tools of the trade
Keep your jewelry free of dirt, cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, and perspiration. Avoid salt water and harsh chemicals such as chlorine or detergents which can harm gold and gemstones. Store your jewelry in a soft pouch or box.
care of gemstone jewelry
The following information will help insure that your colored gemstone jewelry remains beautiful for years to come:
- Do wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, cloth after wearing. This will enhance the luster and assure that your jewelry is clean before being stored.
- Don't expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gems. Use of hair spray, perfume and the presence of perspiration may cause jewelry to dull. Also, do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes.
care of fragile gemstone jewelry
Opal, emerald and tanzanite are more fragile and require more care. Emeralds, for example are often treated using a colorfast oil or similar substance to improve their appearance. The following tips will help protect these more fragile gems:
- Avoid cleaning solutions, perfume and hair spray while wearing them.
- Never use commercial cleaning solutions to clean them. Use only a soft cloth and lukewarm water.
- Don't boil or use hot water for cleaning.
- Never store these gemstones with other jewelry, as they are easily cracked and scratched.
- Never wear your opal jewelry in very cold weather, while washing dishes, or handling frozen foods. Extreme temperature variations may cause cracking.
care of diamonds
- A diamond is the hardest substance known to man. Although your diamond is incredibly durable, it can still be chipped by a strong blow to an edge. Don’t wear your diamond while doing rough work.
- While chlorine and bleach won't harm your diamond, they will damage or discolor a gold or white gold mounting. Always remove your diamond jewelry before using any chemicals.
- Do have your ring checked and cleaned at least once a year. For everyday light cleaning use a baby toothbrush and warm sudsy water in bowl
- Don't leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can easily slip down the drain.
- Store your diamond jewelry separately because diamonds can scratch other jewelry or each other.
care of gold and platinum jewelry
- Remove all jewelry before bathing, swimming or using any chemicals. Soap can leave a dulling film; chemicals such as chlorine or cleaning solutions will damage your jewelry.
- For a light cleaning of your gold jewelry, use a very diluted solution of liquid detergent in lukewarm water and a soft cloth or baby toothbrush
- Protect your gold jewelry from scratching by using pouches or a compartmentalized jewelry box. Don't sleep in your jewelry, it can be dangerous to you and the jewelry.
care of opaque stone jewelry
- Stones such as lapis, turquoise, coral, onyx and malachite are sometimes treated to enhance natural color or luster. Although this treatment is generally colorfast, it may run upon contact with hair spray, perfume, or dry cleaning solution.
- Never wear these stones while bathing, swimming, or while working with chemicals or detergents, as they may ruin the finish of the stones.
- Avoid exposure of these stones to any chemicals or detergents.
- Shell cameos, as well as those carved from blue, green or brown agate, require simple cleaning with a damp cloth. No chemical dips, ultrasonic or steam cleaning.
care of sterling silver jewelry
- Never wear your sterling silver jewelry in chlorinated water, as the chlorine may cause discoloration of the metal.
- As with other fine jewelry exposure to any chemicals may damage the finish.
- Exposure to light and air will naturally cause silver to tarnish. For touch up polishing, use a cloth or mitt specially designed to remove tarnish without scratching the silver.
- Store your silver in a zip lock bag, individually wrapped to prevent it from being scratched by other jewelry; this will help to keep the silver from tarnishing.
care of cultured pearls
The surface coating, or "nacre" of cultured pearls is a soft organic material which requires special care to prevent chipping, cracking or discoloration.
- "Last on - first off" - put your cultured pearls on after applying cosmetics, hair spray, nail polish, or perfume. Similarly remove them before beginning your nighttime beauty regimen.
- Never wear cultured pearls while bathing swimming or while working with chemicals. All of these substances will damage the nacre coating of your cultured pearls or the silk on which they are strung.
- Use a clean, soft, dry cloth to wipe your pearls after wearing, and store them in a soft pouch or cloth, to prevent scratching by other jewelry.
- If your cultured pearls become more heavily soiled, it's time for a professional cleaning and restringing.
- Your pearls should be professionally cleaned and restrung every four to six years (more frequently if you wear them often). Ordinary wear and air pollution will weaken the silk threads on which they are strung.