How to care for your Jewellery

| 8th Jun 2016

 

careJewellery is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. Chemicals found in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, or other cosmetics can permanently damage your jewelry and corrode the alloys in the setting.

Understanding how to care for your jewellery can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping its quality sparkling.

Light and heat can affect a coloured gemstone’s durability and colour. Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, over time and in excess, it can also fade and weaken some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz, and pink conch-shell cameos. Pearls and other delicate materials, like ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.

Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes may also fracture the gem. Heat can easily remove the natural moisture some gems need to keep their beauty. Pearls, for instance, can dry out, crack and discolour.

Exposure to chemicals can damage and discolour precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. Fine jewellery should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool, or before using household cleaners. Many of these cleaners contain ammonia, and are only safe for diamonds and the more durable coloured gems. Chlorine bleach, another common household solvent, can pit gold and silver alloys.

We recommends cleaning most coloured 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. Be sure to stop the sink’s drain or use a rubber mat in case the stone comes loose from its setting.

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. Most jewelry pieces come in a box or pouch from the store, which is a perfect place to keep them. Sterling silver, for example, should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth.

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