A piece of jewelry is often more than just a fashionable accessory. It can be a precious family heirloom, a sentimental gift, a gift to honor a great achievement, or a symbol of love and commitment. Because of the meaning each piece holds in our hearts, it is important to treat each item with care, so it continues to sparkle with every wear. With the right jewelry care, your prized pieces can last for generations. Here are some of our favorite tips for cleaning and caring for your favorite pieces of fine jewelry!
Did you know that the wrong light, temperature, and moisture conditions can fade or damage gemstones? Here are some great tips for keeping your colorful jewelry looking its best!
- Be cautious around heat and light. The rays and heat from the sun can fade several gemstones such as citrine, aquamarine, amethyst, and topaz. It may also bleach any hints of color from your pearls. Best to leave these items at home on your next trip to the beach.
- Precious gems like emeralds, sapphires and rubies are also subject to damage in extreme heat or harsh sunlight. It may cause the stone to become brittle, subjecting the gem to possible chips and damage.
- The safest way to clean the majority of your jewelry is with a soft toothbrush, warm water, and mild dish soap free of any abrasives. It is best to avoid things like open drains in the sink, or long drops to hard floors. The safest bet is to sit down at the table with a bowl of warm water.
- Apply your perfumes, colognes, and hairsprays before you put on gemstone jewelry. Hairsprays especially can leave a film or residue on your gems, reducing their shine, and potentially causing long term damage.
- Be sure to store earrings and other jewelry items in separate pouches in boxes with separate compartments. If items are stored together, this can cause chips or scratching.
The best advice we can give is to wear your pearls often! Pearls do best in a moist environment, so wearing them frequently keeps them from drying out. That's easy enough, right?
- Be sure to wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after every wear. This will remove any build up of oils or pollutants that could be damaging to the pearl.
- If your pearls are visibly stained, you can mix a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap, dip a soft cleaning cloth in it and wipe the pearls.
- Do not submerge a pearl necklace in water, as it will weaken the silk thread.
- Never use a polishing cloth on a pearl, as it will remove the luster of the pearl.
- As with other jewelry, store earrings and bracelets separately to avoid scratching. For necklaces it is best to store them flat when possible, or roll in acid free tissue before placing in a jewelry bag/pouch.
- With all that wear and care, you'll want to bring them to your favorite jeweler (like TIVOL) once a year to check the integrity of the silk thread and for a safe, thorough cleaning.
The biggest concern when caring for your favorite sterling silver pieces is tarnishing. With these simple step you can keep your silver jewelry looking brand new.
- As with pearls, your skin’s natural oils will help keep your sterling silver jewelry shiny. One of the easiest ways to prevent tarnish is to simply wear your silver often as opposed to letting it sit in a jewelry box unworn. Count us in!
- Proper storage for sterling silver jewelry is key! Almost any container can be used to store your silver, as long as it's air-tight. Zip-lock bags are great, but you can also find specialty jewelry bags for a more attractive option. Avoid using paper bags or decorative paper or cardboard boxes, these often contain sulfur which can accelerate tarnishing.
18K and 14K Golds
As with most fine jewelry, scratching is the biggest concern for 18K gold and silver items. The finish of a bracelet or ring can certainly help hide some 'love marks' but here are some ways to keep your gold and silver jewelry in great shape.
- Did you know that 24K gold isn't all it's cracked up to be? While it is the purest form of gold, few people know that it’s actually too soft to be used in most jewelry. Gold alloys like 18K and 14K gold actually make for a stronger more durable piece of jewelry, and just as beautiful!
- As we have mentioned, be sure to store your gold jewelry in separate compartments or pouches. If you must put items together, roll them in a soft cloth. The cloths that clean your glasses also make great jewelry protectors!
- Golds of all colors are considered a soft metal. This makes gold jewelry prone to dings, scratches, and dents. Always be careful of your gold rings, watches, and bracelets while you wear them and remove them while playing any high-contact sports.
- Many of us know that household cleaners with acids or abrasives will damage your jewelry’s finish. Because of this, use rubber gloves while cleaning or remove your jewelry altogether.
- To clean your gold jewelry, soak your jewelry pieces for 3 hours in clean warm water, then scrub them gently with a very soft brush. Rinse under clean water and blot dry with a cloth.
- For added shine, try using a jewelry polishing cloth after this! Do not use a paper towel or tissue as these can scratch your jewelry. But be sure not to overdo it!
If you are ever in doubt, you can bring your jewelry to TIVOL to be inspected and cleaned. Every time our jewelers clean a piece of jewelry, they inspect the item to ensure there are no loose stones, major scratches or damage.
We suggest an annual cleaning by professionals for all jewelry. Luckily, when you come to visit TIVOL, we will offer this service to you at no charge. Come visit us anytime!