Care and Maintenance of Fine Jewelry

The care and maintenance of fine jewelry keeps the items looking pristine. In contrast, neglect and cleaning mistakes can potentially lead to damaged pieces of jewelry that lose much of their appeal. The types of fine jewelry that require careful cleaning include those featuring diamonds, gemstones, pearls, gold, and platinum.

1. Cleaning Fine Jewelry With Diamonds:

While diamonds are exceedingly durable, if neglected and not properly cared for, their settings may suffer. Even diamonds tend to lose some of their brilliance if the wearer allows a coating of dirt to develop on them. For an easy cleaning method that benefits jewelry featuring untreated diamonds, we recommend mixing mild dish soap or an ammonia based cleaner such Mr. Clean, Fabuloso or Windex with water. As a general rule of thumb, mixing a quarter cup of ammonia base cleaner with one cup of lukewarm water is a good ratio. After letting the jewelry item soak in this liquid for 20 minutes to half an hour, it is a good idea to follow up by gently brushing the jewelry with a soft toothbrush. This step dislodges any dirt in the setting and removes any coating of oil or dust on the diamond. It is noteworthy that overly vigorous brushing will not harm the diamond but could cause damage to its setting. Next, rinse off the diamond jewelry to remove cleaners and dirt then dry it off with a soft cloth. It is not a good idea to simply let the pieces air-dry. Hard water spots can leave ugly marks on a diamond as well as its setting. Avoid touching clean diamonds with your fingers. Even one finger print can interfere with a diamond’s brilliance. Handle clean jewelry by its edges.

2. Keeping Gemstones Clean and Looking Great:

There are many different types of colored gemstones, some of which require specific care and cleaning procedures. Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced by one or more traditionally accepted jewelry practices. These treatments and enhancements can affect how you should clean and care for your colored gemstone jewelry. Please contact us (link) for more information on caring for treated or enhanced gemstones or for the best cleaning procedure for your particular gemstone jewelry. We recommend cleaning most colored gems with warm water, mild soap (no detergents), and a soft brush. A pulsed-water dental cleaning appliance and a soft, lint-free cloth can also be used. Always dry your jewelry after cleaning. Be sure to stop the sink’s drain or use a rubber mat in case the stone comes loose from its setting.

3. Keeping Pearls Looking Lustrous:

Cleaning considerations involve the setting as much as the nature of the pearl itself. Pearls are formed naturally when mollusks secrete nacre. This substance creates the lustrous pearl shine and finish. Since it is organically made, it features microscopic fissures that trap dirt, oil, and cleaning products. If the chemicals remain in contact with nacre too long, they may actually damage the substance. Use of a chamois cloth is one recommendation for the safe cleaning of cultured pearls. For heavily soiled pearl jewelry, it is acceptable to dampen the cloth in lukewarm water containing just a bit of mild dish soap. Soaking the pearls in water is not a good idea. Depending on the depth of the naturally occurring fissures, cultured pearls may soak up some of the cleaning water, which could be harmful to the nacre coating. It is possible to avoid regular cleaning of pearl jewelry by gently polishing the strands, rings, earrings, or brooches with a chamois after each wear. Proper storage of the items in fabric-lined cases further decreases the need for deep-cleaning procedures.

 

4. Polishing Gold for Shine and Luster:

It does not matter if the gold jewelry is white gold, rose gold or yellow gold. Cleaning procedures are identical for both types. If the gold has begun to tarnish, it is possible to remove this substance by mixing mild dish soap and lukewarm water with just a few drops of ammonia or ammonia based cleaner. Soaking the gold jewelry in this mix and then following up with a gentle rubbing using a lint-free cloth usually gets rid of the tarnish quickly. For more aggressive tarnish, an ultrasonic cleaning machine may yield good results. It is important to remember that this type of cleaning machine may be very damaging to some gemstones and should, therefore, only be relied upon if the jewelry does not feature gemstones, pearls, or other decorative items. For plain gold items soiled with grease, a quick dip into a glass containing rubbing alcohol can undo the damage.

5. Caring for Platinum Jewelry Pieces:

Platinum is perhaps the easiest metal to care for that is currently used for fine jewelry. It is durable and almost impervious to tarnish or discoloration brought on by chemicals. At-home cleaning regimens include lukewarm water and mild dish soap or a gentle rubbing with a chamois cloth. Unless the jewelry is heavily soiled, it may be sufficient to have the pieces cleaned professionally by us once or twice a year. If the jewelry features a combination of platinum and another precious metal, usually gold, it may be cleaned with the weaker metal in mind. Polishing the jewelry as though it were fashioned of gold is acceptable.

6. Remove Your Jewelry When:

  • Cleaning the house or using harsh chemicals

  • Putting on lotion, perfume, hairspray, shaving cream
    and other beauty products

  • Doing laundry

  • Swimming in the pool or entering a hot tub.
    Chlorine can damage and discolor the
    mounting.

  • Bathing

  • Experiencing extreme cold or heat,
    especially one right after the other.

  • Swimming in the ocean, esp. if it is cold. The
    temperature change can make your
    ring loose and fall off.

  • Working out or doing hard work.

 

7. Caring for Tungsten, Titanium and Cobalt Jewelry:

The best way to clean your alternative metal jewelry is with mild soap and water. However, you must be careful because many stronger soaps and detergents have chemical enhancers that will react unfavorably with your jewelry. To get around this, create a solution using a few drops of mild hand soap or dish liquid (preferably unscented) in a bowl of warm water and soak your dirty jewelry in it for several minutes. In most cases, all the dirt will be lifted off while the jewelry is immersed. If any dirt persists, use a buffing cloth to gently rub it out and then, dry your jewelry off.

8. How To Store Your Jewelry:

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked. Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or on top of a dresser—that’s a recipe for scratches and fractured gems. All of our fine jewelry pieces come in a box or pouch, which is a perfect place to keep them.  
Jewelry boxes that feature individually padded slots for rings, and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets, are also ideal. Like pearls, opals draw moisture from the air. Storing your opal ring or pearl earrings in a dry area, such as a safety deposit box, can actually do more harm than good. When traveling with jewelry, protect the pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding the jewelry.  

 

**We offer free unlimited jewelry inspections and professional cleaning.

Conclusion

Wearing fine jewelry made with diamonds, gemstones, pearls, gold, and platinum is a rewarding experience. To maintain the jewelry’s shine and overall good look, the wearer must regularly clean the piece. Cleaning regimens vary by material. Suggestions that work for one material do not always work for another. If a piece of jewelry features two or more materials with different cleaning requirements, the wearer has to be careful to only use methods recommended for the weaker material. In some cases, simple household cleaners can affect the same type of cleaning that commercial polishes accomplish.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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