Jewellery is one of our most prized and cherished possessions. Understanding and knowing how to care for and protect your treasured jewellery can make a significant difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping your pieces sparkling, for years to come.
The following are some simple tips on how to look after your jewellery:
Always separate jewellery items by storing them in soft cloth.
Obtain fabric pouches from a jeweller or retailer.
When storing your jewellery in a box, make sure there are enough compartments for different types of jewellery. Individually padded slots for rings and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets are ideal.
Make sure you leave enough space for each item in your storage area. Do not over cramp each area with too many items as they can get tangled up or the gems may get damaged.
Ensure that semi-rigid chains and pieces are not twisted or bent as these can cause permanent damage.
Sterling silver should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth.
Guarding Against Theft
Don't keep your most precious jewellery lying around your bedroom or jewellery box. It's the first place a burglar will look.
Install a secure home safe with the appropriate cash rating and ideally bolted to the floor or wall, or keep valuable items in a bank vault or secure repository.
Make sure the home safe is hidden and cannot be easily seen by visitors.
Limit the number of people who have access to your safe.
Safeguarding During Your Travel
Don't pack jewellery in your checked-in luggage.
Put your jewellery in one pouch in a secluded section of your carry-on or handbag.
Keep expensive items with you at all times, or use the hotel room safe.
Keep more expensive and rarely used jewellery in the main hotel safe.
Don’t wear valuable jewellery to the pool or beach.
Caring for and Cleaning Your Diamonds
When cleaning diamonds, use mild detergent or a sudsy ammonia bath.
Never let your diamond come into contact with chlorine bleach, as it can pit and discolour the mounting.
Have the prongs and mountings of your jewellery checked annually as wear and tear can loosen a stone.
Diamonds can scratch all other jewellery, so store them separately.
Caring for and Cleaning Your Pearls
Make sure your pearls are cleaned and re-strung regularly to prevent pearl strings from becoming stretched, weakened or soiled.
Wipe pearls with a soft cloth after each wearing. This prevents perfume, cosmetics, hairsprays, oils and chemicals on your skin from eroding the quality of the pearls over time.
Caring for and Cleaning Your Other Gemstones
Guard against loose stone settings by having prongs and mountings checked annually.
Remove gemstone jewellery while outdoors when exposed to intense sunlight or under tanning lamps. Just as the sun’s rays can damage our skin, light and heat can affect a coloured gemstone, such as amethyst, topaz and kunzite. These exposures can fade the stone.
Most coloured gems can be cleaned just with warm water, using a soft brush and mild dish washing soap (no detergents).
As each gemstone is different, discuss specific care and cleaning procedures with your jeweller. You should also have your jewellery checked every six months and cleaned frequently. You may do this yourself or ask a jeweller with professional training and a good reputation.
Keeping your jewellery collection organised and properly maintained does not have to be difficult and these recommendations should prevent any damage from occurring.