How to care for and store your fine jewellery
Jewellery is one of the most precious and cherished accessories. Knowing how to care for your treasured jewellery pieces will help to maintain their beauty over time and protect your investment.
Gemstones require different levels of care depending on the stone. Pearls and other organic materials like coral need special attention to protect them. Some gemstones are less durable and best kept for special occasions rather than everyday wear. A jeweller or gemologist is the best source for information about how to best care for your beloved jewelry.
Heat & light are two of the most common influences on a gemstone’s colour and durability. Over time, exposure to heat can fade the colour of some gems like amethyst and topaz. Other gems like amber, can darken, and pearls will bleach when exposed to too much light.
Excessive heat or sudden temperature changes can fracture some gemstones. Heat removes the natural moisture in pearls and opals, causing them to crack and discolour.
Many coloured gemstones today are routinely treated to improve colour and clarity. Steam cleaning, chemicals and excessive heat can affect these stones dramatically.
Knowing whether your stone has been treated is important in its proper care. Warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth are your best cleaning options. Avalon offers free cleaning for all your fine jewellery, so feel free to pop in anytime and have us look after it for you to alleviate any worries.
Exposure to chemicals can damage metals and some stones. Always put your jewellery on last, after perfume, hairspray and lotions. Avoid wearing your fine jewellery when swimming or doing any household cleaning.
Silver will instantly oxidize and turn black when exposed to certain chemicals, so be particularly careful to remove silver jewellery before entering a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
Silver is soft and tarnishes quickly when exposed to air over time, so store your silver pieces individually in sealed anti-tarnish bags to avoid scratching as well as tarnish. Plastic baggies with the air squeezed out are great for storing silver if nothing else is available. Anti-tarnish cloths work wonders to clean your silver pieces.
Harder stones and metals will scratch softer ones, so it’s important that your jewellery pieces be stored separately in closed, padded containers or pouches to protect them from damage.
Organic materials like pearls, opal, amber and coral need moisture to keep their luster and beauty, so be sure to store these pieces away from heat sources. If not worn regularly, take them out and clean them with warm water and a soft cloth occasionally to keep them from drying out and cracking. Pearl strands should be laid flat on a towel to dry completely as the silk thread can stretch and attract dirt.
Continued proper maintenance is vital to ensure stones aren’t lost or broken. Have your settings and clasps checked regularly and have necessary repairs done as soon as possible by a qualified goldsmith.
Stretching or breaking of strands is common in pearls and gemstone necklaces if worn often, so regular checking and restringing is essential to keep them in good condition. Prongs can wear over time and should be retipped whenever necessary to avoid loose or lost stones.
Avalon Fine Jewellery is happy to check over your fine jewellery at anytime (at no charge) to ensure your treasured pieces maintain their value and beauty.