Jewellery is one of the most beautiful and intimate items to wear on your person. Yes, for its visual appeal but jewellery often carries cherished memories and emotions. When treated with respect and cared for lovingly, each piece may last far beyond one's own lifetime. The favourite and the often worn piece may become an heirloom with a legacy. Allow me to share a few tips on care for your pieces to prolong the life of your jewellery and also your memories.
When and why to avoid wearing jewellery? Ultimately, it is an individual choice. However, there are exceptional circumstances that we recommend the removal of jewellery in order to preserve and safeguard its life expectancy.
By all means, enjoy wearing your jewellery when at home. However, do remove jewellery when performing some chores in the kitchen and in the garden. In the course of performing tasks such as cleaning, woodworking, painting and so forth your jewellery may become damaged if snag, or caught by a tool or it may get scratched against a rough surface. Many household chemicals may alter the durability of the metals and the stones. For example, bleach may discolour some types of metals. Soaps may also create films on some gemstones making them appear dull. Wearing jewellery during vigorous exercising or when asleep may put your jewellery at risk of accidental snags and breaks. As a personal example, I wore a gold chain consistently for over thirty years, one night, in my sleep, I scratched my neck and snapped the chain.
Do remove jewellery before applying makeup: hand creams, hairspray, ointments, lotions and perfumes, contain chemicals that may damage the metal and the stones of fine pieces. It is important to wait a few minutes after applying beauty products to allow absorption. Always let volatile chemicals dissipate before donning your beautiful jewellery.
Do remove all jewellery before entering the swimming pool and spa, the chlorine may react negatively with the metals and some stones, causing them to become brittle, or change colour. Soaps may also create films on some gemstones making them appear dull and dingy. It is advisable to remove jewellery prior to stepping into the bath or the shower. The added risk of a loose piece or a loose stone falling into the drain is greatly reduced.
Remove jewellery before playing any contact sports. Yes, hard blows may damage the metal and stones, but more importantly, removing all jewellery minimises injury to you and to the other players.
If the jewellery is damaged, fragile, or has loose stones, do not clean it! Sometimes that little speck of dirt is what is holding the stone in place. Instead of cleaning, consider taking it to a professional for repair. An important point regarding the care for your jewellery is to have the significant pieces inspected at least once per year. Jewellery, like a car, needs maintenance in order to stay in great condition. Visit a reputable and trusted jeweller who will inspect each piece. They are happy to help you keep your beautiful memories beautiful.
Cleaning your jewellery regularly keeps it looking bright and new. However, as with all cherished items take care and be gentle. Warm water is the best way to clean your jewellery, avoid using hot water because it could intensify the active ingredients of the cleaning solutions resulting in damage.
To keep jewellery looking brilliant and new, clean it regularly. Keep in mind that the how-to-clean-and-care instructions may be as varied as the type of stones, and materials used to create each piece. It is advisable to follow the proper cleaning instructions based on those stones and materials before cleaning with any solution. The following are general tips on how to care for most jewellery.
Gently wipe dry with a soft, lint-free cloth after rinsing the jewellery in warm, clean water. Warm water, free of chemicals is the best way to clean a cherished piece.
Jewellery polishing cloths create the best results. A good substitute is a lint free fabric cloth.
Use extreme caution with chemical cleaners, they may do damage to some gemstones and metals. Never use chemical cleaners with natural or cultured pearls. Read and adhere to the instructions that come with these cleaners.
There are some homemade solutions that are effective and gentle on your jewellery. A mixture of baking soda, aluminium foil and warm water removes tarnish on silver by chemically reversing the oxidation processes that cause the tarnish. Useful, unless the "tarnish" is part of the look of the piece. For most items using warm water and a small amount of dish soap works well, especially, on diamond encrusted jewellery.
When trying to clean the hard to reach places in your jewellery you may use a soft toothbrush, unwaxed dental floss or a toothpick. Be gentle.
Store your jewellery in appropriate containers. The preferred method is to place jewellery in a cloth-lined box divided into small compartments to keep the pieces from getting scratched by touching or rubbing together. Purchase a good jewellery box, their special cloth may help prevent the stored pieces from tarnish. Do wear your jewellery on a regular basis. Regular handling and exposure to air may also help prevent tarnish. If you don't wear a piece but think it is a good investment, then treat it like one. Store such investments in a secure place like a safe or your bank's safety security box.
Lastly, any jewellery that has a large monetary value should be insured. It is best to get each piece insured separately. Check your home insurance policy and have added riders placed for valuable pieces to ensure full protection.
Above all else, jewellery is meant to be worn, go ahead and showcase the spectacular beauty of your favourite pieces. Let yourself enjoy its lustre as often as you please.