Fine jewelry is a precious possession
that is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. The proper care will assure the
lasting qualities of your jewelry. Jewelers of America (JA) is pleased to offer the
following simple guidelines and tips for the care of your fine jewelry.
Tips for General Care--Even though you may wear your diamond engagement ring 24
hours a day, you should still give thought to its care.
Don't wear it when you're doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it
can be chipped by a hard blow.
Don't let your diamond come in contact with a chlorine bleach when you're doing
household chores. It can damage and discolor the mounting.
Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have him check your ring and other
precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings. He'll usually give them a
professional "shine-up" too.
Putting Diamonds Away-- When you're not wearing diamonds and precious jewelry,
they still require attention. Keep your precious pieces in a fabric-lined jewel
case, or a box with compartments or dividers.
If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in tissue
Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewelry case, because diamonds
can scratch other jewelry-and can even scratch each other.
Traveling With Diamonds -- The packing of your diamonds and other precious
pieces for travel should be given care.
There are many types of carry-alls, especially designed for jewelry travel,
available in all price ranges. They come in all sizes, shapes and patterns. Most have
velvet pads inside to attach pins and earrings,and special compartments for bracelets and
necklaces. Pack a small plastic bottle of prepared jewelry cleaner with your cosmetics.
Then you can give your precious pieces a quick "shine-up" any time.
Don't leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It
can easily slip down the drain.
Cleaning Your Diamonds--
Diamonds get smudged and soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even the natural
skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Chemicals in the air can
discolor the mounting of precious jewelry. Clean diamonds "glow" because the
maximum amount of light can then enter and return in a fiery brilliance. It takes just a
little care to keep them that way. Here are four ways to clean diamonds. One of them is
pretty sure to fit the time, place, and the job.
Prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any of the mild liquid detergents used in the
home. Brush the pieces with an eyebrow brush while they are in the suds. Then transfer
them to a wire tea strainer and rinse them under running water. Pat dry with a soft
Cold Water Soak
Make a half-and-half solution of cold water an household ammonia in a cup. Soak the
pieces 30 minutes. Lift out and tap gently around the back and front of the mounting with
an old soft toothbrush. Swish in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.
Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, with its kit, choosing the kind most
useful to you. Read the label and follow its instructions. Don't touch your clean diamonds
with your fingers. Handle your jewelry by its edges.
There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean, in a matter of
minutes, any piece of jewelry that can be dunked in a liquid. They consist of a metal cup
which you fill with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high- frequency
turbulence creates the cleaning action. Since each machine is slightly different, read the
instructions very carefully before use. Never use ultrasonic cleaners for
emeralds, and to be safe, never use on colored stones, pearls or watches.
Tips for General Care
Do wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, damp cloth
after wearing. This will enhance the luster and assure that your jewelry is clean before
being stored. Store in a soft pouch when not being worn.
Don't expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water and harsh chemicals,
such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of
the gems. Use of hair spray, perfume and the presence of perspiration may cause jewelry to
dull. Also, do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes. There are so
many different types of colored gemstones, some of which require specific care and
cleaning procedures, it would be impossible to enumerate all in this brochure. Your
jeweler is an expert and can advise you on your particular colored gemstone. He is your
best source of information.
Tips for General Care
Always separate your gold jewelry in a compartmentalized jewelry box. This
protects against scratching.
Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form
on karat gold jewelry, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of
this film, you immediately reduce the occasions your pieces will need to be cleaned.
Cleaning your Karat Gold Jewelry
To clean your jewelry at home, you'll find many commercial cleaners available.
Ask your professional jeweler to recommend one for your jewelry. In addition, you will
find a soft chamois cloth from any hardware store an effective and inexpensive way to keep
your pieces lustrous and shining.
For certain gold jewelry, an 'ultrasonic' cleaning machine may be appropriate.
The machine can be purchased in many retail outlets. Once again, ask your professional
jeweler to advise you.
Remove tarnish with a prepared jewelry cleaner or by using soap and water mixed
with a few drops of ammonia.
Brush with a soft bristle brush. An old toothbrush is perfect. After the
soaping, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry.
Grease can be removed from karat gold jewelry by dipping the jewelry into plain
Useful Tips Remove jewelry when applying makeup and face powder.
Wash hands after applying makeup and powder and before putting on jewelry. Keep
your jewelry in a dry place.
Tips for General Care As with other precious metals, sterling silver will
oxidize with time. Properly maintained, silver improves with age and develops a lush
patina. Treat your silver well, care for it properly and it will reward you with a long
life and lustrous look.
Do clean with a mild soap-and-water solution, allow water to bead up, and pat
dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, a jewelry cleaner labeled for silver use is
Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish preventative bag
or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Store pieces individually so that they don't
knock together and scratch.
Don't rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or fine piece of
felt. Use of tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in
Don't expose to air and light when storing because it will cause silver to
tarnish. And, don't wear sterling silver in chlorine water.
Tips for General Care Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated
as such. Some tips:
Put on pearls after applying cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume, not before.
Don't toss them carelessly into a purse or jewel box where they can be scratched
by hard metal edges or harder stones.
Place cultured pearl jewelry in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when
putting them away.
Bring your pearls back to your jeweler for restringing once a year. Cosmetics
and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the threads on which the pearls are strung. It's
better to be safe than sorry.
Have pearls strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of
pearls if the string should break.
Cleaning Your Cultured Pearls
Don't clean cultured pearls with chemicals or abrasives.
Wash them with mild soap and water after taking them off. This will remove all
traces of perfume, cosmetics, or hair spray from the pearls.
A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweler and serviced
according to the manufacturer's suggestions. This is important because tiny particles of
dust can get into the works, increasing friction of moving parts.
Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each
day. Take it off your wrist so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
Although many watches are equipped with shock-resistant devices, it's not wise
to subject it to overly vigorous treatment.
Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately: even a hairline crack can let
dust or moisture into the mechanism, threatening its accuracy.
Unless the degree of water-resistance was clearly specified when you bought your
watch, don't risk wearing it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
No matter how handy you are, don't attempt any "do-it-yourself' watch
repairs. Only an expert watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working
It's best to replace a battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead
batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode and ruin it. Also, don't attempt to change
the battery in a watch yourself. Take it to a jeweler. Batteries run for about two years.
Those in some less expensive, multi-function digital have shorter lives, as little as six
months, if the wearer frequently uses extra features such as a calculator or game.
Finally, if you have any questions, ask your jeweler. Your jeweler values you as a
customer, and you should trust his/her judgment.
Copyright 1995, Jewelers of America, Inc.