Jewelry Care and Cleaning: The Family Jewels.
A diamond is forever - if you take good care of it. Good gems warrant good care.
Here's how to keep your precious pieces sparkling.
No baubles - not even a wedding ring - should be worn all the time. All stones (including diamonds and sapphires) can chip. Gold, silver and platinum are easily scratched. And harsh chemicals can damage both stones and metals.
Take it off when you do hard work or work
out hard. (If you lose a stone, you'll never find it.)
Or, when you clean the house or garden.
Household cleaners can damage stones and settings, and you run the risk of catching it on something.
You'll also want to shed the family jewels when you bathe, swim, or soak in the hot tub (chlorine can damage stones and metals) and when you go to the beach. (Salt is also hard on jewelry.)
People usually don't take off jewelry for fear of losing it. Consider where you normally would take off your rings and place a container there for that purpose.
Then the rings don't go down the drain, and you always know where you put them.
All your pieces need an occasional cleaning to remove grunge around settings and to remove oily buildup that dulls the sheen.
Most pieces can be cleaned by soaking for a few minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water with a little dish-washing detergent and scrubbing gently with a toothbrush. (Never use toothpaste - it's too abrasive.)
Ultrasonic cleaners should only be used for all-metal stones or
diamonds. It can damage other stones. Ditto for ammonia.
Resist the urge to toss jewelry into the bottom of a jewelry box.
Not only do chains get tangled, but the gems can be damaged. Diamonds and sapphires can scratch metals and other gems.
Here's how to store your good stuff:
About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.