Our little treasures are not indestructible, and need care and attention if they are to become family heirlooms one day. Here are a few tips Fleur’s Finds would like to share with you:
- Jewellery should be the last thing to put on and the first thing to take off. Lotions, cosmetics and perfumes can tarnish metals and damage your pearls and gemstones. So too can chlorine and household products.
- Although some gems are hard as rock, many are not. Very often stones have inclusions or a particular crystal structure that make them susceptible to chipping or cracking if knocked. For this reason it’s best to take jewellery off before exercising and to be careful how you remove it and store it. When removing rings, don’t pull at the gem or setting, but rather at the shank. This will avoid the stone becoming loose.
- Store each piece of jewellery separately in some tissue to avoid them scratching each other. Fabric-lined jewellery boxes ought to be used because light and heat, over time, can fade and damage gemstones as well as remove moisture from them, which some require in order to retain their beauty.
- After the removal of jewellery, wipe each piece with a clean soft cloth to remove oils and perspiration. This is especially important for your pearls so that they do not lose their lustre. After cleaning them gently with warm, soapy water, lay your strand of pearls flat on a towel to dry. The wet silk thread can stretch and attract dirt so don’t touch your strand until it is completely dry. Remember to restring them once every 18 months (with a knot between each pearl) if worn often.
- The easiest and safest way to clean your jewellery is with warm water, a couple of drops of Fairy Liquid and a baby tooth brush. Be sure not to do this directly in the sink in case it goes down the drain. While ultrasonic cleaners are available, it is highly advisable they be left to jewellery professionals who know about different gem materials and understand when and how to use the ultrasonic cleaner safely. Many gemstones are porous, treated, or susceptible to temperature changes, and can de destroyed by them.
- Finally, have your jewellery checked by a professional for worn mountings, loose prongs and general wear and tear every couple of years. Also have your white gold re-plated, platinum re-polished and prongs re-tipped as necessary. Not only will your jewellery be safe and sparkly, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing it has been kept in good condition.