Care and Cleaning

Fine jewelry is a precious possession that is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. However, proper care is required to assure the lasting qualities of your jewelry.

General Tips

  • Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place.
  • Keep your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper.
  • Don't jumble your jewelry pieces in a drawer or jewelry case. Pieces can scratch each other.
  • Be careful when removing your jewelry to wash your hands. Do not leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.
  • See your jeweler at least once a year to have your jewelry checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear. Visit your jeweler every six months to have your jewelry professionally cleaned.
  • There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean jewelry in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. These machines are called "ultrasonic cleaners" and are available in many different models and prices. They can be a convenient way to quickly clean your jewelry at home. However, ultrasonic cleaners can damage some jewelry. Your local jeweler can tell you if an ultrasonic cleaning machine is right for your jewelry wardrobe and, if it is, recommend an appropriate model.

Diamond

Diamond jewelry is very popular. Some pieces, such as diamond engagement and wedding rings, are often worn 24 hours a day. Even though you may wear your diamond jewelry around the clock, you should give thought to its care. Diamonds are durable, but they still require proper maintenance. Diamonds can get smudged, soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Clean diamonds "glow" because the maximum amount of light can enter the stone and return in a fiery brilliance. It takes just a little care to keep them that way.

  • Do not wear diamond jewelry, especially rings, when doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials in nature, it can still be chipped by a sharp, sudden blow.
  • Chlorine can damage and discolor the mounting on your diamond jewelry. Keep your diamond away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals. You should also remove your diamond jewelry before entering a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
  • Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.
  • Avoid touching your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle clean jewelry by its edges.

Colored Gemstones

There are many different types of colored gemstones, some of which require specific care and cleaning procedures. It would be impossible to enumerate all of them in this brochure. However, there are some general care and cleaning rules which apply to all colored gemstone jewelry.

  • Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced from the time they are extracted from the earth by one or more traditionally accepted jewelry industry practices. These treatments and enhancements can affect how you should clean and care for your colored gemstone jewelry. Consult your jeweler for more information on caring for treated or enhanced gemstones.
  • After wearing, wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will enhance the gemstone's luster and ensure that your jewelry is clean before storage.
  • Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches. You should be able to obtain these from your jeweler.
  • Do not expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.
  • Hair spray, perfume and perspiration may cause jewelry to become dull. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.
  • Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes.
  • If you have an active lifestyle take extra precautions with some types of gemstone jewelry. Emeralds, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or any other activity where the stone could be hit or damaged.
  • Be extra careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones are fragile and can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. Consult your jeweler for the best cleaning procedure for your particular gemstone jewelry. Your jeweler is also a good source for any information on colored gemstones.

Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such. They're also the products of living creatures. Cultured pearls are formed when an irritant is introduced into a mollusk. The mollusk secretes a substance called nacre which covers the irritant and produces the pearl. Nacre gives pearls the rainbow of colors and luster that makes these gemstones so treasured, but its delicate nature also makes pearls particularly susceptible to damage. For this reason you should be extra careful with your cultured pearl jewelry.

  • Apply cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume before putting on any pearl jewelry. When you remove the jewelry, wipe it carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these substances.
  • You can also wash your pearl jewelry with mild soap and water. Do not clean cultured pearls with any chemicals, abrasives or solvents. These substances can damage your pearls.
  • Do not toss your cultured pearl jewelry carelessly into a purse, bag or jewel box. A pearl's surface is soft and can be scratched by hard metal edges or by the harder gemstones of other jewelry pieces.
  • Place cultured pearl jewelry in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.
  • Cosmetics, perspiration, oils and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the threads on which the pearls are strung. Bring your pearls back to your jeweler for restringing once a year. Make certain the pearls are strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.

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