It is important to have your jewelry inspected and cleaned regularly by a jewelry you can trust. However, there are many things you can do on your own to care for and protect your jewelry. The information offered below will help you protect your valuable investments by avoiding some very real problems that arise from improper storage, heat, light and exposure to harmful chemicals.
Perhaps the easiest, and yet most often overlooked, way to care for your jewelry is ensuring it is properly stored at the end of each day. Precious metals and gemstones possess varying levels of hardness. In addition, some pieces possess sharper corners of design elements than others. For these reasons, one must avoid the temptation to simply toss ones jewelry together in a drawer or box. Piling ones jewelry together will most certainly result in scratches and even fractured gemstones. We recommend the following rules of thumb;
Storing Your Jewelry:
Remove rings before performing household chores, such as cleaning, gardening or working with hand tools.
Jewelry should be stored separately to avoid scratches and damage from other jewelry. It is best to store your jewelry in a jewelry box or in individual cases/pouches. Make sure your jewelry box is equipped with padded slots, posts and compartments that offer the ability to store each piece securely.
Store necklaces, chains and bracelets flat or on so as to avoid kinks and knots.
Always store bead jewelry and pearls flat and in a soft pouch. Avoid storing pearls in plastic bags, as the lack of moisture will cause the pearls to dry out and decay.
Store jewelry away from sunlight as light and heat may have adverse effects on certain gemstones, causing them to fade or even crack (see the chart below for more details.)
Never leave jewelry on the edge of the sink, they can very easily slip down the drain.
Do not sleep in you jewelry.
When traveling, give care to packing your jewelry items. Protect your pieces from scratches and impact damage by using padding. Jewelry travel totes are recommended.
Keep silver away from sulfurous materials to prevent tarnish. Store in an airtight zipper bag to prevent air from coming in contact with your silver.
Cleaning Your Jewelry:
When cleaning your own jewelry, it is important to remember that precious metals like gold and silver are susceptible to damage from exposure to chemicals found in many household cleaning agents. These and other common chemicals, such as chlorine found in most pools, can also damage or discolor gemstones. Clean your jewelry and colored gems with warm water, a soft brush, and use only a mild soap (no detergents) if at all. A water pick or toothpick may be used to clean the hard to reach places, while a soft, lint-free cloth works well for drying and polishing. And of course, be sure to close the sink drain before cleaning. A list of cleaning tips follows:
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