Nothing says "forever" like a diamond engagement ring, but if you want the ring to keep its lustre there are a few simple tips you will need to follow to care for it.
Before you start any kind of cleaning, check the ring thoroughly to make sure it is still intact. You need to make sure that the prongs are still holding the diamond in place and that it is not moving about in its seat. If anything seems to be loose, you could damage it further by cleaning it, so it is best to give it to a jeweller to have it cleaned and repaired.
Diamonds can be dulled through the use of soaps, handwashes, sanitisers and other chemicals that you get on your hands during everyday life. It is best cleaned off once every three months or so. Begin by filling a bowl with lukewarm soapy water—a solution of washing-up liquid is fine. You will then need to soak the ring for ten to twenty minutes to remove some of the build-up.
Next, you need to brush the ring with a soft-bristled brush. A toothbrush is ideal for the job, preferably one without rubber bristles - keep one separate just for jewellery. Try not to brush too hard - you won't damage the diamond itself, but you could easily damage the metal claws holding it in place.
Now you should rinse off the detergent by holding the ring under running water. Put the plug in the bowl first to avoid expensive accidents, and make sure all the soap has run off the diamond and the rest of the ring. If there is persistent dirt still attached to the ring, you can use a toothpick to gently prise it off beneath the running water.
Now you should dry the ring. A soft cotton cloth is ideal for the job as it will not scratch the metal of the ring. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting. It is best not to leave the ring to air dry though, as this could lead to water stains forming on the diamond.
The emotions invested in your diamond engagement ring make it irreplaceable, so it is worth taking some time to keep it at its best. If you are in any doubt as to what you are doing, a professional jeweller will be happy to clean the ring for you and give further advice on how to look after it.