To keep your jewellery looking its best, you need to take good care of it. Here are a few things you can do. This list is not exhaustive. It provides general advice for jewellery care.
Wearing your jewellery
Make sure you always:
- Apply lotion, cosmetics, hairspray, and perfume before putting on your jewellery.
- After wearing, wipe each piece with a clean, soft cloth to remove oils and perspiration.
- Use a nub-free, 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean using only the soft pads of your fingers.
Things you should not do:
- Never wear jewellery when doing physical work such as housekeeping, gardening or exercise.
- Never expose jewellery to household cleaning products. Remember, some household cleaners contain chlorine bleach, which will cause discoloration and loosen the gemstones.
- Never expose jewellery to chlorine swimming pools or hot tubs.
- Never immerse your jewellery in chlorine, salt water, mineral springs, or suntan lotion.
- If your jewellery contains gemstones or pearls, do not immerse in water, as this can loosen some settings.
Storing your jewellery
- Store it in a fabric-lined box, jewellers’ tissue, or soft bag.
- If you are storing several pieces together, make sure they are individually wrapped in tissue to prevent scratches.
- To prevent tarnish on sterling silver, wrap the piece in jeweller’s tissue paper and place it inside a plastic zip lock bag and seal.
To maintain the original condition of your jewellery, polish your pieces regularly. Use a non-abrasive cleaning cloth.
Do not dry jewellery off with paper towel or tissues, always use a soft cloth.
To remove fingerprints, light grease or dirt:
- Add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half-cup of warm water.
- Soak the item for 2 to 3 minutes
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water
- Dry completely before storing in an airtight plastic bag.
Note: Take extra care of jewellery that has soft stones, such as amber, lapis lazuli, or turquoise. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish on the stone.
To remove excessive tarnish:
- Polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner.
- Remove any remnants of the cleaner from gemstones and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Never use toothpaste.
When cleaning sterling silver, it’s important to remember it is a very soft metal and can easily be marred by a fingernail or wadded piece of fabric pushed roughly against the metal surface.
Avoid abrasive cleaners, chlorine bleach, detergents and commercial jewellery cleaners’ “dips”. Using harsh polishing cleaners will alter the antique look of your jewellery.
Gemstones like turquoise, malachite, onyx, lapis lazuli and opals are a porous stone and may absorb chemicals, which build up inside the stone and cause discolouration. Simply wipe them gently with a moist cloth until clean.
Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, and avoid denatured alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia. These chemicals can dull or even pit the surface on softer gemstones. Petroleum-based products can “melt” amber if allowed to remain on the stone, and they can do significant damage to pearls.