During the pandemic, we get asked this a lot: Will alcohol hand rubs affect diamond jewellery?
Do you have the same query?
The answer to this is: Alcohol-based disinfectant hand rubs generally do not affect diamonds and metals too much. Although it might temporarily make the surface of diamonds hazy, this can be fixed by washing with water. However, pearls and mother-of-pearl should definitely avoid contact with alcohol hand rubs as their surface may get damaged.
In this month’s blog entry, we will share other useful jewellery care tips, including the cleaning and maintenance of your precious jewellery!
Jewellery is actually an “intimate” item of accessory, as we wear them close to our skin! The natural oils from the human body may rub onto and stay on the surface of diamonds, pearls and metals. Improper cleaning may affect the appearance of the jewellery, or even impact its quality in the long run.
💡 General Tips:
We recommend that all jewellery be taken off before any activities that involve moisture or friction, such as washing hands, sleeping, showering, working out), to maintain the jewellery’s lustre and keep them in their best condition.
Natural body oils will affect the brilliance and scintillation of diamonds and as such, diamonds should be cleaned regularly to maintain their brilliance.
🐚⚪ Pearls and Mother-of-Pearl:
Pearls and mother-of-pearl are “organic gemstones” with a softer texture and lower hardness, making them more susceptible to scratching and dents. The rule of thumb for wearing pearls and mother-of-pearl is “Last on, first off”, meaning that they should be the last thing to put on when dressing up, and the first item to remove when undressing. Put on your pearl or mother-of-pearl jewellery after getting dressed, putting on make-up and perfume, and refrain from further spraying fragrances or hair spray once the jewellery is on.
Use a separate jewellery box or felt jewellery dust pouch to store pearl and mother-of-pearl jewellery to prevent their surface from being scratched by other jewellery items.
🌟18K Rose Gold:
Jewellery made with 18k rose gold may oxidise. When not being worn, it should be stored in a jewellery box or sealed pouch. Furthermore, alcohol hand rubs could tarnish the colour of rose gold.
Simple At-home Cleaning
Diamonds are natural magnets for grease, easily attracting daily grime and oils from your fingers. These adhere to the diamond’s surface and affect its brilliance and fire, thus it’s important to clean diamonds regularly to keep them at their dazzling best. These are some of our favourite methods for at-home jewellery cleaning.
Best Pick 1: Connoisseurs Jewelry Cleaner
Easy to use: 💍💍💍💍
Cleaning power: 💎💎💎💎
Frequency: Once per week
Suitable for: 🌟Yellow gold, platinum, 💎diamonds and gemstones
This jewellery cleaner from American brand Connoisseurs is one of our personal favourites. This soaking solution is extremely easy to use yet highly effective. I love gifting it to clients so they can clean their jewellery easily at home.
The best thing about this product is its thoughtful and user-friendly design. It comes with a dip tray and small cleaning brush. Simply place the jewellery on the tray, dip it in the jar and soak for 30 seconds. After that, gently brush the jewellery to remove dirt from the crevices, then rinse it with room-temperature water while keeping it on the dip tray. Dab dry with a lint-free cloth and let it air dry. This simple cleaning routine will restore the diamond to its dazzling best.
The solution in the same jar can be reused many times. Replace with a new jar only when the solution becomes dirty.
(Image credits: Connoisseurs)
Best Pick 2: Jewellery Polishing Cloth
Easy to use: 💍💍💍💍💍
Cleaning power: 💎💎💎
Frequency: Can be used daily
Suitable for: 🌟K gold, 💎diamonds and gemstones
Purchases from Laine Jewellery generally come with a complimentary jewellery polishing cloth. The top and bottom layers of this multi-purpose 4-layered cloth can be used for cleaning diamonds and gemstones, while the 2 chemically treated layers in the middle can be used for polishing smooth hardware including the metal, making the K gold shinier and brighter.
While daily at-home care is important, deep cleansing and routine maintenance is necessary to keep jewellery in tip top condition.
Method 1: Jewellery Repolish
Frequency: Once every 3-5 years
Laine Jewellery provides repolishing service for its jewellery. The process involves polishing and buffing the surface of the jewellery, followed by rhodium plating to restore the surface to make it look new. It is recommended to be done once every 3 to 5 years but not too frequently,
Method 2: Ultrasonic Cleaner
Cleaning power: 💍💍💍💍
Frequency: Around once a month
An ultrasonic cleaner is needed to remove the more stubborn and hard-to-clean dirt on the surface of diamonds. This machine works by transmitting low-frequency waves through a cleaning solution, creating forces to remove accumulated dirt particles and substrates from the jewellery. However, it should be noted that the low-frequency vibrations might loosen mounted gemstones in the jewellery. As such, we recommend leaving jewellery in the good hands of jewellery specialists to conduct the ultrasonic cleaning with their professional machines.
(Image credits: GIA)
Before placing diamonds into an ultrasonic cleaner, check the diamond grading report for indication of whether the diamond had undergone prior treatment. If you prefer using an ultrasonic cleaner at home, you should still consult a jewellery specialist to check and verify whether the jewellery needs to be repaired. For example, if the gemstones are found to be loose, they should be remounted before placing them in an ultrasonic cleaner.
DO NOT use ultrasonic cleaners for:
Gemstones with fractures reaching the surface and filled with filler materials such as oil, resin or glass substance
Organic gemstones, including pearls, coral, ivory and amber
Gemstones with a non-permanent coating on the surface, such as plastic, wax, etc.
Gemstones that have undergone heat treatment
Gemstones that are more easily impacted by high temperatures or temperature changes, such as tanzanite, sunstone, moon stone, lapis lazuli, malachite, opal, topaz, turquoise, zircon, etc.
Treated or filled semi-precious gemstones, such as emeralds
Jewellery with a pavé setting
Method 3: Steam Cleaner
Some jewellery specialists use steam cleaners as they have the advantage of being more gentle than ultrasonic cleaners and do not require chemical solutions. There are also 2-in-1 cleaners combining ultrasonic and steam in the market.
Words of advice: It would be distressing to have your favourite jewellery damaged! Therefore, always ask and check carefully before you clean your jewellery.
Feel free to get in touch with Laine Jewellery for recommendations and advice on diamonds or customised rings! I offer free consultation services every Friday at my studio at Two ifc, bookings required. Interested parties please make a reservation through Whatsapp or Laine Jewellery’s Facebook page!
Whatsapp: +852 6819 2038