Jewelry is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. It is worn by millions of people every day. Understanding the knowledge and basic practices of taking care of our jewelry makes a big difference in maintaining and being able to wear these jewelry pieces for a long time.
Some of the basic guidelines when wearing jewelry are:
i. Put on jewelry after applying makeup, this includes perfumes and hairspray. Some of these products contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting on jewelry after exposes them to minimal exposure to these chemicals.
ii. Remove jewelry during manual tasks. These include house chores, kitchen cleaning, gardening, moving or lifting heavy objects, exercise etc.
iii. Always remove jewelry before getting into the shower, swimming pool or spa. The chlorine in the water can react with the metals causing structural damage and color change.
- Always follow the instructions appearing on the label or box. This is a step many tend to ignore.
- Clean jewelry often. Exposure to oils, lotions and other forms of dirt can alter the properties of gold, diamond and gemstones making them look dull.
- Wipe jewelry gently with a damp cloth that is soft and clean in a secure location, for example, it’s not advisable to clean small earrings or studs in the sink as they may accidentally go down the drain.
Caring for pearls: pearls need special care and attention. Due to the fact that they’re soft, don’t store them with other pieces that can scratch their surface. Store them separately. Wipe pearls off with either a wet or dry soft cloth that will prevent dirt from accumulating and keep way perspiration, which is slightly acidic, from eating into the pearls.
Caring for gold: Gold can be dirtied or dulled by the chemicals found on the oils we daily use like body lotions. Mix a squeeze of mild dish detergent with warm water in a small bowl. Let the items soak for a few minutes and use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub them. Thereafter, dry them thoroughly with a soft polishing cloth.
Caring for gold plated items: Bumps and scratches can make the gold layer wear away. Store your pieces in a velvet-lined jewelry box or wrap in a soft material to prevent scratches. Lightly wipe with a damp cloth to remove excessive dirt and accumulated oils and use a non-abrasive polishing cloth to gently rub the items to restore shine
Caring for gemstones: As much as gemstones cannot be easily broken because they’re quite literally as hard as rock, they can be damaged from careless handling and negligence. Clean your gemstone pieces regularly with water mixed with little dish soap and a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the stone. Rinse them off with a lint-free cloth
Caring for silver: Clean with warm water and mild liquid soap and wipe off immediately with a soft polishing cloth. Avoid using toothbrushes, ammonia based products and abrasives of any kind.
Have your jewelry cleaned and checked professionally for worn mountings, loose prongs and general condition at least once per year.