|Keeping Your Treasures Beautiful|
Gold is an beautiful and durable material, but some care should be taken to lengthen the life of your jewelry. Chemicals such as chlorine, cleaners and bleach can affect gold. Repeated exposure to chemicals weakens prongs, which may then break from a minor impact.
Gemstones can be incredibly durable like diamonds or sapphires, or less so like opals and emeralds. Even diamonds can chip and crack, so care must be taken to protect stones from impact whenever possible. (Research your stone on our gemstones page.)
There are a few proactive steps you can take to keep your gems sparkling and the settings shining.
- Remove your jewelry before cleaning, swimming or going to the gym. Activities such as gardening or weight lifting may scratch, dent and mar rings.
- When you store or travel with your jewelry, try to keep your pieces as separate as possible. Metal striking metal will mar; most gemstones are susceptible to scratching and chipping. We suggest that you use cloth bags or tissue to separate items.
- Keep chains from knotting by connecting the clasp before putting them away. If they do get tangled, they will be much easier to sort out!
- Take your rings off before applying hand lotion.
- Take earrings out before washing your hair to avoid soap scum and conditioner build up. Lotion and dirt can get under the stones and will dull their look.
- Be aware that acidic or sulfur-rich foods like eggs, orange juice, onions and garlic can tarnish and damage silver.
A quick monthly cleaning will make a huge difference in the way your jewelry looks and feels!
To clean a piece of jewelry with stones at home, an old soft toothbrush, a drop of dish soap and a bowl of warm water are the safest bet. If you want to use a tarnish dip or paste polish, read the label carefully to make sure the chemicals won’t damage your stone.
Always rinse your piece thoroughly after using any cleaning products and do not hold your piece over an open drain when you’re rinsing it. Pat dry with a soft cotton cloth to avoid water spots.
Pearls are extremely delicate and should be handled with special care. The saying goes “pearls should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off”; that is to say, put on hairspray and perfume before putting on pearls and take them off before showering or sleeping. Perfume and chemicals will destroy the luster of your pearls by damaging the nacre (the outermost layer that gives pearls their shimmery surface.)
When you take your pearls off, wipe them clean with a soft cloth to remove any oils from your skin and store them in a cloth bag. Do not let pearls rub against metal (other pieces of jewelry, for example) - this will also mar the surface, leaving dents and scratches. Fine pearls should be strung on silk cord and knotted. The knots keep the pearls from rubbing against each other and also secures them in the event of a broken cord. Inspect the string periodically for weak spots. A fresh silk cord with new knots will breathe life back into your pearls and give the piece a fresh new look.