Earlier this week we discussed certain jewelry items you absolutely MUST have. Today we’ll be discussing how to care for these and other jewelry items so that your baubles will last as a long as possible.
Here’s a basic guide from our friends over at Zales on how to keep your jewelry sparkling:
Jewelry is worn by millions of people every day, but few recognize how they can preserve their treasures by using some simple advanced planning and thought. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when wearing jewelry:
- Remove Jewelry During Tasks: When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids. Some tasks that should be avoided when wearing jewelry include kitchen work, gardening, cleaning the house and other common tasks.
- Put Jewelry On After Applying Makeup: Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting jewelry on after applying these materials will limit exposure to jewelry and any potential damage.
- Don’t Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas: Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it’s a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.
- Contact Sports and Jewelry Don’t Mix: Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved. All jewelry should be removed before play begins.
For those that wear jewelry regularly, keeping their jewelry clean and looking good requires regular effort. Here are some general guidelines that may help:
- Remove Your Jewelry Before Bathing: Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film you immediately reduce the occasions of servicing.
- Use Jewelry Polishing Cloths for Best Results: Polish silver or gold with a jewelry polishing cloth for best results. You can use a svelte or an old diaper, but the professional cloths are the best. Use of tissue or paper towels can cause scratches because of fibers in these products.
- Clean Your Jewelry With Care: Cleaning your own jewelry regularly can keep it looking good, but be careful. You can either purchase commercial cleaners from a jeweler or make a cleaning a solution yourself. Rubbing alcohol can work wonders, but bleach can literally destroy jewelry so avoid it at all costs.
- Use Warm Water to Clean Jewelry: Using warm water is the best bet when cleaning your own jewelry. How water can cause reaction with the cleaning fluids resulting in discoloration and Sterling Silver is especially susceptible to this problem. Should this occur, this problem can be remedied by buffing and the application of a tarnish remover.
- Avoid Cleaning Damaged Jewelry: Never clean any jewelry that is damaged, cracked or broken, since the additional handling is likely to exacerbate or worsen the problem. If you find that a piece of jewelry is damaged, it should be set aside for repair as soon as possible.
- Inspect Your Jewelry Regularly: Just like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When having your jewelry professionally cleaned, it’s a good idea to have each item checked and inspected for any possible problems. Addressing signs of damage, or loose gemstones will prevent any further damage or loss and keep all of your pieces in excellent shape for years.
Anyone that has a collection of jewelry can appreciate how difficult it can often be to keep it organized. To improve the enjoyment of your jewelry, we’ve assembled these suggestions that should keep your jewelry organized and orderly:
- Keep Your Jewelry Secure: Store your jewelry in a container and prevent pieces from moving around. While fabric-lined jewelry boxes are ideal, this can be as simple as using a shoebox and pieces of fabric.
- Prevent Your Jewelry from Tarnishing: Sometimes jewelry tarnishes went it’s not worn, especially silver and gold. To maintain the luster of your jewelry, place silver anti-tarnish strips in your storage container to absorb the oxidants that discolor and tarnish jewelry.
- Inventory Your Jewelry: Unfortunately, jewelry can get lost or stolen. Taking a regular inventory can be incredibly useful when making an insurance claim or filing a police report. A photograph, a written physical description of each piece and it’s cost is ideal. Furthermore, store that information apart from your jewelry in the event it is taken too.
- When Traveling with Jewelry, Use a Case: Traveling can be tough on jewelry, so it’s wise to use a travel case to protect your favorite pieces. Traditionally made of fabric or leather, a jewelry travel case can carry jewelry of all types and easily rolls up to a size that’s easily stored in most suitcases, makeup cases or business attaches. Clearly, a case like this is a good investment to protect your jewelry on the road.
Do you have any other questions about jewelry care or storage? Comment below and we’ll find you the answers!