LOOKING AFTER YOUR PRECIOUS JEWELLERY
All jewellery requires a little care and attention to keep it looking its best!
Dust, pollution and daily wear all conspire to cloud the brilliance of a gemstone and dull the surface of precious metals. As with all fine things in life, you should take care to protect your jewellery and always store it in a fabric lined jewellery box or an anti tarnish bag, whilst also taking care not to drop, bash or scratch it.
WHY DOES SILVER TARNISH?
Tarnish is a layer of corrosion that develops on many metals, particularly sterling silver. Sulfur and other airborne chemicals are the main cause, and jewellery can tarnish much faster if left out in the open air. This process is called oxidation. The metal of tarnished jewellery has a darkened, dull look. It is much less work to prevent your jewellery from tarnishing than to remove it. Always store your silver out of the open air and if possible in an anti tarnish bag.
Always remove your jewellery when applying scent, lotions and potions, or better still, put your jewellery on last when getting dressed. . If possible, wear your perfumes and colognes in areas that won’t come in contact with your gems. Ensure that you rinse off any chemicals that come into contact with your jewellery straight away to avoid build up which can make cleaning difficult. Please note that chlorine is especially damaging to jewellery so avoid swimming pools and hot tubs whilst wearing your jewellery. It is also advisable to remove your jewellery before taking a bath or shower or swimming in the sea. Avoid storing your jewellery next to costume jewellery or watches with leather straps and store your jewellery separately so that pieces do not rub or scratch against it. Always avoid wearing your jewellery when using harsh household chemicals. Not only will these chemicals reduce gem brilliance and the ability to return light, but they can also be highly destructive to some gems, such as pearls, which react violently to acid and alcohol.
Use a specialised jewellery cloth to clean your jewellery. Remember many precious metals scratch easily so treat them with TLC to keep them looking wonderful.
GEMSTONE CARE TIPS:
A gemstone is a mineral highly prized for its beauty, durability, and rarity. A few noncrystalline organic materials are also classified as gemstones such as pearl, coral and amber.
Gemstone hardness is based on a standard called the Mohs scale, where the higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone. It is important to consider this when cleaning, wearing and storing your gemstone jewellery. (You can find the Mohs scale through an internet search.) The build-up of hand cream, finger prints and general dirt is common amongst your most loved jewellery, and can easily be cleaned. As a rule of thumb, gemstones at 7 and above on the Mohs scale can be cleaned with warm water, a touch of mild soap and a soft brush. For gemstones less than 7, swap the soft brush for a soft cloth. All gemstones are susceptible to damage by chemicals, water and even sunlight but prolonged exposure to the latter may cause certain gemstones to become paler. Examples include amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, aventurine, beryl, citrine, kunzite, rose quartz and smoky quartz. Some gemstones such as opal, pearl and turquoise are fairly porous and should not be immersed in water for too long. Particular care should be taken when cleaning your emerald jewellery. A widespread practice is to treat emeralds with some form of fine oil in order to disguise the very frequent appearance of flaws. For this reason, emeralds should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning device as such treatment will usually empty any flaws which reach the surface of the stone of any oil content, with a disastrous effect on appearance.