Jul 29, 2010

Basic Jewelry Care

You’ve spent good money on your jewelry, and you want it to last a lifetime. Here are some basic things to consider when cleaning, storing or caring for your jewelry pieces:

1. Do not store a piece of jewelry so that it comes in contact with other pieces. Gemstones of varying hardness can scratch other stones or metal. Use a jewelry box and keep pieces separated.

2. Most pieces can be cleaned with water and mild dish soap.

3. Be aware that chemicals from lotions, perfumes, hairspray, chlorine from swimming pools, and make-up can damage pearls and some gemstones. Also your skin and body oil can deteriorate leather and other natural fibers. Make your jewelry the last thing you put on in the morning, and the first thing you take off at the end of the day, and always take off jewelry when coming into contact with chemicals.

4. Once a year, you should have stone settings inspected by a professional jeweler to make sure the stones are securely set and to check for signs of wear. It’s tragic to lose a cherished piece of jewelry or a stone from a setting because of wear or damaged settings.

5. Remove jewelry when you are doing manual labor such as cleaning the house, gardening and other tasks. Jewelry can be damaged from cleaners or scratched from other objects while working.

More care instructions on specific gemstones and metals to follow on future posts.