Diamonds may be tough, but they still need TLC

The saying goes, “A diamond is forever.”

But without proper care, your wedding ring’s life span might have a more temporary existence. Even Mother Nature’s hardest substance needs proper maintenance to avoid wear and tear.

Diamond Trading Company, the world’s leading diamond sales and marketing company, offers some advice on diamond care.

Even though diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth, a diamond can scratch another diamond. So it is important that jewelry be stored separately to prevent scratching and tangling

Also, diamond jewelry should never be worn while doing heavy work. Points are vulnerable to chipping and even everyday activity can loosen a setting. This is why a visit to the jeweler every six months is recommended to have your diamond’s mountings and settings checked.

To be sure your diamonds always sparkle, it is important to clean them periodically. Professional cleaning is the best option and offers a jeweler a chance to check to make sure prongs haven’t bent or weakened.

Soaking your jewelry in a small bowl of warm, sudsy water using any mild liquid detergent is another option. Gently brush the diamond jewelry with a soft toothbrush while it is in the suds. Then rinse each piece under warm running water. Pat the jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Make sure to always put the stopper in your sink.

An ammonia bath also will do the trick. Place the jewelry in a small bowl containing a half-and-half solution of ammonia and cold water. After 30 minutes, lift out and gently tap around the front and back of the mounting with a small soft brush. Swish in the solution a second time, rinse and drain on tissue paper.

Use any brand-name liquid jewelry cleaner and follow the instruction given on the label.

Or, have a vodka on the rocks. No one is sure how it was actually discovered, but it is safe to say that at some point someone took the idea of a “vodka on the rocks” literally and discovered an imaginative way to clean their precious diamonds. Simply let the diamond soak in a glass of vodka. Remember not to make a martini while you’re cleaning your ring.

Finally, insurance is worth considering for a particularly valuable stone and setting. To understand how to insure your diamond, talk to your insurance agent about adding jewelry to your existing homeowner’s or renter’s coverage. Many insurance companies allow you to itemize your jewelry within your policy. Be sure to read the fine print, as some policies limit the value for jewelry line items.

As another option, you may want to consider contacting a company that specializes in separate insurance policies for your jewelry. Jewelers Mutual, for example, offers policies for diamonds.

Don’t forget that the first step in protecting your investment is dealing with a jeweler you can trust before, during and after the sale. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Your jeweler should be knowledgeable about diamonds and help you feel comfortable making this important purchase.

If you are looking for a jeweler in your area, it may be helpful to contact the Jewelers of America toll-free at (800) 223-0673, or the American Gem Society at (800) 341-6214 for a recommendation. Or, go online for more information at