For those of us who invest money and love into the purchase of beautiful pieces, jewelry care is an important topic. Preserving the investment takes some time and attention if the piece is going to last the test of time. There is a lot of advice out there in the world claiming to be an expert in how to care for your jewelry. Here we have collated the best advice for the care and cleaning of these prized possessions, answering some commonly posed questions.
How can I prevent damage to my jewelry?
Whether It is the loss of a stone from a ring, scratching to a pendant or the back of an earring going astray, most people have experienced the loss of a precious piece through damage. While the ways to prevent these accidents will appear common sense, it is always good to have a reminder.
First, remove your jewelry before exercise, showering and sleeping. You might also want to apply lotions and perfumes before putting the jewelry back on, avoiding that grime that can build up. Second, when cleaning your home, it is easy to forget to remove rings and the like but contact with abrasive chemicals can cause a lot of problems. Finally, store your jewelry safely and out of the reach of children. Young people love playing dress up but do not have the dexterity to handle your favorite jewelry with care.
Some damage is unavoidable, as there will be natural wear and tear from daily use. However, you can still control this by checking the jewelry for damage and dealing with small issues before they become bigger ones. For instance, checking the stone setting on a ring to see if all the claws are in place could help prevent the loss of the gem. Equally, clasps on bracelets and necklaces are a common point of failure.
If there are weaknesses to the back of earrings, to hinged joints or links in chains, it is best to stop wearing the jewelry and take it to a trusted jeweler for repair.
How should I store my jewelry?
Many on the common damage caused to jewelry is from inappropriate storage. It is tempting to walk in the bedroom and toss your jewelry onto the side or into a pile in your jewelry box. It is better to organize the storage of your jewelry to prevent obvious and less expected consequence.
First, separating jewelry types prevents different metals coming into contact with each other and reacting. Equally, separating delicate jewelry from other pieces will prevent them getting tangled with each other. You might even want to put these more delicate pieces inside fabric or velvet pouches to avoid scratches and tangles.
Ultimately, you want to invest in a high-quality jewelry box that has multiple draws and casings for your favorite pieces. There are some stunning boxes out there that will make you proud of your collection. There are also storage devices that are designed specifically for rings and necklaces. A necklace tree is the perfect solution to the tangles.
How do I prevent my jewelry from tarnishing?
Gold and silver jewelry are sensitive to tarnishing, as they react to the moisture in the air. Tarnishing, or going black, can happen if you do not store these pieces correctly. It is best to avoid this problem by drying the jewelry before you put them in your box, if they have become damp from the rain, for instance. A quick rub with a jewelry cloth will also remove grime.
A clever trick is to use a silica gel packet in your jewelry box, which will reduce the humidity and so prevent the tarnishing when being stored.
How do I clean my jewelry?
Silver and gold are relatively easy to clean, it just needs to be done regularly. The first method is using dosh soap. This is the soap that you would use to clean your hands. Add some suds from soap to warm water and soak the jewelry for 10 minutes. Then, use a soft toothbrush to get into the hard-to-reach places. Make sure you dry the jewelry thoroughly with a soft microfiber cloth.
Alternatively, you can use a salt bath. You need warm, salty water – and add to this a strip of aluminum foil. The resulting reaction will remove tarnish and return the surface of the jewelry to a shine. Again, make sure you dry thoroughly and shine.
Cleaning a gemstone can be done in warm water with a mild detergent and a soft cloth. However, resin-based jewelry is not waterproof and is reactive to heat. Therefore, it is best to wipe it with a cloth.
Ultimately, if you are worried about making errors when cleaning, taking the piece to a reputable jeweler for a regular check-up is a great way to go. For those pieces where you have a lot of investment in money and emotion, it is worth the extra cost and effort.