Jewellery Fact File


Diamonds are something extraordinary. Formed under immense pressure, hundreds of kilometres below the surface of the earth, their one billion year journey to us is nothing short of miraculous. They were first discovered in India over two thousand years ago and have remained a symbol of beauty and abundance ever since.

Humanity’s rich history with diamonds has resulted in a system to grade diamond quality. This system makes use of the four Cs: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. We have taken it one step further and added a fifth: Confidence. This means any diamond from American Swiss is certified conflict free. Additionally, an independent laboratory certifies any diamond we sell over 0.50ct.

Know Your Diamonds
Diamond Cuts

In their natural state, diamonds are quite dull. To bring out their inner lustre, each diamond must be individually cut and polished to create facets. These facets reflect the light and unlock the stone’s hidden brilliance.

Diamond Colour

Diamonds are created when carbon crystallises deep underground. If any other elements are present during this process, they affect the diamond’s colour. Diamonds are considered more rare and valuable the closer they are to being colourless.

At American Swiss, we use the G.I.A. (Gemmological Institute of America) scale to grade the colour of our diamonds. This allows you to understand the colour of your diamond and the resultant price when you are looking for the perfect stone.

Diamond Clarity

When a diamond is formed, tiny particles of dust and other minerals can be trapped inside it. These are known as inclusions.

Clarity refers to the internal purity of a diamond – the fewer the inclusions, the more rare and valuable the stone. However, these inclusions make each diamond unique – a fingerprint billions of years old that belongs only to you.

Diamond Carat

Carat refers to both size and weight of a diamond. 

All diamonds above 0.50ct are certified by an independent laboratory.

Diamond Confidence

Because diamonds have such high value, they have become a dangerous commodity used to fund civil wars and oppressive regimes. When they are used in this way, they are known as ‘conflict diamonds’.

With our support for the Kimberly Process, an internationally recognised standard, we guarantee that all our diamonds are conflict free and can be worn with the pride they deserve.

Hand Sanitiser and Your Jewellery

Taking care of your jewellery is therapeutic and a sign of self-care. American Swiss believes in keeping your jewellery looking as good as the day you owned it. In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, frequent hand-washing and sanitising isn’t just for peace of mind, it’s a necessity!

The primary goal of hand sanitiser is to sterilize any germs, bacteria or toxic micro-organisms that can make you sick. But you could also be worried about what it’s doing to your jewellery. We’ve broken it down for you.

What's the Difference?

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser

Most hand sanitisers contain 60 – 95% alcohol and it is recommended to use a minimum of 60% alcohol to protect yourself against the Coronavirus. The ingredients include but are not limited to isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, water, glycerin and fragrance. Alcohol-based sanitisers are much safer for your jewellery.

Alcohol-free hand sanitiser

The ingredients in alcohol-free sanitisers include but are not limited to antibacterial, triclosan, antiseptics and chloride cleaning agents. These chlorine-based compounds have the potential to release free chlorine when in contact with water; causing your jewellery to tarnish.


Good old soap works just as well when it comes to protecting yourself against Coronavirus. However, most soaps contain chemicals or oils that could possibly damage the surface of your jewellery. Solid soap particles can get under stone settings and stay there – this will cloud and dull your rings. It could also cause the coat of rhodium plating, found on white Gold rings, to get worn away.

Effects on Jewellery

What are the effects of this constant use of chemicals on your jewellery?

Effects on Yellow Gold

Hand sanitiser does not affect yellow Gold as much as some other metals. This is primarily because yellow Gold doesn’t have a film or layer that can tarnish or wear down over time. However it can still become dull over time due to frequent use of sanitiser.

Effects on Rose Gold

Rose Gold is created by mixing yellow Gold alloys with copper to create its rosy red tint. Hand sanitiser can react to the copper elements causing your jewellery to tarnish and lose its shine over time.

Effects on White Gold

White Gold is plated in rhodium, which adds a protective layer to the Gold. It’s normal for rhodium-plated jewellery to require re-plating over a period of time. However, hand sanitisers containing halogens could cause the plating to tarnish even faster.

Effects on Platinum

Platinum will never tarnish, as its surface is naturally white. It doesn’t react with chemicals found in hand sanitisers, making it safe to wear. However, we recommend you still avoid contact and regularly clean your jewellery to avoid any residue that will dull the shine.

Effects on Sterling Silver

Be cautious of alcohol-free hand sanitisers when wearing Sterling Silver jewellery. The chlorine-based chemicals contain harsh compounds that will tarnish and strip away at the Silver, diminishing its shine and lustre.

Effects on Diamonds

Hand sanitiser won’t damage diamonds, but it will leave a filmy residue on the stones dulling their sparkle and brilliance over time. Frequent hand washing will cause build-up between stones but it’s nothing a quick soak can’t fix.

