August 27, 2018 5 min read
Don't you just hate it when your favourite jewellery starts to look old and tarnished? Fine Jewellery should last you a life time or even several, with many pieces being passed from generation to generation.
So to help you keep your jewellery in tip top shape here is 6 tips to keep it looking fresh and ready to wear on any occasion.
Tarnished Ring - Image Source: Quora
Tip Number 1 - KEEP YOUR JEWELLERY AWAY FROM CHEMICALS
Exposure to certain household chemicals can cause damage to or discolour precious metals such as, gold, silver and platinum and they may also harm some coloured gems.
Even everyday substances such as hairspray, body lotion, perfume or other cosmetics can contain chemicals which will permanently damage the surface of your pearls or other delicate or porous gems for example, turquoise.
How to avoid this?
All Fine jewellery should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool or before using household cleaning products, many of these cleaners contain ammonia, which can be too harsh for delicate gems or vintage jewellery and result in serious damage. Chlorine bleach, another common household solvent, can pit or damage gold alloys. Do not clean the jewellery with soap and water, unless it’s diamonds.
Allow perfumes and other cosmetics to dry fully before putting your jewellery on.
Tip Number 2 - BE WARY OF LIGHT AND HEAT EXPOSURE
Just as the sun’s radiation can damage our skin, light and heat can also affect a coloured gemstone’s durability and colour. Over time an excess of light and heat can also fade or damage some gemstones, such as amethyst, topaz and shell cameos.
Pearls and other delicate materials, are at risk of bleaching under extreme exposure to light. Some gems, for example amber, can begin to darken over time when exposed to high concentrations of light.
Excessive heat and sudden temperature fluctuations may also cause some gemstones to fracture and heat can easily remove the natural moisture these gems need to keep their beauty. Pearls, for instance, can dry out, causing them to crack and discolour. Opals on the other hand can turn white or brown, develop tiny cracks, and might lose their play-of-colour.
Tip Number 3 - ALWAYS STORE YOUR JEWELLERY CORRECTLY
Proper jewellery storage is a factor which is often overlooked. Some people simply toss their jewellery into the top drawer or on a bedside cabinet, and that’s asking for scratches and damaged gems.
Most pieces of fine jewellery come in a box or pouch from the store, which is a perfect place to keep them safe. Sterling silver, for example, should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth to avoid damage to the surface of the silver. Jewellery boxes which feature individually padded slots for rings and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets are perfectly equipped to deal with the needs of all your jewellery.
Each segment in a jewellery box can hold one type of jewellery − earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and watches. This also helps keep everything organised and avoids tangled chains and scratched up gemstones.
Pearls and opals draw moisture from the air, so storing your opal or pearl jewellery in a dry area, such as a safe deposit box, can sometimes do more harm than good for the pieces.
Always wrap your pieces separately or keep them in a separate box when travelling, this will help stop them scratching and damaging each other in transit. It’s also good practice to keep your gemstone or gemstone jewellery wrapped separately at home if storing 1 or more pieces in a compartment together.
Tip Number 4 - POLISH IT REGULARLY
Regular cleaning is essential to helping your jewellery stay looking its finest. While some household products may be fine to use, a professional polishing cloth is definitely the best option.
Household products such as tissues or paper towels will only cause damage your jewellery so it’s probably a good idea to avoid these! Using alcohol to clean your jewellery with alcohol reportedly works like a charm, but avoid bleach at all costs!
Some metals such as sterling silver or platinum can develop what is known as ‘patina’, a dark glow around the edges of the pieces, this is why it’s essential to keep them polished and well maintained. This can be done at home, or you can ask your local jeweller for help, which we’re always happy to give at Aces Jewellers.
Tip Number 5- GET THEM CLEANED WITH AN ULTRASONIC CLEANER
Jewellery manufacturers use professional ultrasonic cleaning tanks to polish up jewellery before sale and to keep them maintained for their customers. These contain a mixture of ammonia and detergent and use ultrasonic agitation to accelerate the cleaning process.
Many jewellery stores now sell small ultrasonic cleaners for home use and they’re often under £200 to buy, if you’re a really keen enthusiast. However, the vibration generated by the machine is not suitable for all gemstones this means it can sometimes shake gems loose or chip them, unless you know about different gem materials and understand when and how to use the ultrasonic cleaner safely, we recommend you use a professional.
An Ultrasonic Jewellery Cleaner - Image source: Jewellery Presents
Tip Number 6 - ALL METALS ARE NOT MAKE EQUAL
Not all metals are the same and as such, they require different chemicals and techniques to clean them.
Most gold jewellery can be cleaned in warm, soapy water and gently brushed using an old toothbrush. Eighteen carat gold and above does not usually tarnish and is not harmed by most household chemicals.
However, take extra care with lower carat gold as it is easily damaged by any chlorine-based bleach and cleaning products, they can cause stress corrosion cracking (SCC) within the jewellery. It's always a good idea to remove rings or wear protective gloves when using cleaning liquids and other chemicals and especially before going swimming in a pool.
Platinum can be cleaned in the same way as high carat golds and the patina which develops over a period of time can be removed by a professional jeweller who will re-polish your jewellery and bring it back to its original high gloss look.
Silver tarnishes easily and the only effective way to clean it is by using silver cleaning solutions such as a silver dip, this is usually carried out by a professional jewellery or is available for home use.
Many jewellery stores offer a free check-up or professional cleaning at scheduled intervals: Jewellery should be checked every six months and cleaned frequently. Look for a jeweller with professional training and a good reputation.
At Aces Jeweller, we have a workshop onsite and a master craftsman with over 23 years experience in the jewellery manufacturing business. We’re always happy to offer advice and cleaning tips and our professional cleaning service will have your jewellery back to tip top shape in no time at all.
Comments will be approved before showing up.