Advice on how to clean and store your jewelryas well as tips for jewelry care. This is merely a summary of the most prevalent incorrect methods for cleaning jewelry; it is by no means exhaustive.
After each wear, gently wash away any leftover makeup and skin oils to preserve your jewelry and keep it clean and ready to wear. Using just the gentle pads of your fingers, gently wipe the item clean using a 100% cotton cloth that is free of any sharp edges. Store in a soft bag or jeweler's tissue.
Wrap the sterling silveritem in jeweler's tissue paper, put it inside a plastic zip-lock bag, and seal it to help delay corrosion.
It's important to keep in mind that sterling silver is a relatively soft metal that can be readily tarnished by a fingernail or a piece of wadded cloth pressed hard on the metal surface. For this reason, while cleaning tarnish and heavier dirt, choose one of the following techniques:
Add a tiny amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak for two to three minutes, rinse well with clean water, and let dry fully before storing in an airtight plastic bag to get rid of fingerprints, light oil, and dirt.
Any soaking method for cleaning jewelry with soft stones, such lapis lazuli, turquoise, or amber, should be used with extreme caution. Prolonged immersion in any solution could damage the stone's shine. Never clean jewelry with chlorine bleach.
Use a 100% cotton cloth and a decent nonabrasive metal cleanser to polish away excessive tarnish. Make sure the gemstonesare completely cleaned of any cleaner residue by giving them a thorough rinse in clean water. Don't ever use toothpaste! (Read more about this below).
Since wood fibers and synthetics are frequently present in paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics, it is best to polish your jewelry using only 100% cotton cloth. These substances have the potential to leave tiny scratches on metal, particularly sterling silver.
The metalsmith's labor to file, sand, and buff the metal to a flawlessly smooth surface yields a polished appearance. Under a microscope, even the smallest scratches appear as the jagged edge of a saw blade, and light bounces off the scratches and around them like a voice echoing in the Alps. An unblemished surface produces a highly reflecting surface by enabling the light to bounce back smoothly and without echoes.
It is always advisable to take off your expensive jewelry and ringsbefore using any bleach-containing products! Goldand other metal alloys can break down in bleach, causing irreversible harm to the metal. Swimming pools and hot tubs are included in this since chlorine chemicals are applied to stop the growth of bacteria. Refer to the Hoover & Strong article for additional details and test results.
If you often clean and polish your jewelry with specifically bought jeweler's clothes, make sure to use new clothes because the dirt and grit from the previous use may leave pits and scratches in the item you are trying to clean and shine.
Never clean metal or stones with toothpaste or other abrasives. Numerous websites suggest using toothpaste as a cleanser, however excellent jewelers do not agree with this approach. While toothpaste abrasives are excellent for your teeth, they can also cause damage to the metal's surface, necessitating a professional's skill to buff and refinish. Toothpaste may also permanently tarnish the exquisite shine that a professional lapidary has created on soft stones like amber, lapis, turquoise, and others.
While ultrasonic cleaners work wonders for cleaning certain jewelry, many gemstones can be harmed by them, and pearls and other valuable stones shouldn't be exposed to the chemicals they contain. Repetitive use may also cause the settings to become loose, resulting in the loss of your priceless stones.
In addition to ammonia, turpentine, denatured alcohol, acetone, and chlorine bleach can be harmful. Softer gemstones may experience surface pitting or dulling due to these compounds. If petroleum-based products are left on amber, they have the potential to "melt" it, and they can seriously harm pearls.
Opals need particular attention. Steer clear of heat, chemicals, and ultrasonic devices at all times. When washing your hands or doing the dishes, avoid placing your opalringon the window sill as direct sunlight can dry up the water, leading to haze or color changes in opals.
Pearls. Keep the nacre safe from scratches, household chemicals, and perfumes that might fade it or affect its color.
Pin stems and the edges of other jewelry can readily harm soft stones such as opals, lapis, malachite, turquoise, amber, and others. Pieces containing these gemstones should be stored individually and wrapped in jeweler's tissue for protection.