Keep your jewellery looking its best with simple maintenance techniques. The care you provide for your jewellery will prove rewarding by giving you years of pleasurable wear.
- Try to protect all jewellery from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Chlorine and related chemicals can severely discolour and damage jewellery as well as loosen stones and settings.
- Put jewellery on after using cosmetics, hair spray or perfumes to avoid contact with substances and chemicals which may cause damage?
- Remove rings (in particular diamond engagement rings) when working with your hands, such as performing household tasks, gardening and using abrasive particles.
- Carefully wipe jewellery with a soft chamois or flannel cloth after each wearing to remove oils and salts. This is especially important for pearls.
- Store jewellery separately so it will not scratch other jewellery. Cultured pearls are best stored in a special chamois pouch because of their softness. Never store Pearls in plastic bags!
- Storing beaded necklaces flat is highly recommended to reduce stretching. Coil chains gently to prevent damage in storage.
- Thoroughly dry jewellery after exposure to water; moisture can cause tarnishing & may weaken springs & clasps.
Gemstone jewellery is one of the most special gifts you can give or get. A gift so lovely and enduring deserves the best care to keep the gems’ sparkle bright and undamaged. While every type of gem is different and specific care instructions apply to many, there are some general rules of thumb to follow when wearing precious or semi-precious gemstones.
Wearing gemstone jewellery
Whilst most gems are sturdy, they can chip, crack, scratch or even split. Keeping a few cautions in mind can help protect your beautiful jewellery for years of long life.
- Remove your jewellery before engaging in activities that might damage the stones in your jewellery. Gardening and yard work, housecleaning – especially doing the dishes – and even exercise can put your precious gems at risk of being banged and scraped against dirt, stones, walls and other things that could damage them.
- Lotions, creams, cosmetics and perfume are meant to make you beautiful. Their effect on precious gemstones is another story. The chemicals and oils in hairsprays, lotions and other cosmetics can dull or even damage your birthstone jewellery. Remove it before applying makeup and cosmetics.
- Check your jewellery settings frequently to be sure that prongs aren’t working loose and putting you at risk of losing the stones.
- Remove jewellery when swimming, bathing or showering. The chlorine and other chemicals in water are not kind to precious gems and metals.
Cleaning gem jewellery
Oils and dust can collect in the crannies behind your gem’s setting, dulling the beautiful sparkle. Gemstones should be cleaned every one to two months – more often if you wear it every day. There’s no need to invest in special cleaning solution, cloths or machinery. The best solution for cleaning most gems is water with a little mild dishwashing soap added. For clear stones like diamonds, a capful of ammonia added to the water can brighten the fiery sparkle as well. To clean your jewellery at home:
- Check to be sure settings are tight.
- Fill a small bowl with warm water and a little dishwashing detergent.
- Place the piece of jewellery in the bowl and let soak for 10 to 20 minutes for hard gems like diamond, sapphires and rubies, no more than 5 to 10 minutes for porous stones. See individual care guides for cleaning instructions for opals, pearls and other porous gems.
- Remove jewellery from the bowl and scrub gently but firmly with a soft bristle brush. A baby toothbrush is ideal.
- Rinse under clear water.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Dry well with soft, absorbent cloth.
Keep in mind that while gemstones are tough, they CAN damage each other. When storing your gemstone jewellery in a jewellery box, place each piece in a separate compartment, or carefully wrap it in a soft cloth or jeweler’s bag.