Cleaning and Caring for Your Jewelry
Take Care Of Your Jewelry
Preserve the magic of the moment
You will never forget the way your heart skipped a beat when you tried those stunning diamond earrings on for the first time, or when he slipped that elegant ring onto your finger. Your jewelry is symbolic of what (and who!) you cherish most. Just like any investment, it requires a little TLC and routine maintenance in order to keep it in pristine condition. By making time to clean and care for your jewelry regularly, you not only enjoy the benefit of lasting sparkle, but also maximize its longevity.
There is no one-size-fits-all technique when it comes to caring for jewelry. Gemstones, metals and pearls are as unique as the person wearing them. Understanding the nuances of each is key to maintaining the luster and shine of each piece.
Gold & Platinum
Unlike silver, gold does not tarnish. However, a combination of daily cosmetics and exposure to the elements often results in a buildup of grime and dirt, leaving the jewelry looking dull. To restore the shine to gold jewelry, there are a number of simple home remedies. The most basic is to combine mild dish soap (no detergent!) and lukewarm water in a bowl and allow the jewelry to soak for 15 minutes. Remove the piece and scrub it lightly with a soft-bristle toothbrush to reach any dirt that may be nested in the intricate nooks of the design. Polish gently until dry.
One powerful agent used to clean gold is ammonia, but this should be done cautiously. Mix one part ammonia with six parts water, but do not let the jewelry soak for longer than 1 minute. Rinse and pat dry. Ammonia provides the gold with a deeper cleaning, but it can be caustic if used too frequently.
Like metals, gemstones can be cleaned in a simple solution of mild soap and water. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is also effective in reaching the hard-to-see nooks and crevices of the setting. Even the smallest amount of grease on the surface of a diamond impacts its brilliance. Light and heat can cause some colored gemstones, such as topaz and amethyst, to fade. Extreme temperatures can cause stones to crack.
It is important to be proactive in caring for your precious gemstones; removing them before you have any direct contact with chemicals (household cleaners, chlorine in a pool, hair dye, etc.) will help to preserve their luster.
Pearls are considered soft gems, and are more susceptible to scratches. Warm water and soap can be used to clean them, but another trick is to use a drop of olive oil to polish them. Never use bleach, baking soda, detergent or ammonia when cleaning them. Lay them flat on a damp towel to dry. One bit of happy news: a great way to keep pearls clean is to wear them every day – the natural oils from your skin help maintain their luster!
More Helpful Hints!
Store your jewelry in a soft, padded box or pouch to prevent damage. Hang necklaces up so they do not become entangled.
Make sure jewelry is completely dry before putting it on to prevent moisture from being trapped against your skin.
Your jewelry should be the final accessory that you put on and take off each day. This protects each piece from lotion, makeup and perfume residue, as well as potentially snagging an article of clothing.
Proper cleaning and storage are critical to keep your treasured jewelry looking radiant. However, it is important to keep an eye out for loose stones, scratches or any type of malfunction. Experts recommend bringing your fine jewelry to a jeweler once a year for routine maintenance. Always let a trained professional fix any damage!
What are YOUR go-to tricks for keeping your jewelry sparkling? Feel free to share your tips, comments and stories with us here!