So often we’re distracted by the beauty of our jewelry that we forget that it needs to be cared for to maintain the look we love! There are many things that we do and encounter in our daily lives that can be harmful to our jewelry so MDJ wants to help make you aware.
Did you know something as common as sunlight can be harmful to jewelry? Just as the sun can be harsh to our skin, light and heat can affect a colored gemstones durability and color. Over time the sun can fade or even damage some gemstones. To avoid this, it’s best that you leave your jewelry home on pool days and to store them properly away from the window to minimize direct exposure to sunlight.
Simple household chemicals can also damage or discolor precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Common chemicals such as hairspray, lotion and perfume can harm or permanently damage the surface of porous gems like pearls and turquoise. As a precaution, fine jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool or before scrubbing the house. In the event that you forget to remove your jewelry before an activity involving chemicals, be sure to thoroughly rinse the item immediately after to prevent prolonged exposure.
It’s always best to give treated gems special care. Many colored gems are commonly treated to improve the appearance of color and clarity. The treatments can be harmed by heat, solvents, steam and ultra-sonic cleaners. It is important to know if your gem has been treated so you can properly care for it.
Use ultra-sonic cleaners with caution. Though you can purchase a professional ultra-sonic cleaner for your home, you should be aware that not all gems and jewelry can be safely cleaned in it. You should not use ultra-sonics to clean any of the following:
-Gemstones with surface reaching breaks that have been filled with a different substance like glass.
-Organic gem materials such as pearls, coral, ivory and amber.
-Gems that have been coated with a non-permanent substance like plastic or wax.
-Some heat treated gemstones.
-Gems that are susceptible to heat and temperature changes whether they are treated or not, such as: tanzanite, sunstone, moonstone, kunzite, malachite, opal, topaz and turquoise to name a few.
In addition, the vibration generated by the machine can sometimes shake gems loose or chip gems that are set with their girdles touching.
This type of cleaning is best left to jewelry professionals who know about different gem materials and understand when and how to use the ultrasonic cleaner safely. At Mark Diamond’s Jewelers we are always happy to clean and check your rings at no charge.
The safest cleaning methods are also the easiest. Most colored gemstones can be cleaned with warm water, mild dish soap (not detergents) and a soft brush, like a standard soft toothbrush. When rinsing cleaning solutions, be sure to do so in a glass of water in case you lose a stone that way it does not go down the sink drain. Mark Diamond’s Jewelers also sells at home care for your jewelry that you can stop by and grab at any time.
It is best not to sleep in your jewelry. Doing so can shorten the life span of your jewelry tremendously. We don’t realize it but subtle snags on our pillow cases and sheets can cause harmful wear over time, especially to the prongs that we rely on to securely hold our stones.
Lastly, be sure to carefully store your jewelry to prevent scratching or tangling. I’m sure we’ve all had the same scenario of tossing a chain quickly into a bag or onto a counter then spent what felt like an eternity trying to untangle it. It’s best to hang these items or make sure to lay them so that it does not tangle.
We hope these tips were helpful and know that Mark Diamond’s Jewelers is always here for your jewelry needs