Generally, most jewelry can be cleaned with mild liquid detergent mixed with warm water. (Some exceptions include pearls, emeralds and opal.) It’s important to clean your jewelry with a soft brush to prevent any scratches. It is also a good idea to separate your jewelry to avoid nicks and scrapes.
Diamonds are the hardest minerals known to man, but even they require delicate care. To maintain its brilliance, a diamond should be cleaned regularly. It can be cleaned in a solution of half-ammonia and half-cold water. Soak your diamond for 30 minutes and dry it with a lint-free cloth. Interestingly, placing your diamond in a glass of plain vodka has also been known to effectively restore its sparkle. Everyday activity can loosen a diamond setting so be sure to have your diamond jewelry checked every six months.
When it comes to caring for your metal, it’s important to remember that every metal is different. While little maintenance is needed for durable metals such as tungsten, other metals require some attention. For instance, platinum is a strong metal but is susceptible to scratches. Getting your platinum buffed every six months is recommended. You can also remove build-up with jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water. Also, silver is prone to tarnishing. Regular polishing is a simple way to solve this. The jewelry we offer is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy. Sterling silver is damaged less easily than regular silver.
Gold is another metal that needs gentle care. Soap film easily builds on the surface of gold, so it’s best to remove your gold jewelry before showering or using household cleaners or chemicals. Chlorine has also been known to weaken gold, causing it to break more easily. Placing your gold jewelry in a solution containing a few drops of ammonia, mild detergent and warm water will bring back its shine. Rubbing alcohol can also be used to remove grease and body oil from gold jewelry.
Cultured Pearl Care
Cultured pearls are especially soft and vulnerable. When getting dressed, your cultured pearls should be the last item you put on and the first item you take off. Makeup, hair spray, perfume and other chemicals are very harmful to cultured pearls. It’s a good idea to wipe them with a clean, damp cloth after each use to remove build-up, dirt and oil. Also, make sure your cultured pearls are completely dry before putting them away. Hot water, steam, extreme temperatures and ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided as well. Upon inspection, some jewelers may also recommend restringing your cultured pearls.
Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver, like other precious metals, can oxidize with time. But properly maintained silver jewelry improves with age and develops a lush patina. Treat your silver well, care for it properly and it will reward you with a long life and a lustrous look.
Clean your silver jewelry with a mild soap and water solution, allowing the water to bead up, and then patting dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, use a jewelry cleaner designed for silver use. Ask your jeweler to recommend an appropriate brand. Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish-preventive bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Store pieces individually so that they don’t knock together and scratch. Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt. Your jeweler should be able to provide these. Tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in these products. Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage _ this can cause silver to tarnish. And don’t wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals.
Color Stone Care
Every color stone has its unique colors and qualities, and therefore, care is different for each one. A good reference is the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, which measures durability of materials with 10 (diamonds) being the hardest. In some cases, the more durable a stone is, the less likely they are to become damaged in daily activity or regular cleaning. Most color stones can be cleaned in soapy water, but special care is required for certain stones.
Emeralds are treated with oils and waxes to improve clarity. This enhancement is not permanent, and long exposure to soapy water can remove the protective coating. Also, emeralds should not be exposed to hot water, steamers and ultrasonic cleaners.
Tanzanite is 6 1/2 on the Moh’s Scale, making it a very brittle stone. Delicate washing in warm water with mild soap is suitable, but it should never be exposed to vigorous activity, ultrasonic cleaners and excessive temperatures. Extreme temperatures can actually change the color of some stones.
Also, unlike other color stones, opal is not internally solid but rather gelatinous. It ranks about a six on the hardness scale and is very susceptible to scratches and cracks. Impacts should be avoided as well as ultrasonic cleaners, excessive heat, hot water and steam. It is recommended to clean opals with baby or olive oil to prevent them from drying out.
Steam cleaners should also be avoided for garnet, amethyst, tourmaline and citrine.
Watches need the same amount of attention as fine jewelry. Fine watches are sophisticated and precise pieces of equipment; the price often reflects the skilled workmanship that goes into a fine timepiece. In order to get the most satisfaction out of your watch, you should follow some simple care and cleaning guidelines:
No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt “do-it-yourself” watch repairs. Only an expert jeweler/watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition. Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis, making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the watch face.
A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized dealer and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the piece with a slightly damp cloth and then dry. Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the time-keeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy. Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
Have your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized watch dealer replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece. Do not attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. If your watch is water-resistant, a water-resistance test should be performed after the battery has been replaced to ensure that water will not leak into and damage the watch.
Batteries run for about two to three years. Those in some less expensive, multi-function digital watches have shorter lives, as little as six months. Using extra features such as a calculator or game can shorten battery life.
Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, you can give it a quick cleaning with a mixture of warm water and either a mild soap or a dish detergent. Dry the watch with a soft cloth after cleaning. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch face and not the strap.