General Jewellery Cleaning Advice
Each item of jewellery needs to be cared for in an individual way, but there are some general principals that can be used for all jewellery.
- Never wear your jewellery while doing any manual tasks such as work around the house, working in the garden, shopping at the supermarket or exercising at the gym. Your jewellery should be removed for anything that could turn out to be rough on your hands or body. Jewellery can also be prone to damage from acids or bases found in many harsh detergents and cleaning agents, ultrasonic cleaners, alcohols, swimming pool chemicals and strong direct sunlight.
- Keep your jewellery clean and sparkling. There are many products available to clean jewellery, but something like a toothbrush and a gentle washing detergent will work wonders for getting into the hard to reach areas behind and around gemstones. A suitable polishing cloth can be used to give a new shine to dull metals.
- Have your jewellery checked by us every six months. That includes chains and bracelets as well as rings, earrings and pendants. We will provide a thorough examination of your pieces and advise if any work is required. Jewellery is no different from clothing in that it will gradually wear, and depending on how often you wear it will determine how long it lasts before requiring attention. If worn every day a ring may need new claws or a chain to need a new clasp after a year or two. • Store your jewellery as carefully and separately as possible, away from extreme temperature and humidity. Ideal to use are purpose built jewellery boxes (don’t overcrowd), soft pouches, cloth wraps or snap lock bags. This will prevent items rubbing and scratching one another.
Your New Jewellery
Like any high quality item your new jewellery must be treated with extra care and receive special treatment. Holdsworth Bros. strive to provide exceptional quality jewellery, and we ask that you continue to look after your item and ensure a long lasting relationship with it. Our jewellery is designed to look and feel great. We achieve this by using precious metals and radiant gemstones and sometimes delicate or intricate patterns. Gold and silver are naturally relatively soft metals and many gemstones while very hard can be damaged if bumped or knocked.
Opal and Gemstones
All opals and gemstones should be treated with care. Some gemstones like opal, tanzanite, emerald, topaz, turquoise and pearl are particularly prone to damage if bumped or knocked. Even sapphire, ruby and diamond can be chipped or broken from a hit in the wrong spot. Many gemstones are also prone to damage from acids or bases found in many harsh detergents and cleaning agents, ultrasonic cleaners, alcohols, swimming pool chemicals, strong direct sunlight. Try to prevent any accidental exposure to these chemicals and always clean your jewellery with a basic washing detergent and water solution or a jeweller recommended cleaning product Avoid immersing any gemstone in water or detergents for long periods and pat dry cleaned jewellery with a soft cloth.
Cultured Pearls Cultured
Pearls are an exquisite gift from the sea, however they are very delicate. They are very susceptible to perfumes, soaps and other skin products. Your pearls should be put on after you have applied your makeup and perfume and should be cleaned with a lint free cloth (dry or slightly damp) immediately after being worn. Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a damp cloth and soap flakes or mild detergent. They should be allowed to air dry before being put away. When stored they should always be stored on their own, and definitely away from metal and gem set jewellery which can scratch the pearls. Immersing pearls in water will dampen the pearl string and keep it wet for a long time, weakening the string. Harsh cleaning agents, abrasives (including toothpaste), ammonia and ultrasonic cleaners will damage the surface of pearls.
The most common difficulty encountered with earrings is loose clasps and butterflies resulting in the loss of an item. There should always be suitable tension in the clasp holding an earring in place, and eventually the clasps should be replaced when they keep coming loose. Also check earrings for loose gemstones as you would a ring.
Gem Set Rings
Be aware of your jewellery when you wear it. Your hands are the most active parts of your body and any rings you may be wearing can take the brunt of bumps or scrapes. If you knowingly bump your ring, check to see it is okay and bring it in to be examined. Your ring catching on stockings or a jumper could well be an indication of a loose claw. The typical wear on a ring occurs mainly on the claws, but also the setting when another ring is worn next to it as well as the band on the palm side of your hand. Check your gem set rings for loose gemstones, loose gemstones will move in the setting when pushed with a fingernail or they will rattle when shaken near the ear. Platinum in particular can be very soft and claws and the band itself can bend which can cause gemstones to fall out. Check the ‘roundness’ of your band occasioanlly when you take your ring off.
Chains and Bracelets
Chains and Bracelets are essentially a loose series of chain links. This means that the chain links rub together when the chain is worn and gradually wear. The clasp and ‘finals’ of a chain are also very prone to wear and must be replaced when they wear to prevent the chain or bracelet falling off, close examination will reveal any wear. Chains and bracelets are designed to be worn around the neck and wrist, so they are likely to have perfumes, soaps and other skin products indirectly applied to them. Many of these products will cause the chain to possibly discolour (especially in the case of silver chains) and eventually tarnish. Try to avoid direct application of products on the chain, and please clean the item of jewellery as regularly as possible with a suitable polishing cloth.
Pendants are generally fairly safe from any harm, however they can wear around the bale because of a continuous sliding along the chain it sits on. The pendant can also wear the links of the chain, so periodic examination is recommended. Knocks and bumps can loosen gemstones, so check occasionally as you would a ring.