The Basics - Caring your Jewelry
Through our daily grooming rituals, we are frequently exposed to various chemicals that could be harmful to our jewelry i.e. hairspray, body lotion, perfume, make-up, soap, etc. These chemicals can leave a residue on jewelry, creating a dull film that is very difficult to remove. To prevent this buildup, remove your jewelry before bathing and grooming, and put it on right before you get on with your day. Think of your jewelry as the finishing touch.
Before you are about to clean the kitchen, assemble a bike, or do any other work around the house, make sure that you take off all your jewelry. Harsh, abrasive household cleaners can cause hard-to-remove build-up and leave dulling scratches.
Chlorine bleach may be able to save those dirty socks, but it can destroy your jewelry, especially silver.
You should thoroughly dry your jewelry after exposure to water, especially before storing it in an enclosed space. Moisture can weaken springs and clasps.
A sweltering sun or cold winter day will not harm your jewelry. However, it is a good idea to keep your jewelry away from extreme heat and cold. A rapid increase in temperature could cause thermal shock, leading to fractures in some gemstones.
The key to protecting your jewelry is not only in how you wear your jewelry, but also in it is stored.
When storing your jewelry, you should give each piece its own space, Metal can scratch or scuff other metal. Diamonds and other hard gemstones that come in contact with metal or each other can destroy luster. For this reason, protect each piece by storing it in its own individual container or compartment. Or, if you prefer to keep all your jewelry together in one big jewelry box, place each individual piece in a pouch or a self-sealing plastic bag.
For bracelets and necklaces, always fasten the clasp when storing. This will help prevent any tangling that might occur.
It is very important thoroughly dry your jewelry before placing it in an enclosed space. Moisture fosters tarnish and can weaken springs and clasps. Moreover, certain gemstones are prone to suffer from water damage.
Cleaning your Jewelry :
For Karat Gold, Silver , Platinum, and Most Gemstones.
This section provides you with simple methods that will help you clean your jewelry as effectively and as safely as possible. Take note that certain methods are ideal for some jewelry, but can cause damage to others. The Special Cleaning section shows you how to clean certain types of jewelry that require extra-special care.
» A clean bowl
» Lukewarm water
» Mild dishwashing liquid or a mild jewelry cleaning solution
» Fine mesh plastic or stainless steel strainer (for items with gemstones)
» Very soft, clean, cry cloth (any dust or dirt on the cloth may scratch the piece)
» Small, soft bristled toothbrush or brush
For older items with gemstones, check the setting(s) to make sure that the stone(s) is secure. Dirt and residue can fool you and act as a "cement," keeping the stone in place even if the setting has been rendered weak from wear. If this is the case, and the residue is removed when cleaning, the loose stone may fall out.
If working over or near a sink, plug the drain.
1. If using a mild jewelry cleaning solution, pour the solution into a clean bowl. You can also make your own solution by combining lukewarm water and mild dishwashing liquid. (2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid to 1 quart of water.)
*For items with gemstones, place the piece in a strainer and sit the strainer on top of the bowl so that the solution comes through the strainer and completely surrounds the piece. (The strainer will catch any stones that might possibly fall out.) For other items, simply place the piece in the bowl.
2. Soak the item for 10 to 20 minutes. (to soften and loosen any residue and dirt.) For items with gemstones, remove the strainer to a large towel and inspect your jewelry to make sure that all the stones are in place.
3. Thoroughly, but gently, brush the top, sides and bottom of the piece with a soft brush to remove the softened residue. For gemstones, you should also brush the underside of the stone. Use a toothpick to reach crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.
4. Rinse with clean water.
5. Thoroughly dry with a cloth that is soft, dry and clean. If all the residue has not been removed, repeat the above steps as needed. The store properly.
Within 24 hours of wearing, wipe with a soft, water-moistened cloth to remove residue. If worn several times a week, once a year moisten a soft, clean cloth in a solution of one part mild dish-washing liquid to 20 parts lukewarm water, and rub each pearl individually. Wipe off with a damp, clean cloth and buff dry. Let the pearls air-dry overnight.
Never toss into a purse or jewelry box where they can be scratched, and don't store in plastic: pearls need air to retain their beauty, place in a satin-lined box or chamois bag, or wrap in tissue.
» For greater luster, wear frequently so that natural skin oils can be absorbed.
» Avoid contact with household chemicals or chlorinated pools.
» Put on pearls after applying cosmetics, perfume, and hair spray.
Wipe with a soft, clean cloth dipped in a solution of water and a few drops of mild dish-washing liquid.
Keep wherever humidity is highest. Opals contain a lot of water and are prone to drying out. Never store in plastic: this stone needs air to retain its beauty.
Opals are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Avoid very hot or cold weather (which can shrink the stone, causing it to fall out of its setting) direct sunlight, or dishwashing.
Mix a few drops of mild dish-washing liquid in a bowl of warm water. Immerse for no more than a few minutes and clean with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Soft, brittle stones, emeralds must be stored separately to prevent chipping. Avoid storing them in a dry environment.
» Have emeralds oiled by a jeweler every few years to maintain beauty.
» Avoid saltwater, chlorine, solvents, and alcohol, which will erode the finish and polish.