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topic 10485

Cleaning Gold and Diamonds


Q. Please, could you tell me what can be used to clean gold and diamonds, I have a ring I try to clean, but nothing really has made it sparkle.

Thank you,

Kelly Hachey
- Nanaimo, BC, Canada


A. I don't know of the long term effects, but my wife uses our Aquafresh (whitening, though it probably makes no difference) toothpaste to clean her ring. It is white gold, a diamond and two sapphires. It looks great after she cleans it!

Good luck!

Thomas Philbrick
- Montpelier, Vermont


Q. Hi,

My mother bought me a gorgeous solitaire diamond necklace in a bezel setting in white gold. The white gold chain is looking a little bit dark. I want to clean it - I usually clean the diamond necklace in a pirex dish of ammonia, but this really cleans the diamond (and let me tell you, it cleans it excellently. you don't have to add water -- just enough ammonia to cover the entire necklace). ANYWAY, this is only cleaning the diamond, not the white gold chain. How do I get the white gold chain clean without hurting the diamond?

I heard toothpaste was bad news.

Thank you!

Megan Frank
Liz Claiborne - New York, New York


Q. Is toothpaste bad for gold jewelry? Will it harm any stones in the jewelry?

Jayme George
Designer - Collinsville, Illinois


Q. My Wife had two 14 kt. gold rings, one with CZs and the other with a diamond. I want to clean these and give them to my daughter and grandaughter, what is the best and safest (for the stones) way to do this.

- Canoga Park , California

Ultrasonic Cleaner


A. I was shocked while shopping at the jewelry counter of a department store last week, to learn that some of the traditionally semi-precious stones they use like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are no longer real stones, or at least have an extra coating added to them. They warn to be careful cleaning them and only with a jeweler's advice because the brilliance of the color is now just a coating, it doesn't run through the stones! This is not related to your question, George, but I mention it to preface my usual response that -- except for pearl and glued jewelry -- you have little worry of normal cleaning solution hurting a stone; apparently we can't count on that conventional wisdom anymore.

I don't understand what jewelry stores think they are selling if not heirlooms :-(
-- Few of us are pimps looking for a thin coating of bling for a photoshoot; if what they're selling won't last decades, I don't want it.

Anyway, ultrasonic jewelry cleaner [linked by editor to info at Amazon] and cleaning solutions are available for $30 - $60, and that's the way to go as it will remove the dirt and grime in tiny corners you won't be able to reach even with a toothpick or cotton swab. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 30, 2016

A. I have had good results using simple baking soda.

Fill clean, de-mineralised water in a wide vessel. Add baking soda (not powder mind you!) and stir. Place the gold or diamond jewellery in it overnight.

Wash it with fresh water and allow it to air dry. This removes all the grime and sweat based dirt.

To make it (gold or diamond) shine, wet a micro fibre cloth with lighter fluid or diesel and wipe it gently.

It will have a characteristic odor of fuel. Air dry it overnight or gently warm it with a hair drier.

This works for real precious stones. I wouldn't try it on artificial stones.

Anthony Eden
- New York, New York, USA

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