Basic Jewelry Care
All fine jewelry needs proper care. While certain pieces may need select care, most jewelry should be cared for using the following basics:
Sunlight ‐ Just like the sun damages skin, heat and light can damage certain gemstones. Too much sunlight can fade or damage amethyst and topaz. Pearls can bleach and peel if exposed to too much sun. And certain other gems, like opal, can darken if exposed to too much light. To remove any doubt, store jewelry in a dark pouch or jewelry case.
Chemicals – Exposure to common everyday household chemicals, like ammonia or bleach, can damage both metals and gemstones. Even chemicals that are worn on the body – like hairspray, perfumes and lotions – can affect metals and dull gemstones. To keep your jewelry looking new, it's best to put on any perfumes, lotions or hairspray BEFORE putting on jewelry. And it's always wise to remove fine jewelry before swimming or using any type of household cleaners.
Treated Gemstones – Many gemstones today have been treated, and these gemstones need special care. All treatments should be disclosed at the time of purchase. Treated gemstones may be negatively affected by heat, steam or ultrasonic cleaners and certain solvents. Follow instructions from your jeweler to keep your treated gemstone jewelry looking sparkling.
Ultrasonic Cleaners – While ultrasonic cleaners are great for cleaning metals, diamonds and certain gemstones, they should not be used in the following circumstances:
- On organic gems like pearls, coral or ivory.
- Any gemstones that have been fracture‐filled with oil, resin or glass. For instance, most emeralds are fracture‐filled and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Gems that have been coated. For instance, Mystic Fire Topaz have been finished with an azotic coating and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Any gemstones that are susceptible to heat or temperature changes, like tanzanite, iolite, opal, etc., should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Fine jewelry will bring years of wearing pleasure with proper care and cleaning – and occasional inspection by a professional jeweler. There are also some special precautions to take with more delicate gems like pearls. Good common sense is your best guide, but here are some helpful tips to keep all your fine jewelry in tip-top shape.
Avoid wearing jewelry while in contact with household chemicals, such as chlorine bleach. They can discolor or damage your jewelry mountings.
Take off your jewelry before doing rough manual work or playing sports. Gemstones could be jarred loose or chipped by a hard blow.
When you're not wearing your jewelry, be careful that pieces do not tumble against each other to avoid scratching or dulling. Ideally, store each piece in its own soft cloth pouch.
Have a jeweler professionally clean and inspect your fine jewelry at least once a year. Most jewelers offer cleaning and inspection as a complimentary service to give you a lifetime of wearing pleasure. At 28Gems, twice-a-year cleaning and inspection also helps ensure the workmanship of your purchase lasts a lifetime.
Clean your diamond jewelry regularly in an ultrasonic cleaner or by hand. To make your own jewelry cleaning solution, mix one-part ammonia and six parts water.
Gently scrub the diamond piece with a small soft toothbrush to loosen dirt and restore the diamond's brilliance. Always rinse after cleaning.
To clean ruby jewelry, use a lukewarm solution of water and mild dishwashing soap, or one-part ammonia to six parts water. Gently brush the rubies with a small bristle brush, especially underneath the stones where dirt collects. Rinse and dry.
To clean sapphire jewelry, use a lukewarm solution of water and mild dishwashing soap, or one-part ammonia to six parts water. Gently brush the sapphires with a small bristle brush, especially underneath the stones where dirt collects. Rinse and dry.
Wear your pearls regularly. Your body's natural oils help maintain pearls' beauty.
Apply cosmetics, lotions, perfume and hair spray before putting on your pearls.
Wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after wearing them.
Remove spills immediately with a slightly damp cloth and then dry with a soft cloth.
Store pearls separately from other jewelry, preferably in a slightly damp linen cloth to prevent the pearls from drying out.
Have your pearls restrung every two to five years if worn regularly or when the silk becomes dirty.
Don't wear pearls with jewelry made of metal or other material that may scratch the pearls.
Avoid contact with salt water, chlorinated water or perspiration.
Never use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine or steam cleaner.
Clean your gold jewelry with a mild detergent or ammonia solution (one-part ammonia to six parts water). Avoid ammonia solution when cleaning pieces that contain pearls.
Use a soft brush to gently clean intricate filigree designs and under gemstones.
Do not use any kind of abrasive material that might scratch the gold.
Rinse and wipe jewelry after cleaning.