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Caring For Your Jewelry

Updated on October 24, 2010

Jewelry (especially those with gems and stones) need special care in order to keep them valuable and in superb condition. So many people are oblivious of the harm that can be done to their jewelry due to disregard or abuse. In most cases jewelry sales people information is incomplete, and you’ll have to do some research on your own. Some jewelry will include instructions, especially the very expensive kind. Some may also include special cloths to clean your jewelry with and recommendations for the best cleaning fluids and techniques. If your jewelry is one of your favorite pieces it is assumed you would like to keep it like new as long as possible whether authentic or costume jewelry. Lets consider a few tips about caring for your jewelry.

Jewelry, Gemstones And Temperature

Gemstones of color are not as fervent and tough as diamonds. Diamonds can withstand numerous assaults and come out shining. Diamonds are utilized in drill bits to cut glass because of their intensity. Diamonds can also be boiled in acid and cooled right away into ice water without any detrimental effects to its luster. Most colored gems would be damaged and of no use. This is because colored gem stones cannot endure temperature changes or thermal traumatizing. Quartz, emeralds, kunzite, topaz, garnet, tanzanite, opal and tourmaline are fragile to temperature changes. For example if you are outside in 100 degree weather and go into an air-conditioned room at 75 degrees your gem will be under stress. Sudden temperature changes as this can cause a gem to crack or break. There are some gemstones that cannot withstand any kind of heat such as emeralds and amethysts. (Be careful with that amethyst necklace) High heat will fade and discolor the stone. Hot environments no-no gems are turquoise, opal, amethyst, malachite, emerald and kunzite. In other words opening a hot oven door can cause your gem to become brittle, and washing dishes in hot water while wearing a ring can ruin it.

Jewelry And Chemicals

Chemicals such as acidic solutions and ammonias like hairspray, lotions, perfume and even some jewelry cleaners bought at stores can destroy the surface of the gem causing etching. For instance acetone and alcohol will dissolve emeralds. Gold jewelry exposed to chlorine can destroy and pit gold alloys if jeopardized enough.

Jewelry Cleaning Techniques

If you wear your jewelry everyday cleaning it is of the utmost importance in order to preserve them. According to most research the best way to clean jewelry ( with or without gemstones) is with simple warm water. If soap is needed use a mild liquid soap, not detergent. They should not be full of acetone or ammonia. Using a toothpick is clever to get to any dirt that may be stuck. A water pick can also come in useful while cleaning jewelry. Use a dry cloth that won’t shed lint when drying.

If you allow a jeweler to clean your jewelry be careful if they use an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaners can unsettle stones out of their settings. Gemstones in jewelry to be careful of are rubies, sapphire, chalcedone and quartz. Those that should be completely avoided when using ultrasonic cleaning are moonstone, opal, emeralds, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise, tanzanite and malachite.

Most Fragile Stones In Jewelry

There are a number of stones that can be quite fragile. They are kunzite, topaz, feldspar, moonstone, tanzanite, and sunstone. Any bump or hit can break up or fracture these stones. That is why jewelry with these stones should not be worn while doing housework, gardening, playing sports or auto repairs.

Storing Your Jewelry

To store your jewelry isn’t only necessary to protect it from thieves, but storage is valuable in preserving your jewelry too. Jewelry should be contained in individual soft fabric bags in a jewelry box. Piling or throwing jewelry on top of each other can scratch or dent it or both. So it is a good rule to separate the pieces. We must not forget that a jewelry box may be the first place a burglar may look, so it would be wise to store your most expensive jewelry in a safe deposit box or a more hidden spot. For example if you have an expensive amethyst necklace, it would be wise not to place it openly on your bedroom dresser drawer, but hide it inconspicuously in your closet maybe in a shoe box. Keep pictures of your jewelry just in case the situation arises that it has been stolen.

Checking Your Jewelry

It is prudent to check your jewelry from time to time for bent prongs or loose stones. If something is amiss you will hear a clicking noise if you shake a ring (for instance) close to your ear and it has a loose stone in it. It is also practical to have your jewelry professionally examined every 6 months.

Final Note

All information above can be used in conjunction with gold or silver jewelry with or without stones. The same precautions are necessary in order to preserve its uniqueness and beauty.

                                                              Some related sites on this subject are:

       Home Jewelry Cleaning Techniques | Moonstone Care | Fixing Broken Jewelry | Jewelry Storage

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