BASIC JEWELRY CARE
From your everyday jewelry to the unique pieces you wear only on special occasions, chances are, all of your jewelry could use a good polish. Lotions, soaps, and everyday dust and dirt are just a few things that can clog jewelry settings and make stones, chains, and pearls appear dull and lifeless. To ensure your jewelry retains its beauty for many years to come, please follow these care instructions for the gemstones, metals, and unique material used in your piece.
METALS & MATERIALS
Tarnishing is a natural reaction when sterling silver is in the presence of pollutants, saltwater, and chemicals that you find in everyday items like hair spray, chlorine, alcohol, lotion, leather, and rubber. To remove tarnish, routinely wipe your silver jewelry with the white side of a gold and silver polishing cloth. You may also remove heavy tarnish with warm water, mild soap, soft toothbrush, and a special sterling silver cleaning cloth. For badly tarnished silver jewelry, take your pieces to the jewelry store and get it professionally tumbled.
Regular wear of sterling silver also helps to prevent tarnish. Silver polish or dip style cleaning solutions are not recommended.
Gold & Platinum
Gold and platinum are naturally tarnished resistant but tend to lose their luster over time from scratches, wear & tear. White gold can lose its white color or rhodium covering when it interacts with everyday chemicals such as hairspray, make-up, lotions, soaps, and perfume.
To maintain shine, routinely wipe your jewelry with the white side of a jewelry cloth. You may also soak the jewelry in warm water with a little diluted dish soap and use a soft toothbrush to remove any oils & dirt. Do not use abrasive cleaners. And once every few years, if you notice extreme discoloring or dullness from scratches, take it to a jeweler and get it professionally polished and rhodium plated.
Forged carbon is a mixture of carbon and resin that is bonded under extreme temperature and pressure to form a very strong yet lightweight material. It is not metal so the best way to clean it with warm water and diluted dish soap. The silver and gold parts of the jewelry can be polished with a jewelry cloth but the forged carbon cannot be polished. Though forged carbon is scratch-resistant, like many hard objects, it has a splintered point if impacted in exactly the right place. If scratched, a white powdery residue will appear which can be removed with light rubbing with a soft cloth.
Tungsten carbide is composed of 80% Tungsten metal and 20% Carbon alloyed with other metals. Tungsten is exceptionally strong, hypoallergenic, anti-tarnish, and scratch-resistant and requires no special care. But like many hard objects, it has a splintered point if impacted in exactly the right place.
GEMSTONES AND PEARLS
Diamonds tend to lose their sparkle because of their propensity to attract oils & dirt. It is best to keep lotions and chemicals away from diamonds. To clean the buildup, soak your diamonds in warm water with mild dish soap and use a soft toothbrush to remove the dirt. Place jewelry in a strainer and rinse before drying with a lint-free cloth. Using a little bit of ammonia mixed with water is also safe to clean diamond jewelry set in gold or platinum.
Though diamonds are one of the hardest materials and safe to wear daily, some cuts such a princess or pears may have fragile corners and can chip if it is not protected properly. It is best to get your prongs checked once or twice a year and be mindful of some of these fancy cuts. It is highly recommended to get your diamond jewelry professional polished and rhodium plated for white gold once every 2 years or when you see dullness and discoloration.
Crystalline gemstones such as amethyst, topaz, citrine & peridot attract oils and lotions causing them to dull. To clean, use warm water with mild soap and a soft toothbrush. Place jewelry in a strainer and rinse before drying with a lint-free cloth. These colored gemstones tend to be softer then rubies and sapphires and may chip or crack upon hard impact.
After diamonds, rubies and sapphires are the next hardest gemstone so jewelry with these stones may be worn daily. Like diamond jewelry, if set in gold or platinum, a drop of ammonia may be added to water to clean these pieces. Do not use ammonia on any other gemstones or anything set in sterling silver since it can discolor and damage these materials.
Opaque Gemstones and Emeralds
Jewelry set with opaque gemstones such as opals, coral, and lapis can collect dirt especially if worn often. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or cleaning chemicals such as bleach or ammonia on these types of stones. Opaque gemstones should only be wiped clean using a damp cloth. Avoid contact with hair sprays, lotions, perfumes since the chemicals can be absorbed over time and cause discoloration. Please remove jewelry with opaque gemstones and emeralds before exercising, gardening, or engaging in intense physical activity due to the softness of these stones.
Opals are composed of 5-15% water and need moisture & humidity to keep it from becoming brittle and cracking. Opals love humidity and should be soaked in water overnight once a year if not worn. Emeralds too should be kept from drying out and should be oiled once a year if not worn. Use a clean soft cloth and apply baby oil or olive oil and leave overnight and wipe the next morning with a soft cloth.
Cultured pearls have a thin membrane over a nacre that is prone to discoloration or even damaged with improper care. Pearls should always be the last thing to be put on after using hair products and perfume. They should always be kept away from all perfumes, cosmetics, perspiration, chlorine, salt water, vinegar, ammonia, and dirt. And pearls should be the first thing removed, especially before exercising.
Never wash pearls in the ultrasonic cleaner but rather gently wipe pearls using a slightly damp cloth after wearing. Pearls may be periodically washed with mild liquid soap and a soft cloth. Rinse them in clean water and wrap them with a thin, damp cotton towel to dry them. If pearls come in contact with food or liquid, immediately wipe your jewelry with a soft damp cloth and dry with a towel.
Pearls require humidity. When storing them, make sure the environment is not too dry or they may crack. Pearls should be restrung when you see the string worn out or when it becomes dirty. Pearls may discolor over a long time to the yellow side. This is a natural process of the pearls aging and gives them a vintage look.
Turquoise should always be kept away from perfumes, cosmetics, household cleaners, chlorine, and saltwater. These can affect the quality and appearance of your jewelry. Turquoise is a softer stone so avoid impact with hard surfaces.