Jewelry maintenance is a must and this requires careful cleaning of the jewelry so that the beauty is forever. Jewelry is a cherished and intimate accessory and so you must know to take care and protect your jewelry to make a difference in maintaining its beauty and also in keeping it for generations to come.
Keep away from heat and light
The sun's rays can damage and affect the color and durability of the jewelry same as it does to our skin. Overtime, gemstones such as topaz, amethyst, etc fade and get damaged. Pearls and ivory get bleached under high exposure to light. Even amber darkens with time as it is exposed to light.
Vintage jewelry should be handled delicately and must be cleaned using just water and a lint-free, soft cloth. Sudden temperature and excessive heat can cause changes and may fracture the gems. In fact, heat removes the natural moisture of the gems and the beauty is reduced. Pearls, dry, discolor and crack. Opals turn brown or white, develop tiny cracks, and lose their original shine.
Keep away from chemicals
Exposure to chemicals may discolor or damage precious metals such as silver, gold and platinum. Everyday substances such as lotion, hairspray, perfume and other cosmetics contain chemicals to damage permanently the pearls surface. Fine jewelry must not be worn if you are swimming in a pool as they are highly chlorinated. Generally, the cleaners contain ammonia and this may be harsh for vintage jewelry or delicate gems. Chlorine beach is a solvent used commonly and even this can damage gold alloys.
Special care must be given to colored gemstones. They must be treated routinely to improve the clarity and color of the gemstones. You must know about your gem and also learn about how to care for it. It helps in the long run.
Even if you buy an ultrasonic professional cleaner, be aware that not all jewelry and gems can be cleaned safely in it. In fact, ultrasonic cleaners must not be used to clean:
- Gemstones filled with resin, oil or a glass-like material
- Organic gem materials such as ivory, pearls, coral, or amber
- Gems coated with plastic or wax
Gems are susceptible to temperature and heat changes. Vibrations generated by machines also shake gems or chip them from their girdles. It should be done by expert jewelry professionals who are really aware of the gem materials and the ultrasonic cleaner safety.
Safe cleaning methods
- Colored gems are best cleaned with mild dish soap, warm water and soft brush. Even a lint-free, soft cloth and dental cleaning appliance may be used.
- Gems such as pearls are soft and can easily scratch. Use a new makeup brush and soapy, warm water to clean. Towel to dry. Allow it to dry completely or the wet silk thread may catch dirt. It is also important to get pearls restrung once a year.
Storing your jewelry is also very important part of the jewelry maintenance. It should not be tossed on a dresser top or into a drawer as it may get scratches and the gems will be damaged.