A beautiful piece of jewellery can unlock the heart, comfort the soul, write the happy ending to a chapter of love and often holds the memory of journeys made and destinations conquered.
A smoothly polished gemstone when bought shines brightly with beautiful colour and a brilliant sparkle, enchanting us with the desire to wear it often and sometimes to places not meant for the delicate nature of some pieces.
We forget that stones, and yes even diamonds, scratch, metals tarnish and perfumes corrode, soon a piece that once shone brightly becomes dull, damaged and in need of not only the love it is worn with but of the gentle care and attention it should be worn with.
1. When to take it off...
There is a mysterious comfort in wearing a favourite piece of jewellery often without taking it off, unknowingly shortening the life span of the piece. Choosing the right occasion is important to prolonging the life of a beloved item.
It is important to rotate a favourite piece often, giving that piece an appreciative rest and allowing other pieces waiting in secret hiding places and drawers some time to come out and shine.
2. Scents and lotions...
Like strawberries and cream, for centuries the combination of Jewellery and perfume has been equally lovely and true opus to the sensuality of the senses. Sadly perfumes are very corrosive and with time can make gemstones dull and even damage them. Jewellers often warn those buying pearls to avoid direct contact with perfumes and lotions as it can severely damage the delicate surface responsible for the valuable luster of pearls. Hand lotions and creams easily go into the galleries and grooves of rings and pendants giving stones a lifeless and dull appearance.
The best way to avoid this would be carful preparation. Allowing perfumes and lotions to settle for at least 15-20 minutes before putting on any of your favourite pieces. We highly recommend that perfume not be sprayed directly onto the surface or over any of your pieces. When using lotions, always try to remove rings and bracelets, this will drastically improve the lifespan of sensitive gems and jewellery.
Once upon a time a beautiful girl lived in a house with her stepmother and 3 step sisters. She cleaned all day and all night with little rest, her dress was nothing more than rags and her pretty hands were rough and worn from all the harsh detergents and chemicals she was using.
The story of Cinderella is the best reminder that while you are cleaning of doing harsh jobs around the house to dress for the occasion and to wait until you are off to the ball before putting on any of your jewellery. Chemicals and detergents have a very harsh effect on fine metals and stones. Here we can also add the question, “have you ever seen a garden gnome wearing a tennis bracelet?”, No, because simply put .... Jewellery does not belong in the garden!
4. Sun, sea and sand
We often see our favourite stars featured on the beach draped in layers of fine gold chains, chunky rings and ankle bracelets. This is a wonderful way to accessorise your bikini and also to ruin a great piece of jewellery.
Not only will the sand scratch and damage the surface of gemstones but the moisture in the air and fine spray has a harsh speedy effect on the tarnishing of fine metal.
Should you forget to take off your jewellery while getting the perfect tan along the coast and your jewellery becomes dusted with sand, do not just simply try to wipe it with a T-shirt or dry cloth. Fine dust and grains of sand that have gathered on the surface will scratch stones and metal when simply using a dry cloth. Instead use a gentle solution of ( 3 drops only ) dishwashing liquid and lukewarm water. Submerge your piece for a couple of minutes allowing any dirt or sand to loosen gently from the surface. You may choose to lightly shake the item in the liquid, make sure to rinse carefully and to dry it thoroughly before once again choosing to put it on, remembering that prolonged contact with moisture is something to be avoided as far as possible as it will quicken the tarnishing process.
5. Avoid at home Ultrasound Jewellery cleaning machines...
Unless professionally done many of the softer gemstones like Tanzanite can be severely damaged by ultrasound cleaning machines. It is better to ask your jeweller for advice about the hardness of your stone and if in fact it is advisable to go ahead with ultrasound cleaning. In many cases it will be better to use a professional to steam clean the item by hand and lightly polish the metal afterwords. Professional cleaning is inexpensive, detailed and efficient.
6. Wipe it down...
Investing in a proper jewellery cloth or silver or gold jewellery is always a great way to go. The effort of wiping down an expensive piece before putting it back in storage will be continually rewarded with shiny metal. Tarnishing can be seen as the metals way of protecting itself against the elements and a polishing cloth is more often than not enough to keep metals looking new. It will also wipe away any lotions or oils that the metal may have come in contact with while wearing and again add to the life of the item.
A proper jewellery cleaning cloth is designed for the sole purpose of polishing jewellery and would normally be treated with the finest cleaning and polishing agents alongside tarnish inhibitors. Do not rinse or wash a jewellery cloth as it will destroy any agents and inhibitors present in the lining.
You will be able to find and purchase some great professional cleaning cloths and fine jewellery cleaning liquids on our page. These are products we have chosen to be long lasting and of high quality.
7. Toothbrushes and toothpaste...
JUST NO !! Old wives tales like this have caused more tears than joy for jewellers and client alike.
Both toothpaste and toothbrushes are incredibly hard and abrasive and could lead to damaging delicate pieces ons softer stones.
Again a gentle solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water would be a far better and recommended route for emergency cleaning, use a toothpick to get get in to hard to reach corners, avoiding any metals like pins, paperclips and (hard to even mention but we have seen it all) nails and screws at all costs.
Many jewellers are happy to clean a piece as an added after service sale. Enquire if such services are available when purchasing, this will normally exclude deep polishing of metal, the re-rhodium of an item or resurfacing of a stone.