Over time the natural oils from your skin, air born contaminants, moisture and corrosion will tarnish the shine and luster of your jewelry. There are a few simple cleaning and caring tips which can drastically improve the condition of your favorite pieces. For Jewel cleaning, different metals and stones require different cleaning techniques. So please ensure you are following the relevant instructions. If your gold or silver jewelry contains softer porous gemstones you should follow the cleaning instructions for the gemstones and not the metal. These gemstones are quite sensitive and can be damaged easily.
A must before you start cleaningCheck the setting of your jewelry to ensure it is secure and well fastened. If you begin scrubbing a loose stone you may damage or even lose a piece. Remove any dust from both the jewelry and cleaning clothes. The dust may cause light scratching during the cleaning process. If you don’t own a jewelry cloth, use a cotton or flannel cloth and shake it well to remove loose dust.
Silver Jewelry CleaningThere are two ways to easily remove the buildup of tarnish from your silver jewelry. If you live in a humid climate your silver jewelry will tarnish quickly and you’ll need to clean it quite regularly. You are suggested to buy a silver dip solution that works by creating a chemical reaction which removes tarnish. It is a great choice for cleaning silver chains which are difficult to clean by hand. You must not under any circumstances place any type of gemstones in the solution. It may permanently damage the stone. Firstly find a bowl or large cup and line the sides with aluminum foil. Next place your jewelry inside the lined cup or bowl. Cover the jewelry with a small amount of baking soda, just enough so you can barely see the jewelry. Next pour hot water over the jewelry and wait for the bubbling to stop. After the solution has stopped bubbling, rinse and buff the silver jewelry dry with your cloth. You may need to repeat the process up to 5-6 times for badly tarnished pieces. Please also be careful to keep yourself away from any fumes and ensure the room is well ventilated before starting. To clean silver jewelry which contains gemstones create a solution of mild detergent and warm water. Now gently buff small sections of the jewelry taking care not to touch the gemstone. Rinse and dry to complete the process. If the jewelry is heavily tarnished or still requires cleaning you may require a specialized silver cleaning paste or professional cleaning. Keep in mind that the harsher the cleaner, the more likely your jewelry will be damaged.
Vermeil Jewelry CleaningGold vermeil (pronounced Ver-May) is an overlay of gold on sterling silver. As with sterling, preventive care is important for maintaining your gold vermeil jewelry. Vermeil jewelry will tarnish like sterling silver because-well, it is sterling silver-and exposure to air is the primary culprit in tarnishing. Store the jewelry in an airtight container – either a jewelry box or a zip bag.
Some important notes for cleaning vermeil jewelry: Buff or clean the vermeil with a soft, dry cotton cloth. DO NOT use a silver polishing cloth on the vermeil. It will strip the finish off quickly, leaving you with just the sterling silver underneath.
Gemstones Jewel Cleaning
The majority of gemstones are best cleaned using the same method as Pearls. You may also use a soft tooth brush on hard gemstones to gently scrub away additional grime. You should avoid soaking porous (softer opaque) gemstones instead just wet another cotton or jewelry cloth and clean the gemstone. It’s important to dry the gemstone completely to remove any remaining chemicals from the cleaning process. Ultrasonic cleaners will work well for harder gemstones but may cause cracking on softer gemstones, for this reason we suggest taking your jewelry to a professional for heavier cleaning.
As with any jewelry you should keep pearls, gemstones and precious metal in a well crafted jewelry box or jewelry pouch. Items should be separated to avoid scratching as well as contamination and tangling. Before caring your Jewel, two general things should not be ignored.
Choosing a Jewelry Box
A jewelry box should offer enough compartments to allow precious pieces to be stored individually. The box should also contain a soft lining which will prevent scratching. Choose a jewelry box which is rigid and capable of protecting your jewelry should it be bumped or knocked. If you wish to secure your jewelry you may also consider purchasing a box with a lock and key. The box should allow you to hang chains which will help prevent kinks and knots.
The Right Spot
Jewelry needs to be kept in a dry location with low humidity. Humid and damp conditions will cause tarnish in silver and problems with other precious metals. Also consider the security and accessibility of the location you choose.
How to store gold and silver jewelry
Your two main priorities when storing your gold and silver are to avoid tarnishing/dulling and avoid scratching. To avoid tarnishing you will need to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Store each piece of jewelry in a separate cotton or jewelry bag. The bag needs to be able to breathe, if the bag is air tight it may sweat which will cause tarnish. Good quality Jewelry bags are usually treated with chemicals that reduce tarnish. A good quality jewelry bag will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The pieces should be stored individually, if stored together the pieces will scratch each other. If available place a moisture absorbing product inside your jewelry box. White chalk, charcoal or silica gel will absorb the moisture which causes tarnish.
At last, I would like to give you a rough guideline to prolong the life of your Jewelry
Apply makeup and perfume before putting on your jewelry. The chemicals will damage sensitive gemstones (like pearls) and tarnish metals like silver.
Remove jewelry when cleaning. Ammonia, detergents and other household chemicals will damage jewelry.
Do not shower with your jewelry on for the same reasons as the above point. In addition to damage from chemicals any jewelry which falls off (soap will loosen rings) you will lose your jewelry to the plug hole.
Do not swim at the beach or swimming pool with jewelry on. Chlorine and salt will damage your gemstones and metals.
Gold and silver are soft metals and will bend easily. Avoid doing anything strenuous with gold and silver jewelry on.