How to make your jewelry last forever…
Every metal and every stone is different and therefore needs special attention. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your jewelry.
I mostly use sterling silver which consists out of 92.5% pure sliver and 7.5% alloy and isn’t as easily damaged as pure silver – It will still oxidize with time though, because of the humidity/pollution in the air.
Cleaning your silver:
For polished silver: Use a cotton cloth.
For matte silver and bigger pieces: Use a mild soap and water solution.
For stubborn spots: Apply silver cleaner with a cotton swab, and follow by brushing with baking soda and soap paste.
– Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt. Tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in these products.
– Store your silver jewelry in a dark, dry place, because light and oxygen will tarnish the silver. Also, don’t wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals, as these will damage the jewelry.
– Take caution with sterling silver dips, as they can damage your gemstones by taking off their color and polish.
– If you own a sterling silver piece that has been partially oxidized, be careful not to clean those parts as the cleanser will affect the oxidization.
Gold needs very gentle, regular care; otherwise a film of oils (from lotions, powders, soaps, and natural skin oils) will build up and make it look dull.
Cleaning your gold:
Mix a couple of drops of any mild liquid detergent you have at home with warm water. Then put the gold piece into the soap mixture and let it sit for a couple of minutes. While it sits, use a soft toothbrush or an eyebrow brush to gently scrub the jewelry.
After you remove the jewelry from the soapy water, rinse it and dry it thoroughly with a soft polishing cloth.
– Take gold jewelry off before you shower or use household cleaners.
– Avoid chlorine as it will damage the gold and make it break easily.
– You do not want your jewelry to rub against each other, because it may cause scratches on the metal. To avoid this, store jewelry in fabric-lined jewelry case or box with compartments and dividers.
– Also, don’t mix your diamond jewelry with your gold jewelry because the diamond may scratch the gold.
Pearls are an organic material and have a very soft surface, therefore can damage easily. Here are a couple things you should look out for:
– Apply cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume before putting on any pearl jewelry, as these products will damage your pearls.
– Make sure your pearls don’t touch/rub against other jewelry, especially gemstones or diamonds, as these will scratch your pearls.
Cleaning your pearls:
Wash your pearl jewelry with mild soap and water.
Wipe your pearls with a soft, lint-free cloth as soon as you take them off. The cloth can be dampened with water or it can be dry. If damp, allow the pearls to air dry before putting them away.
– Never clean your pearls with solutions that contain ammonia or harsh detergents.
– Don’t put pearl jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner.
– Don’t use abrasive cleaners or rub pearls with abrasive cloth, as it can wear away the nacre coating, leaving you with a plain looking bead.
Natural pearls are sold by carat weight, but cultured pearls are sold by their size in millimeters.
Diamonds are durable, but they still require proper care. Lotions, powders, soaps and even natural skin oils put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Clean diamonds “glow” because the maximum amount of light can enter the stone and return in a fiery brilliance. Here are a few tricks to maintain that brilliance:
– Do not wear diamond jewelry, when you’re doing rough work. Diamonds are one of the hardest materials in nature, but they still be chipped by a sharp, sudden blow.
– Watch out for chlorine, as it can damage and discolor the mounting on your diamond jewelry.
Cleaning your diamonds:
Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.
I use many different gemstones, and each of them needs special attention. However, here are several general rules you can follow to make sure your jewelry looks its best!
– After wearing wipe your precious gemstone jewelry with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth.
– Don’t expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of your gemstones.
– Hair spray, perfume and perspiration also cause your stones to become dull. Make sure to put your jewelry on after you applied your cosmetics.
– Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes, as that will cause them to crack!
– If you have an active lifestyle take extra precautions with some types of gemstone jewelry. Emeralds, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or any other activity where the stone could be hit or damaged.
– Be extra careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones are fragile and can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners.
– Store your gemstone jewelry separately as the pieces may scratch each other.
You’ve got the tips & tricks; you’ve got the jewelry… Now it’s time to shine!