Did you get a fancy new gold necklace of a shiny engagement ring for Christmas? Congratulations! What makes jewelry so eternal is that it can always look as shiny as when you first got it, provided you take good care of it. Properly storing and caring for your jewelry, combined with an occasional visit to a professional will ensure that you will proudly wear your precious possessions for years and years to come. While some pieces of jewelry are fairly easy to maintain, others like pearls require extra attention and special precautions to be taken. In this guide, we will go through the proper ways of cleaning and taking care of different pieces of jewelry so that they truly last forever.
Jewelry Cleaning Advice
A rule of thumb for most pieces of jewelry in your collection is to follow your common sense. That said, one thing that can irreparably damage your jewelry is exposing it to household chemicals like chlorine bleach. These chemicals can discolor or completely ruin precious metal mountings. Likewise, avoid wearing your jewelry while you are doing rough manual chores or while you are playing sports as a hard blow could chip or jar loose the precious gemstones. When storing your jewelry, make sure that the pieces do not tumble against each other, as this can scratch them. Each piece of jewelry should be stored in a separate soft cloth bag or in a separate compartment in your jewelry box.
You can clean sterling silver with a mild soap and warm water applied to a cotton cloth. To bring back its glow, wipe it with a jewelry polishing cloth specially made for polishing silver. Avoid circular movements and rub the silver in one direction instead.
Platinum & Gold Jewelry
Dilute dish detergent in a small bowl filled with warm water and soak your gold or platinum jewelry for three to five minutes. Rinse the jewelry under warm water using a clean cotton cloth to remove any traces of the dish detergent. Use a soft cloth to pat the jewelry dry. Make sure to dry it completely before wearing it again.
Amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, and other crystalline gemstones should be cleaned in a bowl filled with water and a drop of mild dish soap. You can scrub the stones’ surroundings with a soft baby toothbrush. Rinse the soap thoroughly and dry with a cloth. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies in gold or platinum are best cleaned by using water with a drop of ammonia. However, silver and organic gemstones can be damaged by ammonia, so use this solution only for gold and platinum jewelry.
Keep pearls away from cosmetics, perfumes, chlorine, vinegar, ammonia, perspiration, and dirt at all costs. After wearing the pearl jewelry, clean it with a slightly damp cloth. You can wash pearls with mild soap using a soft cloth. Rinse any excess soap in clean water and wrap them in a damp cotton towel until dry. Store them in an environment that’s not too dry, as they require some humidity, so they don’t crack.
Professional Jewelry Cleaning
If you want to make sure your jewelry keeps its sparkle for years to come, have it professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year. If you notice that the stones in your jewelry are chipped, the prongs damaged or clasps malfunctioning, contact Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers immediately. Don’t risk losing your precious gemstones from a broken or bent prong! Our in-house jewelers are available for all your cleaning and jewelry repair needs so visit us on San Diego Avenue today.