How to Care For Your Jewelry

Now that we’ve covered the main jewelry eras, precious gemstones, and world-recognized jewelry designers, it’s time to treat yourself and to learn how to care for your fine jewelry! The world of jewelry is so precious and unique. It’s incredible how a piece of jewelry can tie together a significant life event, remind you of a family member and carry lots of symbolism and sentimental value. The beauty of estate jewelry is that it’s been around for decades and is still in divine condition. Your antique or vintage jewel will be around for decades in the future, but you need to know how to care for your precious jewelry properly.

In this blog post you will learn: 

  • How to care for gold and platinum jewelry 
  • How to care for diamond jewelry 
  • How to care for sapphire and ruby jewelry 
  • How to care for emerald and aquamarine jewelry  
  • How to care for opal, turquoise, lapis lazuli jewelry
  • How to care for pearl and coral jewelry 

Mohs scale of hardness Jack Weir & Sons

How to care for gold and platinum jewelry:
Precious metals difference

The durability of your jewel depends on the metal it’s set in. Platinum is the most durable precious metal and is perfect for everyday wear. This metal is naturally very white and shiny, which makes it perfect for setting diamonds. Yellow gold is typically loved for its buttery luster and deep yellow color. Colors vary depending on the alloy

 

To preserve the natural shine of platinum or gold, follow these tips: 

  • Avoid activities like rock climbing, gardening, etc., while wearing platinum.
  • Avoid contact with bleach and other harsh chemicals
  • Store in a soft jewelry box, and keep jewels separately to avoid scratching
  • Visit your local jeweler bi-anually for ultrasound cleaning and polish (if needed)

If your jewel doesn’t feature gemstones, you can mix mild soap and warm water and use a soft (baby) toothbrush to gently scrub the surface. After that, rinse it well and dry with a cloth. You can also purchase a special polishing cloth to renew the shine of your jewel at home 

If your jewel does have gemstones, follow these guidelines: 

How to care for diamond jewelry:

Jewelry Cleaning Diamond Ring Cleaning

Diamonds are forever...is the famous saying, and it's absolutely true. Diamond is the hardest mineral in the world. It is number 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. For that reason you can use the standard jewelry cleaning procedure: mild soap solution, soft toothbrush and a dry cloth. The toothbrush will help you to clean hard-to-reach areas of the ring’s setting and will ensure your diamond’s sparkle. You can clean diamond jewelry regularly. As often as twice a month. For deep cleaning, visit your local jeweler and ask them to clean your jewel using the ultrasound machine and a steamer. 
When you invest in a beautiful, important diamond, you don’t want it to be covered with lotions, natural oils, dirt  or anything else because it will dull the sparkle of your diamond. Let your diamond radiate that sparkle every minute.

How to care for sapphire and ruby jewelry:

How to clean your jewelry

Both sapphires and rubies derive from the same mineral - corundum. Rubies and sapphires are the next hardest gemstones after diamonds. They take the 9th position on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.

The reality is that we move our hands around a lot, and if you accidentally hit your sapphire or ruby ring against a marble countertop, it should be okay. Although try not to. Regular cleaning is welcomed, follow the same procedure as for your diamond jewelry.

How to care for emerald and aquamarine jewelry: 

Emerald durability care

Emeralds, aquamarine, topaz, spinel all the 8th position on the Mohs scale of hardness and this is where you should start being more careful and conscious. With proper care and love, emeralds will last through generations. 

Since emeralds are naturally porous, they are often treated with oils, resin, and polymers to fill in the gaps on the surface. Unusual heat, like hot tubs, saunas or hot weather can affect emerald’s appearance or cause deterioration. 

Cleaning: When it comes to emeralds, you don’t want to use ultrasound or steam machines. The best tip is soapy warm water and a gentle cloth.

How to care for opal, turquoise, lapis lazuli jewelry:

These are softer stones. Opal is 6.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, while turquoise and lapis lazuli are a 5. That’s approximately the same hardness as glass. So it’s important you treat these gemstones with care and avoid damaging them. Remove jewelry with these stones before you partake in gardening, moving furniture or active sports.

If you need to store your opal jewelry for a while, put it in a plastic bag with some cloth or cotton and a few drops of water. It will help to preserve the moisture of the jewel and prevent it from drying, scratching or cracking. 

Turquoise can be sensitive to heat and chemicals. It can be discolored or even slowly dissolved by hydrochloric acid (commonly found in cleaning solutions), cosmetics, and even skin oils or sweating. 

When it comes to lapis lazuli, handle it with care, store in a cool, dry place. Avoid scratching and harsh sunlight, heat.

Never use a steamer or ultrasonic cleaner on these gems. Simply wipe these gems with a damp soft cloth. They shouldn’t be soaked or immersed. 

Antique Victorian Turquoise Diamond Cluster Ring Vintage Italian Lapis Lazuli Gold Chain Necklace

How to care for pearl and coral jewelry

Victorian Coral Pearls Cameo Brooch

These are the most gentle materials used in jewelry-making and they both derive from living organisms. Pearls are created by oysters and other mollusks, producing a mix of aragonite, conchiolin, and water around outside irritants clogged in their bodies. Pearls are very sensitive to acids, ammonia, hairsprays, cosmetics and even sweating. Pearl connoisseurs say: “put them on last and take them off first”.

Antique Edwardian Pearl Diamond Navette Ring

 Also, pearls like to breathe. So instead of storing them in a plastic bag, keep them in a jewelry tray, dish or a spacious box. The lack of air will make them more vulnerable to scratching and may cause drying and undesired texture.

Pearls can only be cleaned with a damp cloth, no soap solution. 

Art Deco Inspired Coral and Onyx Diamond Bracelet

Coral, like pearls, are animal products, not stone or mineral. 

The corals in the seas and oceans are also known as polyp, an organism that forms large colonies. Overtime, this organism forms a limestone skeleton from calcium extracted from the sea. Unfortunately, due to the recent environmental changes, coral is becoming extinct. Store your coral jewelry in a dry, soft jewelry pouch to avoid undesired exposure and scratching.

Coral can only be cleaned with a damp cloth, no soap solution.

The Bottom Line: 

Although jewelry is made using metals, gemstones and other organic materials, and meant to last through decades, additional care and precautions won’t hurt. Hopefully, these jewelry care tips are helpful for you. 

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