Diamond Care and Cleaning Guide

Asscher Cut Diamond
Consumers know diamond from the slogan “A Diamond is Forever”. With some care considerations this is relatively true. The Asscher cut was popular decades ago and is again a very popular cut style. This stone has exceptional quality being D color and VVS2 Clarity.
“A Diamond is Forever” is one of the world’s best-known advertising slogans. It has many different meanings. It refers to diamond’s timeless appeal. It refers to diamond’s icy beauty. And it also refers to diamond’s durability. One result of the diamond formation process is its incredible durability.

Durability is a gemstone’s ability to withstand wear, heat, and chemicals. Durability consists of three properties: hardness, toughness, and stability. Hardness means how well a gemstone resists scratches and abrasion. Toughness describes how well a gemstone resists breaking and chipping. Stability means how well a diamond resists chemicals and temperature changes.

Gem and mineral hardness is measured on the Mohs scale. The scale originated in 1812 when German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs chose ten minerals and assigned numbers to them, based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one could be scratched by another. But the Mohs scale is deceptive. The steps between the minerals are not evenly spaced. For example, diamond is only one number away, but it’s many times harder than gems in the corundum family. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond.
Something the Mohs scale doesn’t show, but that’s equally important to the diamond industry, is that diamond can also scratch any of the precious metals used for settings. That means a diamond that’s loose in its setting can wear through a prong over time.
Mohs Scale
Diamond rates highest on the Mohs hardness scale, at number 10.
Any stone, including a diamond, will break if it’s hit hard enough in the right place. Toughness is a measure of how well a gem can survive an impact and resist breaking, chipping, or cracking.
Diamonds are tougher in the directions where the atoms are bonded tightly together, less tough where they’re not so tightly bonded.

Cutting styles with pointed corners or ends are often set with prongs to protect the corners from chipping. - Courtesy Ambar Diamonds
The weakest directions are the ones where the atoms are farthest apart. It’s easier to break a diamond in those directions, which are called cleavage directions. A cutter can cleave a diamond by hitting it sharply in the cleavage direction. But even after cutting, a hard blow can still cleave a diamond. This can happen during the setting process, or even when it’s being worn.

Stability is a term that describes how well a diamond resists temperature changes and chemicals. Diamonds are very stable. They’re invulnerable to virtually all acids, for one thing. The cutting process generates a lot of heat, but diamonds usually endure intact. Situations that are more threatening to a diamond’s stability are those that involve sudden and extreme temperature changes. Those changes can cause thermal shock and create new fractures and cleavages or cause existing ones to spread.
Diamonds will burn at about 1562°F (850°C). House fires and jewelers’ torches can reach that temperature.

Recut Diamond
A house fire caused the white, cloudy appearance of this diamond (left). The stone was recut to remove the burned area, reducing the diamond’s size, but leaving no sign that it was ever damaged (right).
Diamonds can be cleaned safely with lint-free cloths, commercial jewelry cleaning solutions, and household detergents.
Harsher cleaning methods are not recommended for home use. These include powdered abrasive household cleansers, ultrasonic cleaners, and steam cleaners.

Cleaning Device
Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners can loosen gemstones in their settings. Jewelry professionals carefully examine jewelry for loose stones before using these devices.