Top 9 Jewelry Care Tips

If you own Expensive Jewelry you need to know these tips for keeping your pieces safe and looking their best.  Don’t clean your Jewelry till you read this Important Jewelry care information by Wade Lavery

 

Clean with soapy water and Toothbrush

Precious jewellery is expensive and usually becomes very sentimental. It is constructed from long lasting corrosion resistant materials however Jewelry is still fine miniature pieces of art that require special care and attention. Professional jewellers use warm soapy water only.  

Keeping your Jewelry clean and dry allows your pieces to sparkle at their absolute best. Soak in warm soapy water first and then use a soft toothbrush to loosen dirt paying special attention to the inside and back of gems. This mechanical action breaks up contaminants softened by the warm soapy soak. Dry your pieces with non-scented plain white tissues by folding the piece into a tissue and gently dabbing tom absorb the moisture. Be careful not to leave your Jewelry in the tissues as this is how things get inadvertently thrown out!

Things that can harm your Jewelry.

The Human hand is a marvel of engineering and even the smallest hands create great pressure on the inside when they naturally grip. If the grip is on hard surfaces such as gym bars, handrails, garden tools or even bucket handles they pressure can leave deep scratches in your band that can only be removed by a Jeweller sanding them out. The pressure can bend the ring out of shape sometimes cracking the band or even loosening stones.

The bathroom, pool, or spa introduces chemicals that can attack the metal alloys in your rings. These chemicals can in turn cause pitting and premature metal failure. Soap scum will create a film on the back of your gems visible when you look into the front making their appearance dull and lifeless. The toothbrush as described above is designed to loosen this grime from the back of stones.

 

Lotion and Creams Before Jewelry

Diamonds are known for their brilliance and gems are expertly cut to show their beautiful colours creating sparkles. Everyday Creams and lotions will get underneath stones and into the fine little detail parts of your jewellery making it appear dull and lifeless. This becomes difficult to remove and can create an environment for other to chemicals encountered in daily life to be trapped in contact with the Jewelry or even your skin.

This moisture rich environment combined with prolonged skin contact can cause red blotchy marks under the rings resulting in contact dermatitis. Trapped soaps and sanitisers leave marks that can only be described as a chemical burn. Perfumes can affect organic and porous gems like pearls damaging the nacre. The golden rule is to put Jewelry on well after applying creams, lotions, and sprays to avoid getting these products onto the pieces.

Jewelry cleaner can destroy Jewelry

Beware of all cleaning products as some of them quite literally destroy your rings permanently. The anti-oxidising agents found particularly in Silver-dip can have serious reactions to Platinum and White Gold alloys. They will also destroy Yellow Gold in the right conditions by attacking the alloys leaving the remaining Gold brittle and powdery. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they serve no useful purpose.

Professional Jewelry workshops use warm soapy water in combination with an Ultrasonic Cleaner.  The Ultrasonic uses sound waves to agitate water in the tank to shake dirt loose instead of manually scrubbing with a toothbrush. Therefore, Ultrasonics are really a time saving device for professional workshops and low powered home devices are not required.

Jewelry boxes can destroy Jewelry

Don’t store your rings in jewellery boxes!  We have seen a significant increase in rings that crumble like biscuit after being left in Jewelry boxes. This is both packaging boxes the pieces are bought in and jewellery boxes designed to hold pieces for travel or store in your room.  I cannot speak to the chemicals involved in making the leatherette or velveteen flocking but suspect the problem originates in the plastics and glues. I would not recommend leaving Jewelry in anything synthetic at this point.

Modern alloys used in large scale production can also contribute to the problem. These alloys enable casting of hundreds of rings at one time requiring a smooth flowing metal that has different properties to traditional fabrication alloy.  Cast jewellery is also more porous by nature and has unfinished areas where you cannot see under settings. These areas have a vastly increased surface area potentially accelerating the effects chemical attack and even trapping chemicals for long periods against the gold structure.

Avoid Gemstones Scratching

 Avoid combining all your Jewelry together in pouches letting precious pieces rub against each other causing scratches in both the metal and your Gems.  These scratches effectively dull the sparkle of your gems by chipping away the facet edges requiring a costly repolish. The Diamonds will not get scratched but they will scratch other surfaces easily. Many people keep their Jewelry tucked away together in bags and suitcases which increases movement and subsequent rubbing.

Where possible keep your pieces in separate bags to create a protective plastic layer between each one. Small clip-seal bags are ideal by allowing you to still keep all your pieces safely together in a bigger bag protected from each other. Gem dealers and Jewelry professionals always bag pieces separately to keep the best possible shine on everything.

Keeping safe from Theft and Damage

The safest place for your Jewelry is with you but it may not be practical to wear all of the time so a safe place to store is required. Home safes are ok but generally need to be large weighing more than 150kg or set down in a concrete floor otherwise they can be carried away altogether. Alarms combined with safes slow down attacks giving you early warning and potentially scare offenders away. Leaving your Jewelry at home is often not suitable because it is designed to be worn.

If your Rings cannot be worn then the next safest place is on your person in some way. A good solution is a reliable necklace that is not going to come apart however it is not recommended to place rings directly on a chain because the chain will cut a groove into the rings requiring an expensive fix. There are some ring holder devices on the market but they pose the exact same problem with thin contact areas making undesirable grooves in your rings. Further these devices are thin in nature and the rubbing will thin them further potentially causing a total failure. The only device we recommend is the Fonya locket. https://fonya.com.au/

Fonya lockit is the Best Protection solution

The Fonya lockit is purpose built for safe damage free ring storage protecting several rings at once. It can be supplied with a sturdy adjustable chain and features a patented unique wear plate to spread the ring weight avoiding wear on the rings. Fonya locket offers peace of mind featuring three locking mechanisms inbuilt for maximum protection keeping your rings safe.

The Fonya lockit provides a solution for those times you need to briefly remove your rings for work or play but cannot hide them away anywhere reliably safe.  They can be kept on your person or linked together in a bag correctly to avoid settings or stones rubbing. The Fonya lockit is constructed entirely from precious metal with no metal springs to rust, no thin parts to wear through and precision engineered parts delivering a lifetime of ring protection. You can check it out at https://fonya.com.au/

Correct Insurance matters

Insurance policies for Jewelry are attached to your home and contents usually requiring individual items over a certain value to be specified with supporting documents such as proof of sale, appraisal, or valuation. These specified values hopefully can cover the cost of significant damage repair or replacement.

It is advisable to read your policy carefully making sure you are able to choose your preferred jeweller for replacement so you will be comfortable with the process should the need arise. This particular detail is critically important because if your ring is hand-made you don’t want it replaced with a casting or a mass produced ring.  Further, a ring cast in your local country to bespoke jewellers standards will not be the same as a cheap import that looks similar.

 About the Author

 I have been a bench jeweller behind the scenes for 25 years repairing literally tens of thousands of Jewelry pieces observing the wear and tear on Jewelry. Now I focus on creating custom bespoke one- off Jewelry and have a good working of things that work and why things don’t work. The reasoning behind the cleaning advice above comes from knowledge of how precious metals behave and methods of production but also how customers use their Jewelry. I hope this information is useful and welcome any questions or further thoughts.  You can check out my work at the following  https://tcityjewelers.com/ and thanks for reading, Wade.

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