Effects on Pearls & Opals

Pearls are soft and porous (absorbing water and liquid), and should not come into contact with sanitised skin until completely dry. We suggest waiting five minutes before wear. As with perfume and hairspray, the alcohol in sanitiser can change the surface of Pearls, creating a loss of lustre and change in colour. Just like Pearls, Opals are soft and porous and can easily be damaged by sanitiser. There will be visible cracks on the surface where the liquid dries out. We suggest waiting five minutes before wear.

Effects on Gemstones

Alcohol-based sanitisers could cause a filmy residue layer on the surface of gem stones, but this can easily be cleaned off with soapy water and an old toothbrush. Soap and alcohol-based sanitisers won’t affect your Garnets, Rubies, Aquamarine or Sapphires, but chlorine-based (alcohol-free) sanitisers will. Emeralds are slightly less hardwearing, so you should avoid using both soap and sanitiser when wearing them.

Cleaning Your Jewellery

Your hands aren’t the only things that need to stay clean, you jewellery needs to stay germ-free too!

How to Sanitise Your Jewellery*

  • Remove jewellery item from packaging.
  • Sanitise your hands.
  • Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to an old soft toothbrush.
  • Lightly brush the surfaces of the jewellery item, creating a lather for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse the piece thoroughly under warm water.
  • Place the jewellery piece on a soft facial tissue.
  • Allow to dry naturally in the sun.

* This excludes Pearls as they are more delicate.

How to Sanitise Your Pearls

  • Remove jewellery item from packaging.
  • Sanitise your hands.
  • Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a cup of water.
  • Take a soft cloth dip/ submerge it into the water.
  • Ring the water out.
  • Lightly wipe the surfaces of Pearls/Emeralds the jewellery item, with the damp cloth.
  • Place the jewellery piece on a soft facial tissue.
  • Allow to dry naturally in the sun.
Jewellery Care Tips

  • Take off your rings when applying hand sanitiser or washing your hands.
  • Make use of our jewellery cleaners available to purchase online and in-store.
  • Make use of our professional jewellery cleaning service in-store.
  • Consider not wearing your jewellery at all until it is safe to do so.

Platinum is the most precious and valuable of all metals. Its natural white sheen makes it a considered setting for precious gemstones and its hardwearing nature makes it the perfect metal for jewellery.

At American Swiss we offer a limited range of platinum jewellery, but we do make to order. Please contact us if you are would like to know more.


Gold has been valued and revered for thousands of years and its bright yellow shine is instantly recognisable. However in its pure form, gold is too soft to work with. To make it suitable for jewellery other metals (alloys) are added to pure gold, making it more durable. This can result in not only a stronger metal but also other colours such as white and rose gold.


Sterling silver is a timeless classic and has been a celebrated metal and form of currency since humans first discovered it. Similar to gold, silver must have other metals added to it to be strong enough for jewellery. While silver is best known for its brilliant polished shine, it can also come in a matte finish, allowing for a range of effects and designs.

Ear Piercing professionals

Our piercing professionals are trained to provide the best product and services.

Care and cleaning instructions are provided, which are crucial to the long-term results of a safe and problem-free ear piercing.

Specialised piercing training used on infants and children, including piercing both ears simultaneously when possible, to avoid stress and discomfort.

New short post styles are available. Perfect for babies and small children under the age of 3.
Always, FREE ear piercing with the purchase of a pair of piercing earring

Ear Piercing Q & A

Is the ear piercing system used safe?

All piercing earrings are sealed, sterilised and hypoallergenic.

Does ear piercing hurt?

Our piercing earring posts have fine points that pierce gently. Most people feel little or no discomfort during the piercing.

How long does it take for an ear piercing to heal?

Piercing earrings should be left in for a t least 4-6 weeks after an earlobe piercing.

Wearing earrings continuously is required for the first 6 months after the piercing to prevent the piercing from closing.

How old do you have to be?

Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We pierce from the age of 6 months and young children. Infants will need to have a current DTaP shot which usually takes place at 8 weeks.

Ear Care Instruction

Many of the problems arising from ear piercing result from poor care after the piercing. For proper healing and satisfaction with your newly pierced ears, follow these easy cleaning instructions:

Always wash your hands prior to touching your ears.

Cleanse the piercing once or twice a day with Studex® Ear Care Solution.

Apply the solution directly to the pierced hole and slide the studs backward and forward in the ear to work the solution into the hole.

Rotate the earring twice daily to prevent it from adhering to the ear.

Avoid touching your ears except when cleaning.

Cover your ears when using hair spray or perfume.

Be careful that earrings don't get caught when brushing your hair or pulling clothes over your head.

Leave earrings in for 4 to 6 weeks.

For the first 6 months do not go longer than 24 hours without wearing earrings as the holes could begin to close.

After the 6 week healing period, other earrings may be worn. These should be made of gold, sterling silver or surgical stainless steel. No heavy earrings should be worn for at least 4 months after the healing period.