All jewellery eventually become worn and dull with wear. For scratched, dented and damaged surfaces you would need to take your jewellery to a professional jeweller to be reconditioned, but often a good clean is all you need to make a jewel sparkle like new.
The Cubic Zirconia below has been removed from its setting as part of a repair. The pictures show the dirt that has collected on its bottom and what it looks like when viewed from the top.
Jewellers have ultrasonic and steam cleaners that can quickly remove dirt and grime from hard to reach places, but there is a lot that you can do at home to clean your jewellery yourself.
A soapy mix of dishwashing liquid (no detergents!) and ammonia should get rid of most dirt, and it is gentle enough that you can leave items to soak if it is particularly grimy. A soft toothbrush can help to further loosen the dirt.
A host of commercial jewellery cleaning products are also available that you can use. From dips to get rid of oxidation to wipes that will shine up a dull surface, all of these work pretty well provided that you follow the instructions on the product carefully. Many of these, for example, cannot be used on organic gems like pearls, and some dips will blacken the metal or speed up tarnishing if left in too long, or if the dip is not rinsed off properly afterwards.
Of all the cleaning products you can buy, there is one that I often recommend to customers. Connoisseur’s Diamond Dazzle Stik is a pencil-shaped casing with a gel inside. The gel is pushed through the bristles of a brush on the front of the pencil by twisting the back of the Stik. The bristles can be worked in underneath gems and other nooks and crannies, and the gel works remarkably well to remove the greasy dirt that accumulates in these places. For our shop, we have found that the Dazzle Stik is an excellent free gift to add to the purchase of a new jewellery item.