How to Care for Your Fine Jewelry
We know you love your jewelry and want to protect your investment. That’s why it’s so important to have a regular care and cleaning routine for your jewelry purchases. We’re always here to help you deep clean your jewelry. Feel free to stop in to Elebash’s any day to take advantage of this service. But there are also some tips you can and should do to protect those pieces you love right in your own home.
Clean your diamonds once or twice weekly by soaking them in a gentle solution such as water with a few drops of mild soap for 20 minutes. Remove the diamond from the soapy water and brush it with a soft, clean jewelry cleaning brush to remove any leftover dirt. Take extra care to brush the back of the diamond, as this will be the area that has collected the most oil and dirt.
For the majority of colored gemstones, a gentle cleaning can be done using mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft brush. However, it's important to note that pearls require special care. To clean pearls, only use a damp cloth that has been dipped in a diluted soap-and-water solution, ensuring to clean only the surface. It is crucial to avoid immersing pearls in a liquid solution to prevent any potential discoloration.
When it comes to delicate pearls, there's a golden rule: "Last thing on, first thing off." It's important to remember that pearls should be the final piece of jewelry you wear. Prior to putting them on, make sure you've already applied any perfume or hairspray, as these substances can potentially harm the finish of pearls.
Here are some other overall tips:
- Be careful with light and heat. Just as you protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, heat can also affect colored gemstone jewelry. Over time, with excess exposure to the sun, some precious gemstones can fade and become damaged. Pearls can bleach under extreme exposure to the light, and other gems can darken over time when exposed to too much light.
- Be careful with sand and soil. Love to garden? Gong on a beach vacation? Sand and soil are extremely abrasive and can act like coarse sandpaper on a gemstone or precious metal. Remove your jewelry and store it in a safe place prior to engaging in either of these activities.
- Chlorine and Chemicals – nope! Everyday uses of hairspray, lotion, perfume and some other cosmetics can permanently damage porous gems like turquoise and pearls. Some can discolor precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Fine jewelry should always be removed before swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool. Household solvents can damage gold, and anything containing ammonia can be way too harsh for delicate gems and vintage jewelry.
- A toothbrush is great for your teeth. Not so much for fine jewelry. You may think those small bristles are perfect for getting into tiny crevices or under that diamond prong. However, the long handle on any toothbrush can actually put too much pressure on the prongs, and the bristles have been known to scratch metal. Tiny brushes are a better choice.
- Be cautious with ultrasonics. If you’ve invested in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine, just be aware that overuse can harm your jewelry. How? There’s vibration in the sound waves, and stones can loosen and fall out. Follow the user instructions carefully and avoid cleaning jewelry with tiny diamonds, like pavé, in them.
- Pearls of wisdom. Because pearls are delicate, many people are leery of cleaning their own. However, you should wipe them down after each wear with either a microfiber cleaning cloth or chamois. You can also use a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation available at most fine jewelry stores – like ours! However, never soak strung pearls in jewelry cleaning liquid!
- Storage wars. Never toss any fine jewelry in a drawer or on top of your dresser. It’s a recipe for disaster. Or, at the very least, a recipe for dents and scratches. Make sure jewelry is stored either in the original box or pouch you purchased it in, or a properly padded jewelry box. Every piece should be in a separate compartment and should not touch one another.
- Take your jewelry off at night or when you’re doing rigorous activities. Precious metals like silver and gold will scratch easily and gradually become worn as they come in contact with other objects and frequent wear. Platinum is far more durable, but it can still scratch. Believe it or not, even your sheets can scratch your jewelry! Any rigorous activity that causes any level of sweating will also impact precious metals and can very well loosen stones.
- Pack with care. When you travel, we recommend purchasing and traveling with a flexible, soft jewelry travel case or pouch. If you can’t find the perfect case, you can keep bracelets and necklaces from tangling by threading them through a straw! You can also wrap each item in tissue for added protection.
- Inspect your jewelry. Fine jewelry should be inspected yearly. An ounce of prevention can save a ton of jewelry headaches. We can check prongs and gemstones, ensure clasps are working properly, and provide a thorough cleaning. Consider it a spa day for your jewelry!