If you want your jewellery to last a lifetime (or more), you need to make sure that you take care of it. Here are 5 simple tips that will ensure your jewellery doesn’t lose its sparkle:
Limit Exposure to Light and Heat
Think of the damage the sun’s UV rays can do to your body – did you know that it can be equally as damaging for jewellery? In particular, the durability, colour and shine of coloured gemstones can be negatively affected by the sun. These effects change depending on the gemstone in question. Some jewels – like amethyst, kunzite and topaz – fade and become more susceptible to damage. Pearls and other delicate materials (like ivory) can bleach and become brittle. Other gems, like amber, turn dark. Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes can also fracture some gems, and heat can easily remove the natural moisture that they need to maintain their beauty.
Chemicals can be very damaging to the surface of gemstones as well as precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. We’re not just talking to the chemistry professors – chemicals can include everyday substances like sunscreen, hairspray, perfume and body lotion. Try to limit your jewellery’s contact with these chemicals, and always remove your jewellery before going swimming (due to chlorine) or using cleaning products.
Precious metals (and in particular silver) tarnish over time. This is a normal occurrence, and it is very easy to combat. All you need to do is purchase a metal polishing cloth, which is a cloth infused with anti-tarnishing agents. Not only do metal polishing cloths remove tarnish, they also help to prevent it in the future. Note – Make sure to read the instructions on the packet before polishing your jewellery! If your jewellery has a delicate finish (such as gilding, vermeil, plating or any patina or colouring), you need to be particularly careful when polishing. If you would prefer to remove tarnish the natural way, you can use bicarbonate soda, water and a gentle scrubbing brush.
Most coloured gems can be cleaned with warm water, mild soap (not detergent) and a soft brush. Make sure to rinse your jewellery with water after cleaning to remove any traces of soap – and be careful not to lose your jewellery down the sink!
Soft gems, like pearls, can scratch very easily. When cleaning soft gems we recommend that you use a new and clean makeup brush and warm, soapy water – then lay them out on a towel to dry. When it comes to pearl strands, the wet silk thread can stretch and attract dirt if you handle it when wet – so wait until it is completely dry to put it back on.
Have Your Jewellery Checked Every 6 Months
Many jewellery stores offer a free jewellery check-up at scheduled intervals. We recommend that you have your jewellery checked every 6 months or so by a professional – they will examine your jewellery and make sure to address any minor issues that could lead to bigger problems. You see your jewellery every day, so these little issues can be difficult to spot.