way of preserving your jewelry so that it will last for years to come. 

Diamonds are a way of telling a story as well as remembering a fond and sentimental memory, so it is important to maintain the timeless quality of your diamond. With this guide, you now know how to keep your diamond looking brand new for a lifetime!

Sources

Secrets to Keeping Your Diamond Sparkling | GIA

How to Clean Diamond Rings the Right Way | Brides

How Do Ultrasonic Cleaners Work? | Best Technology 

 A Brief History of Lab-Grown Diamonds | Gem Society

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