Like many precious items needing care and maintenance, jewellery requires great attention in order to prolong its original condition as much as possible. Here are some jewellery care tips to follow.
To care for your jewellery and keep it clean and ready to wear, gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wearing. Use an essence free, 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean using only the soft pads of your fingers, and store it in a jewellery box or a soft bag.
To remove fingerprints, light grease or dirt, add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely before storing in an air tight plastic bag.
Be very careful when using any soaking method to clean jewellery that has soft gemstones. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish on the stone. Never use chlorine bleach to clean jewellery.
To remove excessive tarnish, polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any remnants of the cleaner from gemstones and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
To help delay tarnish on sterling silver, wrap the jewellery piece in cotton tissue paper and place it inside a sealed plastic bag. When cleaning sterling silver remember that it is a very soft metal and can easily be blemished by a fingernail.
When caring for your jewellery, always use 100% cotton as a polishing cloth since paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics often contain wood fibres or synthetics. These materials may impart fine scratches in the metal, especially on sterling silver.
A polished appearance is the result of the jeweller’s effort to file, sand and buff the metal to a perfectly shiny surface. When even minor scratches occur, the surface looks like the ragged edge of a saw blade and light is bounced in and around those scratches. A smooth surface allows the light to bounce back smoothly, with no echoes, and results in a highly reflective surface.
Always remove your rings and fine jewellery before using any product that contains bleach. Bleach can cause gold and other metal alloys to breakdown leaving the metal irreparably damaged.
If you normally use cotton cloths to keep your jewellery clean and shiny, be sure to use fresh cloths since the dirt and grit left on the cloth from a previous use will now leave scrapes and pits in the piece you are trying to clean and polish.
Never use abrasive solutions to clean metal or stones. Besides chlorine bleach, alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia can cause harm. These chemicals can dull or even pit the surface on softer gemstones
Opals require special care. Never use chemicals and avoid heat. Don't put your opal ring on the window sill when washing your hands or the dishes as strong sunlight can dry out the water in opals which could cause hazing or colour change.
Pearls must be protected from scratches, perfumes and household chemicals which can wear away the surface layer and cause colour change.
Soft stones like Tanzanite, emeralds and opals can easily be scratched by pin stems and the edges of other jewellery. Protect pieces with these gemstones by wrapping them in cotton tissues and storing separately in jewellery boxes.
Most importantly jewellery must be checked on an annual basis by a jeweller to ensure the stones are secure in their setting and that the jewellery is in optimal condition.