Are you taking care of your beloved jewellery the way you should?
Most pieces of jewellery are designed to last a lifetime.
Many of us expect every piece of expensive jewellery to last for decades without showing the slightest signs of wear or fading. Although most of the fine jewellery will last for many years, you still need to take proper care of them to make this possible.
All your jewellery needs to be cleaned and cared for properly to ensure they don’t lose their charm and appeal.
So if you’ve got a collection of jewellery that means everything to you, here are a few tips on how to care for and clean your gemstones and jewellery.
#1 – Have A Professional Clean Yearly
Having your jewellery deep cleaned professionally at least once a year helps restore the shine and allure – and has your jewellery looking like new.
This depends on how often you wear jewellery too. Rarely worn jewellery can be cleaned once a year. While regularly used pieces, such as a wedding ring, an engagement ring, or loved necklace should have at least two professional cleanings a year.
This ensures your pieces don’t lose their original look and appeal.
#2 – Take It Off When in Doubt
The most common and valued jewellery (see: wedding and engagement rings) are meant to be worn every day.
Most of these are however made of hard materials such as diamond and Moissanite, some of the hardest materials on the planet. Moissanite and diamonds have a hardness value of around 9.25 and 10 respectively hence will resist scratches and normal wear and tear without breaking a sweat.
Softer materials such as sapphires and emeralds are however more susceptible to scratching and other forms of damage, hence should be treated/handled with care.
Simple tasks such as working out, DIY home projects, and even washing your dishes can prove to be too much for some of these gemstones. That said, it would be best if you left these valuables at home whenever headed for the beach, the swimming pool, and even when taking on DIY projects at home.
Sydney transport service Camex, have found rings in the trash. They explain “it’s easy to think your ring becomes a part of you, but working around the home can loosen your jewelry. We’ve found rings in the bottom of garbage bags, as well as green clippings, so there’s always the risk of losing what’s most valuable to you.”
Most precious stones do not fare well when exposed to salt and chlorine water. There’s also an even greater risk of losing the gemstones in these scenarios.
Your gemstones and jewelry will often be exposed to various elements which could cause wear or even staining. A thin ‘film’ may build-up overtime on the otherwise colorless stone. While the film might not be harmful, it will take you more than the over-the-counter jewelry cleaner to remove it.
You will need either a sunshine cleaning cloth or silversmith polish to clean the film from moissanite. Luckily though, some of these cleaners can be bought from a local hardware store.
Just because you have a diamond or moissanite ring or necklace doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible either. Prongs and settings can easily be damaged, causing the stone to loosen or fall out if not noticed on time. That said, you need to be careful with every piece to ensure it doesn’t lose its meaning.
#3 – Use the Right Cleaning Solution
This is particularly important if you plan to clean the gems yourself.
As a rule of thumb, corrosives and harsh chemicals should never be used to clean any of your jewelry. Dishwashing soap and some warm water will do the job well for most gemstones. You could also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the gems. It would however be advisable to use a soft makeup brush when cleaning/scrubbing pearls.
Know which metal you will be cleaning, and pick the right cleaning solution for the same. Each metal is unique and may react differently with the various cleaning products. Many pieces are however made of platinum, gold, and silver among other materials. You can also confirm the material used to make your jewelry with a local professional jeweler.
Pieces made of diamond, moissanite, and other durable and sturdy metals can be cleaned using ultrasonic cleaning methods. Ultrasonic cleaning involves the use of sound wavelengths to loosen dirt particles and clean the surface. They also use pressurized bubbles to help agitate any dirt and film thus providing an almost perfect clean. This cleaning method shouldn’t however be used on porous and soft gemstones.
#4 – Get Insurance
There’s always the risk of losing your jewellery.
Getting an insurance cover for these can, however, help eliminate the stresses that come with having fine jewelry lost or stolen. Talk to your home insurance provider to see if they do cover these as well.
Wedding celebrant Johan Khoury says more and more couples are insuring this jewelry. He explains “I’ve been a celebrant for many years and there has been a noticeable spike in the couples I speak to who are taking steps to ensure engagement and wedding rings. This helps reduce stress and ensures they can enjoy their jewelry without living in worry.”
Some insurance companies will offer individual policies for the most exquisite pieces.
#5 – Be Careful How You Store Your Jewelry
You’ll need to store these jewelries in a safe and secure place in the house.
Proper storage holds the key to a longer-lasting piece and also makes it easier to preserve its charm. Experts advise against storing all your jewellery in one drawer or spot.
Diamond and moissanite can easily damage other pieces in the collection. A fabric-lined compartment for each of these jewels in the drawer makes the perfect storage. These compartments also eliminate the need to untangle your jewellery as well.
You’ll need an anti-tarnish bag for jewels made of sterling silver. A breathable storage is also required for gemstones that need to ‘breathe’ to sustain their look and feel. These include pearls and opals.