The following is a transcript of the video.
Gabby Davis: I am Gabbie Davis, and I’m a jewelry specialist at Jared the Jewelry Gallery. And today I’m going to show you how I clean both a diamond engagement ring and a beautiful amethyst ring. I would call these two rings here extreme cases. Normally, there are lots of lotions from people who don’t take their rings off when they apply their lotions or hair products. So for the most part, when a ring needs cleaning, it just has a fuzzy look, or maybe a slight buildup of soaps and lotions. But hair is definitely not something I see every day.
The very first step before you even start cleaning it is to use the fine needle tip to check for stones. Looking at this ring here, it looks like it’s been at least six months, if not longer, since this ring was cleared. Now with the styling of this engagement here, which is called a split rod, where there are these openings on the side, it’s really allowed a lot of that hair and that buildup to get stuck in these openings of the ring.
So, I’m going to start by using my tweezers and my needle so I can pull out all of this hair that’s gotten stuck in all the openings and crevices of this ring here. The guest who brought this ring is actually a hairdresser, which really helps explain why there is such an excessive amount of hair and product stuck in this ring and how it has accumulated so much.
So what I’m going to do is push the hair back and forth. I can go through that split rod at the top, push it down into the ring, where I can gather it all together with the tweezers so I can pull this out. It seems like the reason all that hair stays and clumps in the ring is more than likely due to all the other products she comes in contact with, the fact that she’s a hairdresser, like hair styling creams and conditioners and whatever else she’s using, because as I pull these hairs out they get really clogged and stuck together. It’s not just loose strands of hair. They are all compacted together. Not only did it get stuck in the openings where it’s actually visible when on his hand, but also in the part of the ring called the landing gear. So that opening underneath between the actual setting and your finger has also become completely covered. So with the amethyst ring, one thing I have to be careful about is being a bit more precise with the use of the tweezers or the needle, compared to a diamond ring, that’s that amethyst is a slightly softer stone. So I just want to make sure that I don’t rub this metal against the stone to risk scratching it. With this amethyst ring and the way it’s set in the metal, it doesn’t leave a lot of stone exposed all the way to the top, which means there’s plenty of room for things to build up in this Ring. It wasn’t until I took the needle around the inner crevices of the ring that I noticed all the hair sticking out. So I start by using a toothbrush to remove the rest of the debris caught in the ring, then I realized I can’t quite get into those tighter spaces inside the ring, so I grab a jewelry cleaning brush, which actually just has very fine, hair-like bristles that make getting into those tight spaces a lot easier. After checking all the stones and removing any debris, I take it to our polishing wheel. The abrasive powders in this compound are what will actually work to remove all those surface scratches and leave the ring with a nice shiny finish. So after polishing it, there is a lot of compound left on the ring. So that’s when I’ll take it to the ultrasonic cleaner.
The solution used in ultrasound is mostly water and then simply mixed with a mild alkaline solution which helps break down the polishing compound in it as well as any other buildup that is on the ring. The alkaline solution is mild enough to use on precious metals like silver, gold, but strong enough to break down this polishing compound as well as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps, etc. the jeweller’s. Since the ultrasonic solution is so hot, I use a pair of pliers to place the ring in there and pull it out of the solution as well. What really helps clean them in ultrasonic is not just the high heat of it but also the tiny sound waves or vibrations that travel through the liquid which helps break down any residue on the ring . By removing much of the buildup before putting it through the ultrasound, you save time as it has to soak in. Leaving it in there for long periods of time can actually cause the stones to come loose. With the diamond engagement ring, I let this soak for about 3-5 minutes. And with the amethyst ring, I let this soak in the ultrasound. Since it’s not as durable at high heat, I only let this one soak for about a minute.
So now, finally, I’m going to take the rings to our steamer, which is just extremely hot water at high pressure, which is used to remove any of those last little hairs, in this case, or any other debris that either myself or the ultrasound missed. One thing that can happen when you have a lot of buildup stuck in a ring is that it can actually act like glue. Just because we don’t want that pressure to be so high that it’s able to push those rocks and knock them down.
So a few tips I have for keeping your rings in good condition between professional cleanings would be to make sure you take them off every time you do things like cooking, gardening, applying lotions, showering, washing. your hands. So one thing I recommend is to bring your jewelry in to have it professionally inspected and cleaned at least every six months, which is actually a free service that we offer at all of our Jared stores, where we will also check your stones. like giving it a deep clean.