Author - Mandira

Keep Your Diamond or Colored Gemstone(s) Sparkling

The diamonds and gemstones we wear on our hands grow dull as they pick up finger oil along with bits of dust and sloughed-off skin cells that adhere to the oil. Not to mention, lotion, ladies, if we put it on without taking our ring off, first. And since we ship our Celtic-inspired diamond and colored gemstone puzzle engagement rings all over the world, so we can’t just say, “Drop by our shop whenever you want your gemstone cleaned.”

We do offer a free annual cleaning and polish for your ring (you pay only the shipping), but honestly, you can keep your puzzle ring jewel(s) sparkling all by yourself, in the comfort of your own home, with no special jewelry cleaners or equipment beyond what you can find at local stores.

This article will explain how to keep your Crystal Realm 14K gold (in any color), palladium, or platinum puzzle engagement ring clean and sparkly.  It is safe for all the diamonds or colored stones we mount in rings, unless I tell you personally that your particular gemstone needs special care.  This is not intended to be a general jewelry cleaning lesson. Different metals and different stones require different cleaning solutions.

The methods and cleaning solutions I suggest here are proven to be safe for our puzzle engagement rings, and I cannot vouch for instructions given on other websites, which sometimes, by the way, offer conflicting instructions.

First, here is a list of what to avoid when cleaning your ring, as they may damage your ring and/or jewel(s) over time:

  • Toothpaste (is abrasive)
  • Baking soda (is very abrasive)
  • Vinegar
  • Any kind of harsh chemical (can damage some stones)

I include ammonia in the list of what to avoid.  It is in most commercial jewelry cleaners, but I don’t use it, have never used it on jewelry, and I can assure you that you really do not have to resort to such a harsh product to clean your puzzle ring.  My avoidance of ammonia-based cleaners is long entrenched – Austrian crystal jewelry and suncatchers can be pitted by long-term use of ammonia, so for the 34+ year history of our business, which was launched as a crystal provider, we have never used ammonia-based cleaners, and I’ve not missed them or their strong, unpleasant odor.

How to clean your Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring with diamond(s) or colored gemstone(s)
Don rubber gloves.  Clean your sink, rinse it, and put a stopper in it.  This is so you won’t drop your ring down the drain if you handle it near or in the sink.
Fill a dessert-sized bowl with the hottest tap water into which you can safely and comfortably put your rubber-glove protected fingers. (Do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these stones.) Pour or spray a tablespoon or two of  simple household cleaner into the hot water and stir.   The one I use is “Cedar & Sage” from Trader Joe’s.  Seventh Generation makes an all-purpose cleaner they describe this way:
    • Non-toxic & biodegradable
    • Hypo-allergenic
    • Does not create harsh fumes
    • Not tested on animals (This may not be one of your personal criteria for cleaning your jewelry, but it is more likely that a company that does not test products on animals will produce the type of non-toxic cleaner I recommend)
You want a cleaner that is not “soapy” and does not contain harsh chemicals.  If you cannot find a cleaner fitting both criteria, opt for a soapy one over a chemical one.  If you need to use a soapy cleaner, I recommend Woolite, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory Liquid, or Dawn Liquid.

Slip off your puzzle ring and hold it by the very back of the ring.  Dip the front (i.e., the top or the part with gemstones) in the cleaning solution, and swish it back and forth a dozen times. You may then leave your ring to soak in the solution for up to fifteen minutes, if you wish.  If you think you need to use a brush to clean your ring, use a small soft art paintbrush, rather than a brush with stiff bristles. (Again, do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these gems.)

Now it’s time to rinse your ring.  This is where the stopper in your sink comes in – be sure it is in place before you bring your ring to the sink.  Rinse the ring well under running warm water.   Place it in on a soft dry cloth.  Blow it with a hair drier to dry it quickly or pat dry with part of the cloth.  If you have soft water, you can likely leave it to air-dry, but if your water is hard, and you leave it to air dry, minerals will cake your ring, which will introduce an entirely different kind of cleaning problem. Another quick way to dry your ring:  Compressed air (you can buy a can at an auto parts store).

As for the cloth?  Any absorbent cloth will do – just stay away from bath towels  or other linty fabrics – and if you want the very best, order the “Purple Rags in a Bag” from the Fly Lady.  No, I don’t get a commission, but these are lint-free micro-fiber cloths that are so worth the money (About $13.95 for three, and, as a side benefit, you’ll never use window cleaner again on your glass).
Once it’s dry, you can buff the metal bands of your ring with said cloth, to bring up the shine. Or, order a treated polishing cloth to buff up the metal beautifully.
Alternate Quick Cleaning
An alternate way to clean your puzzle engagement ring, and the one I usually use myself: If you have an espresso maker with a steam setting, and you can protect your fingers from the heat with a wooden ring clamp, shown below, hold the ring at the back and place the jewel(s) into the steam spray. Move the ring all around, so the steam gets the diamond clean from the top, the sides, underneath, all directions. Then use compressed air to dry it. The result? Super quick, super sparkle!!

Please note: Do not use steam or hot water on emeralds. Emeralds are brittle and can break with heat. Heat also dries the oil in emerals.

If you have any questions about cleaning your Crystal Realm Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring, be sure to contact me.
Wooden ring clamp for steam-cleaning your diamond or gemstone puzzle ring

Wooden ring clamp for steam-cleaning your diamond or gemstone puzzle ring.


Diamond Selected



Crystal Realm’s client, Frank, selected Diamond #2, from my last post.  It will be mounted on a custom, hand-woven, 14K white gold, open weave puzzle ring in size 5.5. This ring is pictured at the right. 

If you have found this page for the first time, welcome!

