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.
Have your jewelry checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear at least once a year. Have your jewelry professionally cleaned every six months.
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. Please refer to the sections below for comprehensive care information.
CARING FOR YOUR DIAMOND JEWELRY
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.
CARING FOR YOUR GEMSTONE JEWELRY
There are many different types of colored gemstones, some of which require specific care and cleaning procedures. 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.
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.
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.
CARING FOR YOUR GOLD JEWELRY
Karat gold jewelry pieces make up the majority of many fine jewelry collections. Gold comes in many different styles and colors, but the care and cleaning procedure remains the same.
Remove all gold jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on karat gold jewelry, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film, you immediately reduce the occasions your pieces will need to be cleaned.
To clean your jewelry at home, you'll find many commercial cleaners available. In addition, you will find a soft chamois cloth an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous and shining.
For certain gold jewelry, especially pieces that do not contain colored gemstones, an ultrasonic cleaning machine may be appropriate.
Be careful of chlorine. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your gold jewelry. Do not wear gold jewelry while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.
You can remove tarnish with a jewelry cleaner, or by using soap and water mixed with a few drops of ammonia. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush. An old toothbrush can also be used. After the brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry. Karat gold jewelry set with colored gemstones may require special cleaning procedures.
Grease can be removed from karat gold jewelry by dipping the jewelry into plain rubbing alcohol.
CARING FOR YOUR PLATINUM JEWELRY
Platinum is one of the rarest and most durable precious metals. It is resistant to tarnishing and discoloration due to chlorine and other chemicals. These factors, along with its strength and white luster, have made platinum an increasingly popular choice for jewelry, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, platinum jewelry needs to be properly cared for.
Platinum jewelry can be cleaned the same way you can other fine jewelry. A professional cleaning every six months will keep your platinum jewelry in great shape.
Store your platinum jewelry separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other because even platinum can be scratched.
Signs of wear such as scratches can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal's durability there is usually little metal loss from the scratch. If visible scratches do appear, have the piece professionally repolished.
If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful, as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewelry pieces combine platinum with karat gold jewelry. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewelry.
CARING FOR YOUR STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
Sterling silver, like other precious metals, can oxidize with time. But properly maintained silver jewelry improves with age and develops a lush patina. Treat your silver well, care for it properly and it will reward you with a long life and a lustrous look.
Clean your silver jewelry with a mild soap and water solution, allowing the water to bead up, and then patting dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, use a jewelry cleaner designed for silver use.
Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish-preventive bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Store pieces individually so that they don't knock together and scratch.
Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt. Tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in these products.
Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage as this can cause silver to tarnish. And don't wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals.
CARING FOR YOUR TITANIUM JEWELRY
Titanium is a light, strong, lustrous metal. Pure titanium is as strong as steel and can withstand a lifetime of punishment. These factors, along with its lightweight durability and hypo-allergenic nature have made titanium an increasingly popular choice for jewelry, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, titanium jewelry needs to be properly cared for.
Titanium jewelry is easily cleaned with water and a non-abrasive soap or cleaner. Make sure to dry well with a soft cloth.
Store your titanium jewelry in a safe place wrapped carefully and individually to prevent scratching.
If your titanium is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful, as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewelry pieces combine titanium with karat gold jewelry. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewelry.
CARING FOR YOUR PEARL JEWELRY
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 lustre 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. Have your pearls restrung once a year to prevent breakage. Make certain the pearls are strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.
Care information provided in cooperation with Jewelers of America.