Diamonds and jewelry are known for their beauty and glamour. Setting off the light in so many sparkles and flares of color, what lady doesn’t want to be dazzled in them? But with such beauty, comes a small price, or task – maintenance, for a diamond may be forever, but so will be the dirt and grime on it if you don’t clean it every now and then.

Silver jewelry is very common in parts of Asia and Europe as well as the southwestern region of North America. Well known for its soft durability, and brilliant polish, silver must be cleaned differently than gold or platinum.

With silver, a polishing cloth with a high-fiber content is best, in combination with a little elbow-grease, you’ll reveal the beauty within in no time at all, though there are times when even the tarnish has grown so thick and hard, that a solution is needed. Luckily for us, such a solution exists, and you can find it very inexpensively online or at many of your local jewelry stores. When using the solution and the polishing rag together, you’re sure to bring out the classic silver beauty you’re looking for.

Gold on the other hand is a different beast altogether! Harder than any silver, yet soft enough that one troy ounce could be hammered out to one full acre of space! Unbelievable, right? So how do you clean such a lustrous metal?

There are a number of ways to get your gold jewelry looking brand new again, depending how much time you have, how convenient it is, etc.

First and foremost, check the local jewelers in your area, particularly AGS members. Here, a professional can buff out any scratches, remove all oils and grime, and steam it to perfection. Moreover, many will be happy to fully inspect your wearable art for any required maintenance.

Most AGS jewelry stores won’t charge for these services either, in hopes you will find something new you can’t live without in the 5-20 minutes it takes, and honestly it happens more often than you would think.

Still, you may not have time for such a trip, or maybe you just don’t want to be near the temptation. Either way, there are a few easy ways to clean your jewelry in the comfort of your own home:

1. Windex! That’s right, simply get that old toothbrush out, give a couple sprays directly on your jewelry, and brush and scrub away! Afterwards, run it under some hot water to rinse: Done!

2. For the more trendy jewelry collectors out there, or maybe your collection is just a little more expansive that one or two rings – try scrubbing 10 rings and necklaces with a toothbrush and you’ll see what I mean. In these cases, it’s best to just suck it up and get yourself an ultrasonic cleaner. These tools are invaluable! You can load several pieces into it at once, let it run for just a few minutes, and Presto! Perfectly clean jewelry at home!

Now if you’re a real go-getter, check out a steam cleaner as well. These fun devices will quickly rid your jewelry of any oils or lotions with a hot jet of steam for a clean-on-the-go.

Before you go out and start cleaning all of your jewelry though, you should keep something in mind. Emeralds, among a several semi-precious gems, require some special attention. You see, emeralds, unlike diamonds and sapphires or rubies, are much softer, meaning they can be scratched much easier, but more importantly, many emeralds have been specifically treated – oil or glass has been inserted to hide the internal characteristics, improving the clarity grade, making the gem appear more beautiful. These treatments, however, affect the durability unfortunately, and an improper cleaning will seriously damage the emerald. In fact, once I watched an emerald burst because the steam cleaner heated the oil too much. So unless you’re absolutely sure about your gems, it may be best to take them to a professional for advice on cleaning and maintaining them.

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