With the proper care your jewelry can last lifetimes from an 100 year old family heirloom, to a custom creation, or your latest purchase. Jewelry is one of the world's most incredibly intimate and cherished forms of adornment.
Using these tips can can protect and maintain the beauty of your jewelry for generations to come.
1. Be mindful with Light and Heat
With colored gemstones, it’s good to be aware of sun exposure because its rays can affect both durability and the color of the stone. In excess and over long periods of time, gemstones such as amethyst, citrine, zircon, kunzite, and jade can fade or even be permanently damaged.
More delicate materials like pearls can even bleach in extreme light exposure. If you’re planning a beach day, it may be best to leave your gemstone jewelry behind!
Sudden temperature changes and extreme heat can also cause fractures in some gems, as the high temperature can remove the natural moisture gems need in order to keep their beauty. Reaching in and out of the oven or freezer excessively are good examples of what can cause this damage.2. Keep your Jewelry Away from Chemicals
This one is easy! Cleaning your house for the day? Remove your jewelry first before getting your hands dirty. Many household cleaners contain ammonia, which can be rough on your more delicate gems or pit and damage gold alloys.
Everyday use of beauty products, such as hairspray, lotion, perfume, or cosmetics, which contain various chemicals that build up over time, can damage porous gems such as turquoise and pearls.
Exposure to chemicals can damage or discolor precious metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum. Simply wait until you’re done with your beauty routine to put on your jewelry to avoid these issues.
Having a pool day? Remove your fine jewelry before getting into a chlorinated swimming pool, as it can damage or discolor your jewelry.
3. Use Ultrasonic Cleaners with Care
Gemstones that have been filled or heated/treated gemstones should stay away from the ultrasonic cleaners. Some common gems that are susceptible to this are emerald, tanzanite, moonstone, kunzite, opal, topaz, turquoise, and zircon.
The Ultrasonic creates a vibration to help clean the jewelry, which can also shake out loose gems or chip them if they’re touching one another (think of a channel setting). Ultrasonic cleaners are great to use on precious metals such as gold, untarnished silver, and platinum jewelry that may have diamonds and other harder gemstones, such as sapphire and ruby.
After you’re done cleaning, make sure to double check the settings of your jewelry to make sure nothing is loose or no gemstones have fallen out with the vibration of the machine.
4. Easy Cleaning Methods
My personal favorite easy method to clean jewelry is with warm, soapy water and a toothbrush over a glass or bowl of water to avoid the risk of dropping it down the sink. Afterwards, rinse your jewelry in clean water to remove the extra soap.
With softer gems such as pearls and opals, use a clean makeup brush and warm, soapy water to clean them. Afterwards, use a clean cloth to gently buff the metal and dry the jewelry.
For precious metal jewelry, take your polishing cloth and wipe away the dirt from the metal. With sterling silver jewelry, these cloths can be used to remove the tarnish as well.
5. Safely Store your Jewelry
When not wearing your jewelry, make sure to put it in a safe place, such as a jewelry box, ring tray, or a ziplock bag. Most jewelers (like us!) give you pouches or boxes to keep your jewelry safe and protected, so it’s a perfect place to keep your pieces.
Be mindful of tossing your jewelry in a drawer or leaving it on a nightstand, as it could get easily scratched or damaged. Plus, you don’t want to accidentally lose your valuables!
If traveling with your jewelry, protect it by storing the pieces individually, instead of putting them loose in a box or case. It will prevent the pieces from scratching each other
For sterling silver jewelry, it’s best to put it away in a ziplock bag or airtight container in an anti-tarnish cloth to prevent it from tarnishing. Another way to prevent tarnishing can be to put chalk in the bag with your silver jewelry, which will work to drain the moisture from the air.
When to take your jewelry to a Professional:
If you're having trouble cleaning hard to reach areas or build up, take it for a professional cleaning.
If your piece has loose gems, take it to be fixed before running the risk of further damage or having the gems fall out.
Deep scratches cannot be buffed out and must be re-polished in order to bring back it's shine like new.
Broken or missing parts from everyday wear and tear can occur even to the most precious of pieces. It is best to take it to an expert who has the right tools to make the repair like new again.
I hope this was helpful and your feedback is welcome!
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