Jewelry Education

Diamond Ring Care and Maintenance

Diamond engagement and wedding rings are often worn every day and it is recommended to give thought to its care. Diamonds and settings can get smudged, soiled and dusty. Everyday products such as lotions, powders, hair care products, soaps, as well as dirt and grease all can all leave an unsightly layer of grime on your diamond ring. Without regular cleanings, these layers can accumulate into a thick layer which can leave the ring looking dull and make the diamond loose its optimum sparkle.

Tips to Care for Your Diamond Ring

  • Store your ring in a clean, dry place.
  • Keep your ring in a fabric-lined jewelry case or in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper.
  • Don't mix your ring within a drawer or jewelry case. Pieces can scratch each other.
  • Soak your diamond ring in a warm solution of mild liquid detergent and water.
  • Use a soft brush if necessary to remove dirt. Soft is the key -- don't use a brush with bristles that are stiff enough to scratch the ring's metal setting.
  • Swish the ring around in the solution, and then rinse it thoroughly in warm water.
  • Dry the diamond ring with a lint-free cloth.
  • Avoid touching your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle clean jewelry by its edges
  • Use a dental Water Pik to flush away small bits of grime. You can also use a wooden toothpick to very carefully push dirt away from the diamond and setting.
  • Avoid taking your rings into chlorinated pools or spas or using bleach and chemical products containing chlorine, which can discolor your diamond.
  • See your jeweler at least once a year to have your jewelry checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear. Visit your jeweler every six months to have your jewelry professionally cleaned.
  • There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean jewelry in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. These machines are called "ultrasonic cleaners" and are available in many different models and prices. They can be a convenient way to quickly clean your jewelry at home. However, ultrasonic cleaners can damage some jewelry. Your jeweler can tell you if an ultrasonic cleaning machine is right for you and recommend an appropriate model.
  • Do not wear diamond rings while doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials in nature, it can still be chipped by a sharp, sudden blow.
  • Be careful when removing your jewelry to wash your hands. Do not leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.




Metal Types

When you choose the setting, you’ll also need to choose the metal.

Platinum

The rarest and heaviest precious metal on earth, platinum offers incredible strength and a natural bright luster, making it the ideal choice for showcasing diamonds. Its radiant shine is similar to white gold, but even brighter, and unlike white gold, it will never yellow or require re-plating. Platinum does not splinter or wear away easily, making it the most durable choice for everyday wear.

18 Karat Yellow Gold

This luxurious metal has rich warmth in contrast to the icy brilliance of diamonds, and makes a beautiful and durable choice for a setting. 18k gold is 75% pure 24 karat gold, with the remaining percentage usually being alloy metals of silver, copper, nickel and zinc. The alloys add strength to the pure gold, which would be too soft for everyday wear on its own. 18k has a lustrous gold color, and a slightly heavier weight than 14k.

14 Karat Yellow Gold

A popular and durable precious metal for jewelry, 14 karat yellow gold offers a beautiful luster at a great value. 14k gold is 58.3% pure 24 karat gold, with the remaining percentage usually being alloy metals of silver, copper, nickel, and zinc. The alloys add strength to the pure gold, which would be too soft for everyday wear on its own.

18 Karat White Gold

This beautiful white metal complements the clear brilliance of diamonds. 18k gold is 75% pure 24 karat gold, with the remaining percentage usually being alloy metals of silver, copper, nickel and palladium. The alloys add strength to the pure gold, which would be too soft for everyday wear on its own. 18k white gold is not as white as platinum, since it is yellow gold turned white mostly through nickel or palladium alloys. Some people prefer this warmer white over platinum's grayer white. White gold is often plated with rhodium, a metal in the platinum group, to enhance its white color. It can be a little more expensive than 14k, due to the higher percentage of pure gold, but will cost less than a similar setting in platinum.

14 Karat White Gold

A popular and durable precious metal for jewelry, 14 karat white gold is a great value and offers a lustrous white color that complements the clear brilliance of diamonds. 14k gold is 58.3% pure 24 karat gold, with the remaining percentage usually being alloy metals of silver, copper, nickel, zinc and palladium. The alloys add strength to the pure gold, which would be too soft for everyday wear on its own. White gold is often plated with rhodium, a metal in the platinum group, to enhance its white color. 14k white gold is not as white in color as platinum, since it is yellow gold made white through alloys. Some people prefer this warmer white over platinum’s grayer white.

Pave, Micro Pave and Channel Set Diamond Settings

Pave Settings:



Pave Settings A pave (pronounced pah-vay) setting is a type of engagement ring setting where the ring’s band is encrusted with tiny diamonds held in place by very small metal prongs. This setting technique accentuates the diamonds rather than the metal band. Round and princess are the most common shapes for pave styles.

There are two main designs for pave settings. The first is a simple, thin band with a single row of diamonds. The width of the band is matched to the width of the diamonds, making the entire band appear to be made from diamonds alone. A center stone is then mounted on the band.

The second pave design is a simple band without a center stone. These rings have gained popularity as anniversary or eternity bands, but their glitter and glamour is perfect for elegant engagement rings

A "full pave" ring has the pave setting extending fully around the circumference of the ring. A “half pave” setting only covers the top portion of the ring. Some find half pave designs more comfortable for continued wearability.



