our everyday life

How to Shine an Antique Diamond Ring

by M.H. Dyer, studioD

Often fragile and always precious, antique diamond rings deserve special attention to maintain the shine and sparkle intrinsic to this beautiful gem. While you can perform minor cleaning and shining at home, take your antique diamond ring to a jeweler that specializes in antique pieces if the ring is damaged or badly soiled. Handle the ring with care and your antique diamond ring will retain its glory for many generations.

Fill a small bowl with warm water, then add two or three drops of gentle liquid dish soap. Never use strong or harsh dish soaps, antibacterial soaps, household cleaners or products containing bleach.

Place the ring in the soapy water and swish it back and forth to loosen dirt and grime.

Remove the ring from the soapy water. Dip a soft toothbrush into the solution, then use a soft touch to scrub the diamond and setting. Use a new toothbrush, then save the toothbrush to use exclusively for cleaning jewelry.

Rinse the ring thoroughly in warm water. Be sure to remove all the soap because a soapy film may dull the diamond.

Lay the ring on a piece of tissue to air dry, then polish the ring with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.

Store the antique ring in a soft pouch or padded jewelry box.

Items you will need
  •  Bowl
  •  Gentle liquid dish detergent
  •  Soft toothbrush
  •  Lint-free cloth
  •  Soft pouch or padded jewelry box


  • Soaking a diamond ring in a bowl of warm water with a small amount of ammonia is a safe alternative for diamonds, rubies, sapphires and gold. However, avoid ammonia if you are unsure of the makeup of your ring. Never use ammonia to clean amber, ivory, lapis, coral, emeralds, malachite or turquoise.


  • Always clean antique diamond rings away from the sink. Otherwise, plug the drain or cover the bottom of the sink with a rubber mat.
  • Avoid commercial jewelry cleaners, which are often harsh and may scratch antique rings. Similarly, never use toothpaste, which is often abrasive.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

  • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images