Caring for Your Jewelry
If you have beautiful pieces of jewelry, you want them to last and look good for a long time. It takes a little bit of effort on your part to keep your jewelry shiny and sparkling, but it’s worth it.
There are certain rules that apply to all jewelry, no matter what metal or stones are in your pieces. First, don’t go swimming with your jewelry on, especially in chlorinated pools. The harsh water and chemicals can seriously reduce shine. You should also take it off before showering so it doesn’t come into contact with shampoo or soap, or accidentally fall down the drain. Put jewelry on after doing your hair and makeup to avoid buildup of products. If you do clean your jewelry at home, make sure you use the proper products and use a cleaning cloth, not a toothbrush or other makeshift tool.
Gold is a popular metal precisely because it retains is luster for such a long time. Like all jewelry, it can scratch if not handled properly, especially if it’s a higher karat, which means it’s a higher percentage of pure gold, which is softer than lower-karat alloys. Gold is particularly sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals, so definitely take it off before swimming or cleaning. We recommend taking fine jewelry to a professional for cleaning, but if you do clean it yourself, make sure the water is purified and warm. Store in a jewelry box or wrapped in a soft cloth when not being worn.
Silver is a beautiful metal, but can easily become tarnished. Cleaning chemicals, chlorine, perfumes, hard water, rubber, sweat and anything that contains sulfur (including eggs and onions) can cause silver to tarnish. Take off jewelry when coming into contact with any of those things and always put jewelry on last when getting ready. Silver can be easily scratched, so be careful when storing it. Store in a bag in an area with low humidity. Adding a bag of silica gel to the storage space can help prevent tarnish. Polish regularly with silver polish to keep it clean and protect it from damage.
Diamonds are a popular choice for jewelry in part because of their sparkle and in part because of their durability. Still, they’re not immune to damage. Certain chemicals and tasks can cause physical damage. At the very least, they could lead a diamond to lose its shine. Take diamond jewelry off when gardening, cooking, cleaning the house or doing any heaving lifting.
Keeping a ring in good condition is a little tougher because you probably wear every day. Anyone with an engagement ring that holds the diamond or stone with prongs needs to pay attention to the prongs to make sure they’re not broken or loose, which could lead to you losing your center stone. Don’t use harsh chemicals on your ring. Wear gloves or take it off when cleaning or doing any major projects. Always place it on a ring holder or in a jewelry box so it doesn’t get misplaced, and never take it off in public. Get it professionally examined and cleaned once a year to keep it in tiptop shape.
If you have a very expensive, rare or sentimental piece of jewelry, you might want to consider buying insurance on it. That way, it’s protected if it’s lost, stolen or damaged without exorbitant costs to you. Get the piece appraised every few years to make sure you’re getting the real value. Plus, many insurance policies require you to have the piece examined by a jeweler every so often to help prevent damage in the first place.
Caring for your jewelry will ensure that it lasts for years to come. Bring your best jewelry to Westwood Jewelers for a cleaning and appraisal experience you can trust.