Certain types of metals or gemstones are more delicate than others, and require care as unique as the jewellery itself. Depending on the piece, various techniques of storing, cleaning and polishing are used to keep jewellery looking its best.
Inspect Your Jewellery Often
Have your jewellery inspected annually–and take advantage of this opportunity to have it cleaned professionally. Jewellery may have loose settings, clasps, links or stringing; gems may be cracked or damaged. Pinpointing faults and weaknesses sooner can prevent further damage and give you more wear out of your piece.
Remove Jewellery when Necessary
Some tasks are just too rough for fine jewellery to handle! Remember that even a diamond can chip, and consider other stones are even more delicate. Jewellery is often sensitive to hard knocks, abrasion and chemicals. Don’t wear your jewellery while engaging in rough sports, gardening, heavy cleaning or in chlorine pools and spas. Remove jewellery before bathing, as soaps and oils may cause damage as well. It’s also a good idea to take off all jewellery before going to bed.
Put Jewellery on Last
As you get ready to start the day, make sure putting your jewellery on is the finishing touch to your morning ritual. Perfume, hairspray and cosmetics may contain chemicals that can damage your jewellery, and certain pieces can even get caught in your clothes while dressing.
Clean Your Jewellery with Care
If you choose to clean your own jewellery, do so carefully. If you purchase commercial cleaning agents, be sure to follow directions as the majority of products are not equally suited to all jewellery types. Most jewellery can be cleaned with a gentle washing in warm soapy water, but should never be dried with paper towels or any other abrasive cloths. A polishing cloth should be used instead and is suitable for all of your jewellery. An ultrasonic cleaning machine should be used with care, and never used with pearl, opal, emerald, peridot, tanzanite, turquoise or mystic topaz.
Store Jewellery Individually to Avoid Scratches
Pearls scratch easily; diamonds and gemstones may scratch one another; and hollow gold or silver pieces may dent. Take care to store your jewellery pieces individually, preferably in soft pouches or cases, and they will keep their good looks. Keep anti-tarnish strips with your gold and silver jewellery to help them resist tarnish when they are not being worn.
Specific Care of Gemstones
Learn more about the properties of various gemstones and how to care for them.