Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jewelry Care Tips Caring and Cleaning Diamonds Pearls Gem Care


Examine fine jewelry with gemstone settings regularly to make sure none of the prongs have loosened. Also inspect clasps to ensure they are secure and work properly.Take care of your gold and silver jewelry by making sure it is never exposed to household cleaners or any other abrasive or corrosive substances. This will ensure the precious metal does not dull or discolor. Also take care not to expose your sterling silver jewelry to salty air or water as this causes tarnishing.For storage, we recommend keeping the box your jewelry came in so it may be stored without knocking or rubbing against other jewelry. This prevents scratching and tarnishing. It also prevents gemstones from knocking and chipping other gemstones. Some birthstones and gemstones like pearls, peridot and amethyst, are more fragile than others and can chip or scratch if knocked against hard surfaces or other jewelry pieces.


Professional jewelry cleaning is recommended yearly for precious gemstones and gold jewelry, depending on wear. Between cleanings, fine jewelry cleaning can be accomplished by using a basic, non-abrasive cleaner. A popular and effective cleaner for diamond jewelry is 6-parts water to one part ammonia, applied with a soft bristle brush. Never use toothpaste or other abrasives to clean precious metal or gemstones.

Pearls, coral, turquoise and quartz can be cleaned by simply wiping with a damp, soft cloth. Do not clean these stones in an ultrasonic cleaner.To remove tarnishing from silver jewelry, you can wipe with a 100 percent cotton cloth and/or clean with a nonabrasive silver polish, depending on how aggressive the tarnish is.

Do not clean sterling silver or gold jewelry with toothpaste and a toothbrush. These are soft metals that easily scratch.A mild soap and water solution used with a soft brush is effective for most home jewelry care. Although soap and water is the best choice for most gems and jewelry, do not use soap and water with amber, coral, emerald, jade, kunzite, lapis lazuli, opal or turquoise.


Apply any cosmetics and perfume and let dry before you put on your fine jewelry. Some cosmetic chemicals can damage your gemstone, pearl or gold jewelry. Be especially careful to remove rings and bracelets before working with any products that contain bleach, alcohol, turpentine, acetone or ammonia.
A popular and effective cleaner for diamond jewelry is 6-parts water to one part ammonia, applied with a soft bristle brush. Never use toothpaste or other abrasives to clean precious metal or gemstones. Gently scrub away any residue or dirt, especially around the prongs or setting where build-up is common. Even a clean-looking diamond may have a layer of skin oil and will shine better after a cleaning. Avoid touching the diamond as much as possible to prevent that oil from building up.Diamonds are the hardest gemstone in the world, but they can be scratched by other diamonds, and they can scratch other softer gemstones. Be sure to store your diamond jewelry so it does not touch or rub other fine jewelry.
Simply soak the gemstone jewelry in a bowl of warm, soapy water for a few minutes then use a soft, non-metallic brush to remove any residue. If you use a jewelry cleanser, make sure it is non-abrasive. Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners, and don’t clean the item in the sink. Also keep in mind that some gemstones may have been treated or enhanced by heating, oiling, irradiation or diffusion. Heated and irradiated stones generally don’t require special care when cleaning, but diffused stones could become lighter if scrubbed too aggressively.

Use a polishing cloth or a lint-free cloth to remove tarnish from gold and silver jewelry. You can also use a smooth, soft 100 percent cotton cloth. Always use 100% percent cotton since paper, polyester and other fabrics often contain wood fibers or synthetics, which can easily produce fine scratches.We recommend you gently wipe each piece of jewelry to remove any residual make-up and skin oils after each wearing. To remove fingerprints, oils or dirt, add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak for 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely. Silver jewelry can be stored in a plastic bag to prevent damage.To remove excessive tarnish on silver, polish with a 100 percent cotton cloth and a non-abrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any cleaner from the gemstones and rinse carefully with clean water.

Pearl jewelry should always be stored flat to prevent the string/strand from stretching, especially pearl strands that are strung on silk. Pearls are very delicate and need to be stored separate from other jewelry to prevent them from chipping and scratching. Freshwater pearls are sensitive to extreme humidity or dryness, and acids. Again, we recommend that perfume and cosmetics always be applied prior to putting on pearl jewelry.Most jewelry cleaners are too harsh for freshwater pearls. Wash pearls in very mild, soapy water and nothing else, but take care to avoid getting any water into the drilled holes, as it can cause the pearls to discolor. To keep them clean, they should be wiped with a dry, lint-free cloth before being stored. To dry, lay them flat on a soft, absorbent towel.Freshwater pearls should be stored in a dry environment. Do not store pearl jewelry in plastic bags as moisture can become trapped and cause damage.

Be very careful when soaking any stones such as, amber, lapis lazuli, turquoise, opal or turquoise. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish or any treatment on the stone. These stones should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.

The harder the gem, the less vulnerable it is to damage. Diamonds are the hardest gemstones on Earth. Hardness is determined by a jewelry-trade standard called the Mohs Scale. Diamonds are given the highest rating at 10. Rubies and sapphires are the next highest at 9. Emeralds and topaz are rated an 8. Garnets, tourmalines and quartz are a 7. Anything softer than a 7 is quite vulnerable to damage and includes opal, turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral and pearls.

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