Many of us purchase beautiful diamonds at considerable cost and rarely do we learn how to properly care for them. We may have been told that diamonds are the hardest element known to man, giving us a false sense of security regarding proper care. It is true that no other element known to man can scratch a diamond except for another diamond, however this by no means is saying that a diamond cannot be chipped or broken.
Proper care of a diamond is fairly simple and straight forward. It takes a little TLC. Allow me to elaborate here for a moment. As mentioned earlier, diamonds are the hardest element known to man according to the MOHS Scale, which rates the scratchability of an item by other items on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest. Diamonds have a rating of 10 on the MOHS Scale, thus we have the misconception of so many who believe a diamond cannot be broken. Nothing can be further from the truth, as is witnessed by many jewelers when we see the horror on our clients' faces after telling them their diamond is damaged or broken.
To avoid this from happening to you, follow these simple guidelines:
1. Remove any pronged jewelry when going to sleep at night. The constant abrasion of the sheets and pillow cases for 8 hours or more per night every night of your life against the gold prongs that secure your gemstones will cause those prongs to become thin and fragile, which can result in easy breakage to the prongs or the loss of the gemstone if impacted. You may be thinking that linen is softer than gold and this makes sense on the surface, however a very gradual erosion takes place over a period of time that is definite and costly when left unattended. Should you be in a situation where your prongs are worn or damaged, a simple process called retipping is available which will replace the worn gold on the tips of the prongs
2. Doing manual labor with jewelry on is not recommended. When working in the garden or other areas where your jewelry is susceptible to abrasion, the risk is much greater that damage will occur without your knowledge. In the normal course of your everyday life you tend to work within a certain sphere that is at times interfered without your being aware of it, such as when you look at your watch and find paint scratched on the crystal. For this reason it is recommended that rings be removed prior to doing manual labor type jobs.
3. Doctors and nurses should take note that gloves are a cause of many lost diamonds due to the wear that occurs to the prongs from wearing and removing surgical type gloves. Gloves of any type are damaging to prongs, but surgical type gloves are especially bad because of their snug fit and constant donning and removing. It is highly recommended that in this situation a ring without gemstones be worn as a replacement. For example, in the case of a diamond wedding ring you can wear a plain band.
4. When putting a ring on or taking it off, rather than using the gemstones as a point of leverage to hold on to, secure the ring from the sides of the shank and remove or push on the ring. This will greatly enhance the longevity of the prongs as well as extend the time between cleanings, since the oil from your fingers will not be touching the stone, which collects the grime in the air and causes the stone to lose its brilliance until it is cleaned again. Touching the gemstone generally dulls the stone by changing the refraction of light due to the oil that is deposited on it from your hands. This is totally eliminated when the ring is cleaned, or by not touching the stone in the first place. Constant touching of the prong area will also cause the prongs to wear down.
5. Swimming with rings on is also not recommended due to the fact that when in the water your hands will shrink in size and the ring can slip off, never to be seen again. The chlorine in commercial pools can have an adverse effect on the gold, causing it to tarnish or react in some other detrimental way.
6. Knowledge of correct cleaning techniques is important; many times damage is done during the cleaning process by those who are unfamiliar with proper cleaning procedures. When cleaning your diamond jewelry it is recommended that you use a nonabrasive cleaner such as toothpaste or a commercial product that is available through retail outlets. When cleaning, always stop up the sink area being used and if a brush is needed use a soft bristle brush allowing the tips of the bristles to do the work. Do not scrub the jewelry with the brush. This could cause the bristles to lodge under prongs and loosen the diamonds or remove them completely. When jewelry is extremely dirty we recommend allowing our professionals to do the job thoroughly and safely with the proper equipment available at our store. Print out this article and bring it in to receive free cleaning and inspection of your fine jewelry items at MSG Jewelers.
We hope that this article has shed some light on the care that is necessary to keep your diamonds in good condition and when it is appropriate not to wear them at all. Please feel free to call MSG Jewelers with any questions you may have.