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Maintaining Jewelry – Keeping your Stones Radiating

Jewellery are the valuable momentos we cherish and love for our life. It could be your engagement ring or the first diamond from your salary. Well, they are easier to pocket but harder to maintain

I read somewhere, ‘’A piece of jewelry is often a piece of art. But it only becomes valuable when emotions are added to it.’’ More often than not, every piece of jewellery you own has a sentimental value or is something that you loved instantly and bought. But these delicate pieces of sparkle need to be cherished, treasured and loved as a token of memory and affection. Just like exersice, healthy food and good sleep are simple practices for a robust, prolonged life, your treasured and initimate jewellery also need some tending and care. 

Jewelry collection pearls, opals, diamondsWe all want our vanity to be shining as it did on the first day. But I am a firm believer of precaution being better than cure. Instead of waiting for your bling to lose its shine, or worse, lose a stone here or there, keep some maintenance tips handy. And then someday, you can pass on that gorgeous piece to the next generation…

Getting into the grooves
Piaget, the Swiss luxury watch and jewellery brand, tells us there’s not much that you have to do in order to sustain your jewellery life. These are some simple steps that you should abide to regularly:

1. Ensure that you remove your jewel when washing your hands and putting on perfume or face cream. The particles present in these cosmetics, when not eliminated by prompt rising, may become lodged in cavities and form a corrosive blend of materials. In the longer term, this may lead to premature deterioration of the metal.

2. Avoid friction caused by sliding your pendant on its chain or wearing several rings on the same finger.

Ouch! Just when combining rings and bracelets became a trend.

Stone serious
Earrings by Rosentiques with Gemfields Zambian emeralds Adeesh Nahar, Director of Rosentiques, an Indian fine jewellery brand, advises on the general nature of stones: “Pearl and coloured stone jewellery must never be kept loosely with diamonds because they tend to leave scratches on them. Ideally, even if two pieces of the same pair of earrings are kept in a pouch, they should be packed individually, to avoid damages.”

Expanding further on organic stones like rubies and emeralds, Elena Basaglia from mining company Gemfields said, “Coloured gemstones and diamonds alike don’t like grease – so best to avoid hand creams.” Never use harsh detergents and soaps as they tend to tarnish the stones and give them a opague look. 

The place you live in also affects the life of your jewellery. It has nothing to with the jewellery but the wearer. People in tropical countries have a higher tendency to sweat than people in other regions. Oils and sweat create bacteria around the jewels, creating build up again, amounting to the jewellery losing its lustre. So, we would advice to wipe your jewellery clean once you get them off to prevent bacteria build-up.

Talking about oils, Federica Imperiali, Head of New Product Development at Forevermark, recommends a very simple step to add to your daily routine. "When removing rings, the wearer should always ensure to pick it up by its band and not by the stone or setting as this will help to keep the diamond secure in its setting as well as preventing natural oils from your hands building up around the stone, ensuring the natural sparkle of the diamond is retained," she says.

Passing on the shine
Fellows Auctioneers, an auction company based in the United Kingdom, guided us on what is the ideal way you can preserve your jewellery, specially if you want to offer them to your future generations. Beware: it may require discarding some long-loved habits and making lifestyle changes.

Gemfields X Muse Ruby Gold earringsFirst up, the auction house recommends removing your jewellery as soon as you get home from work or for the day –  so that you don’t end up cleaning, cooking or showering with them. 

Storage, as Mr. Nahar had also implied, is important. Use the jewellery box designed to store the jewelry and don’t just keep them on the side or pop them in a key bowl. And no keeping metals and diamonds together as they tend to scratch other.

A very important point mentioned by Fellows is that regularly clean your jewelry. “By doing this, you can keep an eye on the settings and see if anything is getting loose or may need repairing – before a stone falls out!”

It turns out that the famous tagline of De Beers, “A Diamond is Forever”, is not just an advertising slogan. There is quite a truthful message in it. Fellows recommends picking jewelry that is appropriate for use, since some stones are more delicate than others. “One reason people say that opals are bad luck is because they shatter so easily. You should maybe stay away from an opal, pearl or emerald engagement ring that you wear every day and opt for something hardy like a diamond.” There you go!

But if you do want a delicate stone for everyday wear, pick a setting that will protect it, like a collet setting, says the auction house.

Pick up that cloth
Diamond ring with cloth by Fellows AuctioneersFrequently polishing your jewellery could not only lead to lost of material but also ruin it in the long run. So keep that action reserved for only very important times. Till then, you don’t need to make a trip down to your jeweller every time you think of cleaning up your jewellery. These four methods, using basic household items. would do the trick for you.

1. White vinegar and Baking soda: Half cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoon baking soda is the magic potion for cleaning your jewellery. It’s light and does not casue any discoloration on your valuables. The white vinegar helps the dirt to break down and baking soda helps to clean bacteria and remove sweat odor. 

2. Dishwashing soap: Yet another basic household item you can use is non detergent dishwashing liquid soap. Take two cups of medium warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap to it. Stire the mixture and soak your jewellery for appromixmately 15-20 minutes. Take a clean cloth and wipe away the water. Also, never hang dry your jewellery. 

3. Baby toothbrush: Take warm water and soak your jewellery for 10-15 minutes. Then with a baby toothbrush, gently scrub away the dirt from your jewelry. Take a clean cloth to dry the jewellery.

4. Potatoes: Boil some potatoes and let it cool. Now soak your jewellery in the water of boiled patatoes after removing the potatoes. Let them soak for about 15-20 minutes and you will notice your jewellery to be more shining and bright!

Bangle by Rosentiques

We also understand that sometimes you just cannot get them clean at home. Then how should you go about it? Fellows helped us in that aspect as well. While diamonds and other hard gemstones can be put in an ultrasonic cleaner, make sure you keep old jewellery out of it, along with rubies, emeralds and sapphires as these stones are fracture filled, and cleaning them with ultrasonic cleaners can damage the stone.

A useful gadget for cleaning modern diamond jewellery is a dazzle stick (it is a little brush with cleaning fluid on them). However, avoid using chemical detergents on organic materials such as coral and pearl as it will destroy them. “Opals, being porous, should never ever be immersed in water. Wipe a damp cloth across them very gently,” Fellows mentioned in their list.

If nothing works, maybe it’s time to buy something new. But then, memories can’t be bought right?