It could be that your old set is dirty, or your new set may have better-cut diamonds, or the lighting isn’t as similar as you think.
If you think that the difference may be due to dirt then there is a quick and efficient way of cleaning diamonds, sapphires and rubies (do not try this out on emeralds, pearls, opals or costume jewellery):
1. Put plug in sink. Place rings in an egg cup or small dish.
2. Put a small amount of baby oil in an egg cup – just enough to cover your rings.
3. Wait two minutes.
4. Remove the rings from the egg cup and rinse them with cold water, and then rinse the egg cup with water.
5. Put the rings back in the egg cup and cover the rings with neat dish soap (washing-up liquid).
6. Wait two minutes.
7. Remove the rings from the egg cup and rinse them with water, and then rinse the egg cup with water.
8. Put the rings back in the egg cup and cover the rings with neat dish soap (washing-up liquid) again, plus a few drops of water.
9. Wait two minutes.
10. Rinse rings and place on finger to dry. Voila!
The advantage of this method is you don’t have to scrub your rings, so you’ll have less risk of physical damage such as scratches or loosened prongs, and nor do you have to use hot water, something that can also loosen prongs.
The method works on the principle that it is difficult to remove old oil from diamond rings. This is because the old oil has oxidised over time and forms a thin but tough opaque resin-like coating on the surface of the diamond. This coating is very difficult to remove from a diamond either physically or using detergents. However, if you dip the diamond ring in new oil then the resin-like coating quickly dissolves in the new oil. The new oil isn’t yet oxidised and is easy to remove using a detergent, i.e. dish soap. The dish soap therefore removes both the new oil and the resin dissolved in the new oil. The dish soap can then be rinsed away using water, leaving the diamond clean, shiny and super sparkly.