Micro Pave Settings:

Micro Pave Settings Micro pave engagement rings are delicate designer fashions offering superior brilliance which appeal to discriminating buyers interested in unique designs. The small round diamonds in a micro pave design lend themselves to great stylistic flexibility and there are many different types of micro pave engagement rings. Micro pave settings are quite intricate and use extremely small diamonds (generally less than 2 mm) to achieve a uniform sparkle along the surface of the ring. Because the individual stones are so small, they blend together smoothly and offer a sophisticated look.

Depending on the design of the engagement ring, fifty or more tiny diamonds may make up the micro pave and generally add around three-quarters of a carat to the total carat weight of the piece.




Micro pave engagement rings have several advantages over larger pave settings, including:

  • Smoother Surface: Because the diamonds or diamond melee used in micro pave are so small, the ring’s surface is smoother as compared to larger pave settings.
  • Less Metal Visible: Smaller stones can fit together more closely, eliminating even more metal from showing through the diamond encrustation.
  • Greater Delicacy: Because micro pave rings use such small stones, they can be incorporated into very delicate, intricate designs that are impossible with larger accent stones.



At the same time, micro pave ring designs also have several disadvantages, such as:

  • Less Durability: Smaller stones cannot be fixed as securely into the ring, and there is a greater likelihood that stones could become loose or fall out of the setting.
  • Overpowering Glitter: While the sparkle of micro pave rings is alluring, too much diamond detailing on the ring’s band can overshadow the center stone and make the ring seem garish or ostentatious
  • Unbalanced Bands: If a single line of stones is used for the band, it may seem disproportionately narrow compared to the center stone, particularly if the center stone is also surrounded by diamond accents.



The cost of micro pave rings can be either an advantage or disadvantage. While the smaller stones or melee may be less expensive than larger accents, the sheer number of them can quickly add up to a higher engagement ring price. Furthermore, the intricacy of the design is labor intensive and may cost more to create even if the diamonds are less expensive.

Tips for Micro Pave Engagement Rings

Buyers interested in micro pave rings need to be cautious when purchasing such a delicate design to ensure they get a high quality ring. While understanding diamond quality is essential, these unique settings also require additional considerations.

  • The diamond color of the pave setting should be consistent along the entire surface of the ring; diamonds with poor color are more likely to stand out.
  • The ring should be regularly inspected for loose stones and repairs should be made promptly to avoid losing stones.
  • The surface of the ring should be uniform, with no single stone jutting out further than the others.
  • Extra care should be taken when wearing micro pave diamond rings, and they should never be worn during household chores, while swimming, or when activities may jeopardize the ring’s integrity.



Channel Settings:

Channel Settings Channel settings are among the more common engagement ring designs and are also some of the most useful. They can be featured as an accent to a central stone or isolated within a band.

A channel-set ring features diamonds arranged in a line that is inlaid into the ring’s band with a thin metal lip on each edge to keep the diamonds in place. There are no individual prongs around each stone. The metal lips keep the stones secure without taking away from their size with additional metal. Because the gems are fully set into the ring, their fragile girdles are more protected from chipping, and the setting overall is generally sturdier than higher designs where the diamonds are more exposed. Because there are no elevated stones, the ring is less likely to snag on clothing or projections that could cause unwanted damage.



There are several different varieties of channel settings used in engagement rings, including:

  • Different Lengths: The length of a channel depends on the number of stones used; 5-7 stones are popular, though smaller numbers are typically used as accents (2-3 on each side of the center diamond).
  • In-Line Accents: The stones in the channel are along the band in line with the center stone, creating a line of gems.
  • Parallel or Bypass Accents: The channel is along the sides of the central stone, creating a wave illusion.
  • Encircling Accents: Two or more channels are used to completely encircle the central stone.
  • Embellished Channels: Channels may seem ordinary, but detailed etching or sculpted accents either parallel or perpendicular to the channel can add texture and style to the ring.



In addition to basic channel styles, buyers can choose from different stone shapes. Classic round diamonds are the most popular, but princess and emerald cuts are sought-after because their square edges guarantee there are no gaps between stones.

Choosing the Setting

The diamond you choose will be brought to life through the setting. The setting can be simple, or elaborate. The diamond can be mounted flush with the band, or rise above it. The diamond can stand alone or it can be enhanced with accent diamonds or fancy metalwork.

Some of the most popular and classic diamond settings are the solitaire, the cathedral, the three-stone, and the channel setting.

In addition to style, consider her hand size when selecting the appropriate setting. A broader band will balance long, slender fingers, while something more petite will complement a smaller hand.

Determine the Budget

How much should you spend on a diamond ring? The old "three months’ salary" advice may be a useful starting point, but it’s not a rule which is set in stone. You can spend less and still find a beautiful ring, or you can spend more and splurge on size or quality. The only "correct" amount to spend is the amount that fits your budget.

Ring size

If you are shopping a ring together, if she doesn’t know, download and print our ring size guide, and use that to find out.

If you are keeping the ring purchase a secret, you may want to borrow one of her rings (making sure it’s one that fits the intended finger) and compare it to the size chart, or you can have a jeweler size it.

If you can’t sneak her ring away, try this: slip it on your own finger, as far down as it will comfortably go, and mark the line with a pen. A jeweler can then use that mark to measure and determine her ring size.

When in doubt, err on the slightly bigger side. It’s easier to have a ring sized down than up.

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