* HARDNESS is resistance to scratching. Diamond is the hardest material known, but if diamonds rub together, they can scratch each other. They can also scratch or cut into jewellery metals and other gems.
* TOUGHNESS is resistance to breaking. Diamonds are very tough; however, a diamond can break if it receives a sharp blow in just the right direction. Less severe damage, in the form of chipping, can also occur.
* STABILITY is resistance to damage from heat, temperature change, intense light, or chemicals. Under most circumstances, diamonds are exceptionally stable; however, an intense flame can burn a diamond. High heat and strong chemicals can also damage some treated diamonds.
is a picture of a Sapphire "before" and "after" corrosion damage:
- When getting dressed, put on jewellery last - after cosmetics and fragrances.
- Never wear jewellery while doing household chores, gardening, home repair work, etc.
- Avoid letting gold-and-diamond jewellery to come in contact with chlorine from sources like cleansers, bleach and swimming pool or hot tub water.
- If engagement and wedding rings will be worn together, consider soldering the shanks together to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
- When jewellery is not being worn, it should be stored someplace safe. Cloth-or plush-lined jewellery boxes with individual compartments are ideal.
- Never store jewellery by wrapping it in facial tissue. Tissue that appears to be wadded up may be thrown away, taking the jewellery with it.
As time goes by, keep an eye on your jewellery to be sure the settings are not becoming worn and the diamonds/gems are not loose. It is important to regularly clean and care for your jewellery, especially ones made with precious metals and gems which require special attention. If cleaned or polished with the incorrect materials or solutions, the effects can often be irreversible. Gemstone jewellery can be very sensitive and is often accidentally damaged while trying to be cleaned. Jewellers have specialized cleaning machines for different types of jewellery and it is recommended to have your jewellery professionally inspected and cleaned every six months. It should be taken in immediately if there are signs of damage.