The best-loved jewelry often takes the most abuse, from wedding and engagement rings that many wear every day, to favorite diamond earrings or gold necklaces that you often reach for to complete an outfit. Keeping your jewelry looking like new can be tricky, but you can make it happen! Whether you want to keep your diamonds sparkling or restore the polish to your sterling silver jewelry, these tips will help.
Sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to air, so you can protect it best by storing it in a closed jewelry box or even a plastic baggy when not in use. To remove tarnish that’s already built up on your silver, use a smooth, 100 percent cotton cloth to wipe it down. Flannel or a cloth designed specifically for jewelry or silver polish works best.
Avoid using tissues, paper towels, polyester and other synthetic fibers to clean sterling silver. These can cause tiny scratches in the soft silver finish, causing it to darken more quickly. Instead, buff gently with your soft cotton cloth until you see the shine returning to your favorite pieces.
All types of gold are relatively easy to care for. Gold doesn’t tarnish, though it can get dirty and accumulate oil from your skin that makes it appear duller. You can clean gold using dish soap or a mild window cleaner diluted with water. A soft toothbrush and polishing cloth will do the rest, buffing away any tiny debris that’s keeping your gold jewelry from looking its best. You can also pick up a jar of specially formulated cleaner at Worthington Jewelers, which includes an agitating basket and soft brush.
Care advice is similar for white gold, which is an alloy of yellow gold mixed with another metal to whiten its color. In many cases, however, the color and luster of white gold jewelry are heightened with rhodium plating. Once that plating wears down, you’ll need to have it re-plated at a jewelry shop to keep it looking like new.
Pearls are very soft, so rather than storing them in a jewelry box next to other jewelry, experts recommend placing them in a fabric-lined compartment of their own or in a small fabric bag. Because oils from your skin can damage a pearl’s finish, it’s smart to gently wipe pearl jewelry down after wearing. But be careful with jewelry cleaners – and never use a solution that doesn’t clearly specify that it’s safe for pearl cleaning. Worthington Jewelers carries a cleaner especially designed for pearls.
Basic General Jewelry Care Tips
Some tips go for all types of jewelry, from pearl necklaces to diamond earrings. First, remember to always put on jewelry after you have applied your makeup, never before. This way, you’ll avoid getting even the finest powder on your favorite pieces.
Storing each piece of jewelry separately will also make a difference in the lifespan of your pieces. Because gemstones are much harder than the metals they’re set in, they can scratch your gold or silver, so avoid storing your jewelry in a jumble.
If you have any other questions about jewelry care, feel free to give us a call or stop by Worthington Jewelers today! In addition to a full range of on-site jewelry repair services, we provide FREE jewelry cleaning and inspection.