Tips & Tricks

The Ultimate Jewellery Care Guide

Do you have pieces of jewellery that carry the most potent sentiment or family heritage? In such cases, caring for your jewellery is vital to protect that meaning and those memories. Even with other pieces, which we bought to celebrate a moment or only on impulse, we need to be sure to give jewellery some tender loving care. Here we answer some of the most common questions about caring for pieces of jewellery.

How can I avoid damage to jewellery?

While wear and tear of jewellery are natural with time, there are ways that you can avoid these accidents of time from becoming terminal. For instance, taking your jewellery off before sleeping, showering, and exercising is one way to keep essential pieces safe. Equally, you should wait to put your jewellery on until you have applied your lotions and perfumes, which can accelerate the build-up of grime. The same principle applies to taking off the jewellery while using chemicals to clean your home, especially if there are links or hinges in the jewellery where build-up can occur.

How do I check my jewellery for damage?

No matter how much you avoid damage to your precious items, wear and tear will happen. You want to enjoy the jewellery by putting it on, so hiding it away in a box or safe is not the appropriate answer. Instead, you should commit to inspecting your jewellery so that this ageing doesn’t become irreversible damage or loss. For instance, to prevent loss of the gem in a ring or necklace, check the claws that hold it in place, as it is easy for them to loosen or break off.

If you do start to notice damage, such as loose claws, it is a good idea to get your hands on some basic jewellery tools. Maintaining your jewellery yourself can not only save you money, but it can also save you from losing some of your favourite pieces.

How can I store my jewellery safely?

As with most solutions, the right equipment will help. Getting a jewellery box, or maybe even two or three, that help you keep jewellery separate. Some metals do not react well, and stones can scratch against metals and glass, can cause damage. A necklace tree is an excellent choice if you want to keep your chains from tangling with each other. 

Remember, as tempting as it is to throw the jewellery on the dressing table and leave it there for a while, it is a sure way to experience avoidable losses and damage.

How can I stop my jewellery from tarnishing?

According to Engage Jewellery, the jewellery repairs Melbourne locals love, the loss of that beautiful lustre of silver and gold is natural. Left to take its course, this tarnishing will eventually turn jewellery black. While reversing and countering the tarnishing of these precious metals is easy enough, it is better to store the items appropriately and avoid them in the first place. Tarnishing is a consequence of moisture and air coming in contact with the metal. Therefore, when you get soaked through in a rainstorm, you will want to spend some time drying your jewellery, especially silver and sterling silver.

You should also think about using those gel silica packets in your jewellery box. These silica packets remove moisture from the air and so protect your precious metals from tarnishing.

How can I clean my silver and gold jewellery?

Cleaning silver and gold is surprisingly easy. You can use an ordinary bar of soap and warm water. Create bubbles and suds with the soap in the water, and then dip your jewellery in for about 10 minutes. You can use a toothbrush to get at the tough grime that gets caught between links, clasps and chains. 

Alternatively, you can dip your gold and silver in warm water and add salt, stirring it to help it dissolve. Once the solution has turned to saline, you might add strips of aluminium foil, which will cause a reaction that will return the shine to your jewellery.

How can I clean resin and gemstones?

All gemstones are different. You should research what is appropriate for the stone you are trying to clean. However, a mild cleaning solution, some warm water and a microfibre cloth will do the trick.

Resin jewellery, which is most often used in memorial jewellery, is a little tricky. You need to be careful not to use chemicals or high temperatures that can damage the resin. It is also not waterproof, so you shouldn’t soak it in water – or wear it in the shower. Polish and a soft cloth are the perfect way to keep your resin sparkling.

Should I use a specialist jewellery cleaning kit or take them to a jeweller?

There is no shame in seeking specialist support in the cleaning of your most essential pieces of jewellery. If your piece is an investment or statement item, you might want to spend money to protect it.  While you will know to avoid abrasive materials in cleaning your jewellery, such as lemon juice and toothpaste, you might be worried that you are not drying thoroughly enough, or you are too ferocious with that toothbrush.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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