Friday, January 2, 2009

Caring for Jewelry

Things such as fingerprints, skin oils, dust, and tarnish all affect the look of our jewelry.

Cleaning Delicate Jewelry
You always want to be careful when cleaning any jewelry. First check if the piece is in good condition before cleaning (such as set stones or weak metal).
Take care NOT to use any abrasive cleaners. If a brush is needed to get in crevices, try using a toothbrush that has not been used for anything but cleaning jewelry.


Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry
The following are considered soft and need gentile care:

Amber
Coral
Drusy
Emeralds
Foil-backed glass stones
Malachite
Mother of pearl
Opals
Pearls
Peridot
Unstabilized turquoise

Cameos – clean with a soft brush and rinse with warm water. Pat dry.


Diamonds - use gentle dish washing soap with a soft brush and warm water. This will clean both the stone and its setting.


Pearls – if worn regularly, restring every few years. There should be a knot in between each pearl. The strand can be cleaned by dipping them in mild soapy water and patting dry.


Removing Sterling Silver Tarnish
Sterling silver can be cleaned with a liquid cleaner, ultrasonic cleaner, ionic cleaner or polishing cloth. If any of the stones listed about are part of the piece, stick with methods above for cleaning so that stone does not get damaged.


Preventing Tarnish
Light, air and body oils cause silver to tarnish.
Cover jewelry with anti-tarnish cloth which may be found in a fabric store. They may also be stored in ziplock bags along with no-tarnish strips to prevent tarnishing.


Gold Jewelry
Gold scratches easily. Always avoid chlorine when wearing your gold pieces. Gold may be cleaned with warm water and a soft brush.

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