Jewelries and ornaments are more than just adornments; the wearer has a certain degree of intimacy with them. They are cherished for a long time. Maintaining the jewelry the right way ensures its longevity and makes it a cherished heirloom.
Avoid Exposure to Heat and Sunlight
The jewelry must be kept away from sunrays and heat sources as it alters its durability and color. Certain gemstones such as shell cameos, amethyst, topaz and kunzite may fade or break with continued exposure. Too much light can bleach pearl and ivory and darken amber over time.
Too much heat or even sudden changes in temperature may fracture the pendants and deprive the gemstones of the natural moisture they need. Heat may cause the pearl to crack and discolor opal to turn brown and crack.
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Exposing the metals like gold, silver or platinum to chemicals may damage and discolor them. Day to day cosmetics like hairspray or perfume comprises of chemicals that cause permanent damage to pearls and other porous gems. Keep the jewelries away from household cleaners which contain ammonia that may damage vintage jewelry and fine gems. A common household solvent, chlorine bleach is known to damage gold alloys. Remove the ornaments before jumping into a swimming pool.
Safe Storage of Jewelry
Proper storage of the jewelry is equally important in its maintenance. It should never be kept carelessly in a drawer as it may end up with scratches. The best place to store jewelry is in the pouch or box that it came in. Gemstones like pearl and opal absorbs the moisture in the air hence they should be stored with care. Place the jewelry in a padded box while travelling to avoid scratches. Anti-tarnish bag or cloth is ideal for storing jewelry.
Taking Care of Gold Jewelry
The main threats to gold are skin oils, make ups and other cosmetics. Gold can be cleaned on a regular basis by making use of mild detergents and clean and soft cloth. Mix the detergent in warm water and put the gold jewelry in it for a few minutes. Use a soft toothbrush (especially for cleaning jewelry) and scrub the gold gently. Take the jewelry out, rinse it and use the clean cloth to dry it.
Taking Care of Gold-Plated Jewelry
Gold-plated jewelry must be kept away from hard surfaces as scratches will cause the layer to wear off. To prevent scratches wrap it in a velvet layered box or a soft cloth. Gently wipe the jewelry with a damp non-abrasive polishing cloth to remove the dirt and dust and restore its shine. In case the gold plate begins to wear off, it can be refurbished by any local jeweler.
Taking Care of Gold Filling
Clean it with a soft cloth. There might be some places that the cloth cannot reach. In such cases place the jewelry in a bowl and add hot water along with a suitable detergent powder (never a liquid or the ones with bleach). After about a minute rinse the jewelry and air dry it. In case of build-up dirt, leave the ornament in the solution for a day.
Taking Care of Gemstones
Even though gemstones are hard as rock, careless handling and negligence can damage them. Proper and simple care ensures the quality of the gemstone.
A ring with soft gemstone must be removed before any extreme exercises or activities. Do not tug hard on the ring to remove it as it might loosen the ring. While storing the gems keep them away from other ornaments as the hard and sharp gems may scratch the fine finish on gold, silver or platinum.
Regularly wearing gemstone rings results in accumulation of dirt behind the gems. It must be cleaned regularly to remove the dirt and restore the shine. To clean the gems, gently soak them in water with a mild detergent. Use a bowl of water; never soak them or wash them in (or near) the sink. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the dirt from behind the ring, rinse off the soap and pat it dry with a clean cloth.
Most people opt for ultrasonic cleaners to clean their gemstones. Always consult a jeweler before using this method because gemstones like diamonds, sapphires and rubies will be cleaned without any damage; however peridot, emerald, pearls and opal may get damaged. It is best to avoid this method.
Amber, coral and pearl are soft and porous organic gems which should only be wiped with a clean cloth. Even the chemicals in cosmetics and hairspray can damage the soft stones with time. Avoid ammonia, ultrasound cleaning and heat and light for these gemstones. Similarly malachite, turquoise, lapis lazuli etc. are opaque gems and also need special care.
Proper care and maintenance of the gemstones and jewelries will restore its shine thereby ensuring the value for your money.
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