My goal is to educate you about your jewelry choices, whether or not you ever choose to do business Crystal Realm.   Much of what I’ll share on this page is information aimed at helping you to be more in control of your jewelry acquisition, whether from us, from your local jeweler or another online business. It will help you, whether you choose to order custom jewelry or pieces you find ready made.

My method of education will be to create transparency in the process of selecting options for custom, Celtic-Inspired, hand-woven puzzle engagement rings and custom wedding rings.  To do this, I will post actual communications that I have with Crystal Realm clients, so that you can learn about selecting your own custom jewelry options.

I’ll post more info on selecting diamonds, puzzle engagement ring options, custom poesy rings and other custom wedding bands.  So far, most Crystal Realm clients contact me by phone or email first, but if you wish to contact me through a posting on this blog, please feel free.

I will not accept posts that seek to advertise your business, nor will we accept any posts that are irrelevant to our purpose of educating you on diamonds, colored gemstones, precious metals, custom jewelry and the like.

Surprising Coincidence
By the way, my client, Frank, who just ordered the ring at right, sent me this information in one of his first emails to me:

It’s funny I work for DV Brothers in the accounting department, and we make buffs and buffing compound for Stuller, which set my mind at ease a little about ordering a diamond on the Internet because I know Stuller has been around a long time and has a good reputation for quality.

Thanks for your vote of confidence, Frank.  You will be thrilled with this ring, I promise, and, as always, if there is any aspect of it that is not to your expectations, we’ll remedy it quickly, no questions asked!  (Except those required to get it right, LOL!)

And if you are new to this page, and you love the look of the marquise diamond puzzle ring pictured, you might want to check out more Crystal Realm Celtic inspired puzzle engagement rings and bridal sets.

Have a great evening!

Ensuring your happiness with your engagement puzzle ring – an Email to a Client

Greetings, P, (who asked about ordering a diamond puzzle ring, sight unseen, in a private email to me)

Thanks for getting in touch.  To answer your smaller questions first, delivery of an engagement puzzle ring tends to depend partly upon when you need it, but we are 4 weeks out at present (2018 update, we promise the puzzle ring in 16 to 21 days).  The sizer is $3.99 with free shipping, if you want it ahead of time.  If you order the ring first, I’ll send out the sizer for free.

As for your question about what happens if you don’t like the puzzle ring when you get it, I have two simple and seemingly contradictory answers, but, below, you’ll see what we offer you ahead of time, to ensure that you are thrilled with the puzzle ring you get.

So here are the two answers:  You have to be absolutely delighted with the ring, or I will work with you until you are or you have your money back.  That is stated on our website in writing.  At the same time, our site also states that we do not give refunds on custom items over $1,000.00, which each puzzle ring over that price is.

Obviously, that’s crazy, so how can I expect you to take our refund policy seriously?

Guinevere three diamond puzzle ring

Guinevere Royale four band puzzle ring with center princess cut diamond and two round, five-point accent diamonds.

The answer is that I prefer to ensure before you order the puzzle ring that you are a) certain about what you are ordering, and b) that there are no surprises and no disappointment along the way. Each and every ring is made specifically to order, so we would not be able to sell it to someone else, so therefore, we don’t, in fact, take custom rings back.  So how do we make sure that you are not stuck with a ring you’re not happy with?

We have developed a number of ways to ensure your comfort level, before you commit to ordering an engagement puzzle ring.  Following are five choices, though not a single person has asked for even three of them (though there will be a first time).  Generally, what steps to take is a matter of individual preference.  In fact, most of our clients only choose step 1 and step 5, but lots of folks order the trial sterling silver ring, and other clients have chosen to have a sample ring in the desired style sent out with an inexpensive stone in it, to really get a sense of the ring.  We will work with whatever your preferences are!


4 piece puzzle engagement ring with marquise tsavorite garnet

Platinum four band puzzle ring with one half carat marquise tsavorite garnet.

1.  Order a sizer gauge or take advantage of our free resize for $3.99 with no need to return it.  We send it out with free shipping.  Using this sizer gauge makes for a more reliable fit, because it has pop-out rings, so she can wear one for a couple of days.  On the other hand, if the puzzle ring is a surprise, just do the best you can in selecting a size, because we do offer a free resize for each puzzle ring (you just pay the round-trip shipping).

2. Order a trial sterling silver sample puzzle ring. Then we’ll apply the $60.00 cost to the engagement ring. This is an actual hand-woven, four-band, medium weight, puzzle ring that allows you to evaluate quality, to learn how to put the puzzle ring together, before the diamond puzzle ring arrives.  If you do order the engagement puzzle ring, we apply the $60.00 cost of the trial puzzle ring to your engagement puzzle ring order, and you get to keep the silver puzzle ring.

3. Order a trial gemstone puzzle ring, by phone, in the style you want with an inexpensive stone; we authorize your card, but you only pay shipping.  As soon as we get the ring back from you, I capture only the shipping charges (round-trip), and the rest of the authorization falls off your card.  This only works with credit cards, not with debit cards.

4. Inspect the diamond before it’s placed in the ring. Again, you pay only for shipping, although we authorize the value on your card.  We usually prefer to send out the diamond in the puzzle ring, because you and she can get a true idea of how the diamond will look on her hand.  And since, once you get the ring, you must be delighted with it or we will replace the diamond or adjust anything else about the ring, it’s fairly low risk to you to have us send out the finished ring.

5. Evaluate the ring when you get it and ask for any changes you need. Pretty much covered this in number 4, above.


Rhodolite garnet Guinevere puzzle engagement ring in 14K yellow gold with Celtic knotwork shadow wedding band

Guinevere puzzle ring with 4mm rhodolite garnet in 14K yellow gold with Celtic shadow wedding band


I’ll be happy to work with you however you wish.  Thank you again for your email today. I look forward to assisting you in getting the perfect engagement puzzle ring.