Your jewelry is precious. Whether it holds monetary or sentimental value, or both, your jewelry is special. So how do you keep your jewelry looking it’s best? Most people believe that a certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected. Not so. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your precious jewelry is in as perfect condition as the day you bought it.
When not to wear your jewelry:
One of the best ways to keep your jewelry looking good is knowing when not to wear it. Many people never take their jewelry off, for sentimental reasons. But the fact is that there are many routine activities that may damage, or even destroy, your precious jewelry. Examples of these activities include:
Gardening: Aside from getting your jewelry dirty, gardening is one of the easiest ways to chip or lose precious stones, as well as scratch gold or platinum jewelry. Remember that gold is an extremely soft metal, and platinum, while about twice as strong as gold, is still easily scratched.
Household cleaning: You should never wear your jewelry while doing household cleaning! Many common cleaning solutions contain chemicals that may damage or discolor precious gems or metals. Also, while doing housework, you are bound to rub your jewelry against abrasive materials. When it comes to gold even dust can be abrasive enough to do damage.
Swimming: The chlorine in swimming pools can do extensive damage to your jewelry. Chlorine can pit and discolor gold, as well as take the polish off of precious gems. Chlorine will also do damage to settings, causing gems to come loose, and greatly increasing the risk of losing them.
Sleeping: Yes sleeping! While sleeping you will unconsciously brush your jewelry against the sheets. The dust on your sheets, or the sheets themselves, acts as a fine abrasive, which, over time, will wear down the settings of your rings. If you must wear you ring to bed, you should turn the ring so that the gem is facing the palm of your hand. This way it is less likely to come in contact with abrasive materials.
You should also avoid extreme temperature changes. For example: If you are wearing a diamond ring in a hot tub (which you should not do in the first place) and you then decide to jump into a cold pool, your diamond may very well crack, or even shatter!
When deciding whether or not to wear your jewelry you should just use common sense. If you think that you might be doing something rough, or if you think you might come into contact with chemicals or abrasives, it’s best to simply not wear your jewelry. Better safe than sorry.
Cleaning your jewelry:
Cleaning your jewelry is really pretty simple. The best way to clean your jewelry is by soaking it in warm water with a mild liquid detergent or soap. After letting your jewelry soak for three or four minutes rinse it off under running water (make sure the drain is closed), and then pat it dry with a soft lint free cloth or paper towel. You should clean your jewelry often to avoid having to take it to a jeweler for costly and harmful cleaning methods.
There are many home remedies and old wives tales dealing with how to clean jewelry. Most of these not only do not work, but also can be extremely harmful to your jewelry. Some examples of these include:
Toothpaste: One of the most common home remedies for cleaning jewelry is using toothpaste. You should absolutely never use toothpaste to clean your jewelry! Toothpaste is abrasive. While this is a good thing for cleaning plaque off your teeth, it will scratch gold and softer gems.
Boiling water: Many people believe that boiling jewelry in water is a good way to clean it. In fact boiling is one of the easiest ways to destroy fine jewelry. Boiling your jewelry can crack or discolor gemstones, even diamonds.
Ammonia: Ammonia is okay to use on diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, but will damage other gemstones. Ammonia should only be used on unfilled diamonds. Fracture filled diamonds should never be cleaned in acidic solutions or ammonia.
Professional polishing solutions: Professional polishing solutions have a mild abrasive in them. This abrasive will make your gold jewelry shine, but it will also scratch the gold.
Cleaning your jewelry often will make it sparkle and shine. Diamonds especially should be cleaned regularly, as they naturally attract grease. A clean flawed diamond can look ten times better than a dirty flawless one.
Storing your jewelry:
Proper storage is the most important factor in keeping your jewelry in good condition. Remember that gold and platinum are soft materials, and that diamonds are one of the hardest substances known to man. If you store your jewelry together your diamonds, rubies, and sapphires will scratch your precious metals, as well as chip other, softer gems, such as emeralds. You should always store your jewelry pieces separately. Many people like to store their jewelry in lock boxes, or at home, in the freezer. These are both poor choices for jewelry storage. The dry atmosphere of a lock box can damage your jewelry, while the extreme cold of a freezer can crack or shatter precious gemstones. The best place to store your precious jewelry is in a jewelry box with many separate compartments. Most jewelry boxes are lined with soft, un-abrasive materials, which will not scratch your jewelry. A good jewelry box will come with many compartments, which not only showcase your jewelry beautifully, but also protect your jewelry from scratching and chipping. Jewelry boxes are also beautiful in and of themselves. A quality jewelry box is usually handmade of beautiful hard wood, and cunningly contrived to showcase your jewelry in a stunning fashion. When storing your jewelry there is no substitute for a quality jewelry box.
Where is the best place to purchase a jewelry box:
To get an idea of the different styles and prices that are available in a jewelry box it is more convenient to view them online before shopping around at local retail stores.
Retail stores and jewelers will sometimes carry a small selection of jewelry boxes, but you are more apt to find a greater selection online. Just type “jewelry box” into an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and you will find several reliable websites that specialize in jewelry boxes.
The cost of a jewelry box is dependent upon many variables. In solid hardwood, a jewelry box should cost about $100 to $300 depending on size, but fancy jewelry boxes can cost much more.
Let your jewelry shine:
Would you like your jewelry to look more stunning than ever? Would you like your jewelry to gain compliments every time you wear it? Caring for your jewelry is well worth your time. Not only will proper care and storage extend the life of your jewelry, it will also make your jewelry sparkle and shine like never before.