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FAQs about Jewelry Care

by Staff Writer

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A pretty white jewelry box with a lovely pearl necklace that has been preserved through excellent jewelry care spilling out

Beloved and fashionable jewelry is worn regularly, making it dirty and dull. Lotion, oils from your skin and common daily activities can decrease your jewelry's shine and luster. Caring for your jewelry properly protects the investment you've made, whether it's the luxury diamond bracelet you bought for your wedding day or the beaded bracelet that goes with every single item in your closet. Jewelry care is important for both fashion jewelry and designer jewelry pieces. Cleaning jewelry and jewelry care don't have to be confusing. Use our tips to keep your designer jewelry and fashion jewelry in pristine condition.

Common Jewelry Care Questions:

  1. How should I clean my jewelry?
    That depends on the durability of your jewelry. Diamonds and gold, for example, are strong enough to be scrubbed and soaked, while pearls and copper should be wiped with a soft damp cloth instead. Most hard gemstones, such as amethyst, rubies and aquamarine, can be treated like diamonds, while soft gemstones, such as opal, coral and turquoise, should be cleaned much more carefully. Sterling silver can tarnish and should be cleaned with professional-grade silver cleaner regularly. Industrial metals, such as titanium and stainless steel, can be soaked and scrubbed as needed. When in doubt, research your gemstones and metals to understand their requirements better and always check instructions on professional cleaning solutions before using them.

  2. Are ultrasonic jewelry cleaners safe?
    Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are used by many consumers and professional jewelers. They use ultrasound technology and a conducting fluid for cleaning jewelry, particularly pieces made of precious metal. Ultrasonic cleaners are safe for most metals, plus diamonds, sapphires and rubies. They are not suitable for most other gemstones, which are softer than these three stones. Pearls cannot be cleaned in an ultrasonic machine.

  3. How do I take care of earrings and other body jewelry?
    Keeping piercing jewelry clean is very important, especially when the piercings are new. Ideally, the posts on earrings and body jewelry should be cleaned every time they are removed from the piercings. Use a soft cloth dampened with water to clean posts and studs. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol on metal posts; then rinse with water. Antiseptic rinses for jewelry are also available from some shops; be sure the solution is safe for the pearls or gemstones in your pieces. Occasionally, clean earrings, barbells, studs and other body jewelry using the methods outlined for specific materials. Jewelry made entirely of gold and industrial metals can be immersed in boiling water to kill bacteria.

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