Fine jewelry is designed to last for generations. However, jewelry owners must properly care for their jewelry to ensure lasting quality. When you practice proper care for your jewels, you will increase your chances of enjoying their beauty and elegance for many years.
Here are a few things you can do to care for your jewelry.
1. Remove Your Jewelry Before Participating in Hands-on Activities
Jewelry owners should avoid wearing fine jewelry during hands-on activities, such as gardening, cleaning, or playing sports. These activities could dislodge a precious gem or cause metals to wear down. Additionally, you should remove jewelry before playing contact sports to avoid injuring yourself or others. Jewelry owners should also refrain from wearing their jewelry to bed.
2. Avoid Exposing Your Jewelry to Extreme Light and Heat
Similar to how the sun can damage a person’s skin, the sun can also damage metals and gemstones. Sunlight often causes gemstone color to fade. Gemstones that are particularly at risk for sun damage include kunzite, amethyst, and topaz.
If your jewelry has ivory pearls, you should also avoid extreme light as the impact could bleach the delicate material. On the other hand, some materials could darken from extreme exposure to light, such as amber gems.
Exposure to sudden temperature changes or extreme heat may also fracture some gemstones. Extreme heat removes the moisture that most gems need to keep their natural beauty. For instance, pearls may dry out, discolor, or crack when exposed to extreme heat. When opals lose moisture, they typically turn brown or white, lose play-of-color, or develop small cracks.
3. Keep Your Jewelry Away From Any Chemicals
Never wear your fine jewelry when handling cleaning products or chemicals. Exposure to certain chemicals may discolor the precious metals such as platinum, silver, or gold. Avoid exposing your jewelry to cleaning products that contain ammonia. Typically, this chemical is too harsh on precious metals and gems.
Even common beauty products contain chemicals that could harm your jewelry, such as lotion, perfume, makeup, or hairspray. Do your best to apply any beauty products before putting on your fine jewelry.
You should also try to remove jewelry before going into swimming pools with chlorine. Chlorine may discolor the gems or cause structural damage to the metals in your jewelry.
4. Store Your Jewelry in a Safe Location
Many jewelry owners are not careful about where they store their jewelry. For example, if you store your jewelry in a drawer, you risk losing gems or scratching the metal.
Instead, store your jewelry away from other accessories in a tarnish-resistant pouch or Mylar plastic bag. Never use trash bags made of polyvinyl to store jewelry. Polyvinyl liners typically contain rubber or sulfur compounds that tarnish sterling silver. You should also avoid storing jewelry in direct sunlight and in the bathroom.
A better alternative is to store jewelry in the box or pouch that you received when you first purchased the piece. Additionally, jewelry boxes that have separated compartments are also a good place to store fine jewelry. If possible, hang bracelets and necklaces to prevent them from tangling with other accessories.
If you plan to travel, pack your jewelry in a container separate from other luggage. Ideally, you should pack your jewelry in a padded container to prevent scratches during travel.
5. Take Your Jewelry In for Regular Checkups and Cleanings
As a rule of thumb, you should visit your jeweler for a checkup once every year. At this checkup, jewelers can repair any damage and prevent any potential damage to your jewelry. You should also try to get your jewelry cleaned at least twice a year.
Use these tips to prevent damages to your fine jewelry. If you exercise proper care and maintenance, you can keep your jewelry in excellent condition for years to come. For more tips on caring for your jewelry, talk to a jeweler at your local pawn shop.