Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first think you take off at night. This will avoid your precious jewelry from perfumes, lotions or get caught in your clothing.
Jewelry is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. Understanding how to care for and protect your treasured jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping your heirlooms sparking for generations to come.
BE CAREFUL WITH LIGHT AND HEAT
Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, light and heat can affect colored gemstone’s durability and color. Over time and in access they can fade or damage some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz and shell cameos. Pearls and other delicate materials such as ivory will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems especially amber can darken over time when exposed to too much light. Opals can turn white or brown, develop tiny cracks and may affect their play of color.
KEEP YOUR JEWELRY AWAY FROM CHEMICALS
Exposure to chemicals can damage or discolor precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and may harm some gem stones. Everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, or other cosmetics that contain chemicals may permanently damage the surface of your pearls and other delicate or porous gems. Fine jewelry should be removed before you go into a pool or using household cleaners that contains chlorine, ammonia and bleach.
THE SAFEST CLEANING METHODS
Cleaning jewelry yourself
Most colored gems can be cleaned with warm water a mild dishwashing soap and a soft bristle brush. A pulsed-water dental cleaning appliance and a soft lint-free cloth can also be used. Rinse your jewelry in a glass or bowl of water while gently brushing to remove cleaning solution and avoid the risk of losing stones or the entire piece of jewelry.
Soft gems such as pearls can easily scratch. Use a clean makeup brush and warm soapy water to gently clean and rinse. Lay the strand of pearls on a towel to dry being careful not to stretch the silk thread You can purchase a jar of jewelry cleaner with a dip tray and brush which works just as well. They are available for PRECIOUS (Gold, Platinum, Diamonds and Precious Gemstones), STERLING SILVER, DELICATE (Semi-Precious Stones, Pearls and Costume Jewelry)
Look for Jewelers with professional training and a good reputation who offer complimentary inspection and cleaning of your jewelry. Asking friends or relatives for recommendations is a good start.
SAFELY STORE YOUR JEWELRY
Store your jewelry properly in a jewelry box that has individual padded slots for rings, posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets. They should never be tossed into a drawer or on top of a dresser. Sterling silver should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag of cloth.
When traveling protect your jewelry from scratches or other impact damage by padding it in a separate box or case.