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Jewellery Care and Jewellery Cleaning Tips
How to Care for Your Jewellery
Cautions when Cleaning Jewellery and Gemstones
To care for your jewellery and keep it clean and ready to wear, gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wearing. Use the pro polish pad supplied or a 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean using only the soft pads of your fingers. Store in jeweller’s tissue or a soft bag.
To help retard tarnish on sterling silver, wrap the piece in jeweller’s tissue paper and place it inside a plastic zip lock bag and seal.
When cleaning sterling silver remember that it is a very soft metal and can easily be marred by a fingernail or wadded piece of fabric pushed roughly against the metal surface. For this reason, use one of the following methods to clean heavier soils and tarnish:
To remove fingerprints, light grease or dirt, add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely before storing in an air tight plastic bag.
Be very careful when using any soaking method to clean jewellery that has stones. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish on the stone. Never use chlorine bleach to clean jewellery.
To remove excessive tarnish, polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any remnants of the cleaner from gemstones and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Never use toothpaste! (see more about this below).
Tips for Keeping your Jewellery Looking New and Shiny
When caring for your jewellery, never use anything but 100% cotton or the supplied pro polish pad as a polishing cloth since paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics often contain wood fibres or synthetics. These materials may impart fine scratches in the metal, especially on sterling silver.
A polished appearance is the result of the metal smith’s effort to file, sand and buff the metal to a perfectly flat surface. When even minor scratches occur, as seen under a microscope, the surface looks like the ragged edge of a saw blade and light is bounced in and around those scratches. An unmarred surface allows the light to be bounced back smoothly, with no echoes, and results in a highly reflective surface.
Important Warnings about the Care of Fine Jewellery!
Always remove your rings and fine jewellery before using any product that contains bleach! Bleach can cause gold and other metal alloys to breakdown leaving the metal irreparably damaged. This includes swimming pools and bathing in hot tubs as chlorine products are added to prevent bacteria growth. Never use toothpaste or other abrasives to clean metal or stones. You will find countless websites that recommend toothpaste as a cleaner, but this is not an accepted practice by fine jewellers. Although the abrasives in toothpaste are great for your teeth, they can damage the surface of the metal requiring the skill of a professional to buff and refinish.
Other Common Chemicals and Solutions to Avoid
Besides chlorine bleach, denatured alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia can cause harm. These chemicals can dull or even pit the surface on softer gemstones. Petroleum based products can actually “melt” amber if allowed to remain on the stone and they can do significant damage to pearls.