Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Cleaning Diamond Jewellery

A diamond is a major investment just like a car or a house. And when people buy a new car, they generally want to keep it looking good, which involves regular cleaning. A diamond is no different – if you want to keep it looking its best, you should clean it or get it cleaned at regular intervals.

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So why do you need to clean a diamond? Well, in everyday life foreign materials can become attached to the diamond’s surface, reducing its luster and shine, and possibly even affecting the apparent color the diamond. Cleaning the diamond improves the luster and shine and keeps it looking sparkly. It doesn’t affect its inherent value, but it does make sure it’s looking its best.

So how do you clean a diamond? There are a number of options out there:

Get it cleaned in a store

Ultrasonic cleaners

Ammonia cleaning kits

Ethyl alcohol solutions

Steam cleaners

Warm water with detergent

Each method of cleaning has advantages and disadvantages. Jewellery stores often offer a free or very cheap cleaning service, even if it wasn’t the store or chain you bought the item from originally (they want you in their store looking at their jewellery). But getting to a jewellery store may not always be convenient.

Ultrasonic cleaning works by creating bubbles in a chemical substance applied to the surface of the diamond. These bubbles attach themselves to the foreign material and allow it to be removed. Ultrasonic cleaning can however remove some stone or metal coatings, and can also vibrate loose stones completely out of their settings!

Soap and water is an easy option at home, but may have more trouble removing grease and oil from the surface of the diamond. Plus, this technique can leave soapy deposits on the diamond’s surface, making you no better off than before.

A few words of caution if you do decide to go it alone – make sure you don’t use any sharp metallic objects near the diamond. A good idea is to use a pair of soft tweezers to remove large foreign objects like hairs or clothing fibres from the diamond first. But make sure they’re soft tweezers, if you don’t have any a wooden toothpick will do quite fine.

And like many things, prevention can help reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. Try to avoid exposing your diamond and setting to harsh chemicals. Avoid spraying perfume, hair spray or lotions anywhere near your diamond. When you’re cleaning take the ring off (but put it somewhere safe). When you’re exercising, it’s much easier to get sweat on the diamond as well – so either cover it or take the ring off. You should also take the ring off when you’re swimming in a chlorinated pool.