A fresh, new year is the perfect time to see if any of your jewelry may want a fresh start, too!
Sometimes you don’t notice that your fine rings, necklaces, and bracelets may have gotten a bit dull. This makes the item appear lifeless, and sometimes you just lose interest in certain pieces that could bring you so much joy if they were brought back to sparkling, gleaming life.
There are a number of harsh, everyday things that can tarnish the precious material and clog settings and clasps, including:
- Lotions and oils
- Air pollution,
- General dust and dirt
- And simple daily wear: your beloved pieces can also suffer tiny scratches that you are not aware of, but that detracts from their beauty.
Let’s talk about how to get your jewelry box full of stunning, revived items, piece by piece.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR SILVER JEWELRY:
There are good silver polishes available on the market today. Liquid polishes are sometimes quite messy, so it is better to find wipes.
You can also buy multi-layer cloths; these use one side to clean and remove tarnish and when you flip it over, you use the other side to buff to a gorgeous shine.
Remember that silver-plated jewelry cannot handle strong rubbing as that will wear it off.
If you want, you can also use some home items but these are not recommended to use too often. If you are in a pinch, you can DIY with the following:
- Toothpaste: This is very harsh on the materials, but in an emergency works really well.
- Liquid Dish Soap: used with warm water, it can be an excellent stand-in for a conventional silver cleaning agent.
- Baking Soda: this can be used if the item is heavily tarnished. Be sure not to rub it into the silver too hard.
- A solution of six parts water to one-part ammonia
- And you always need a soft cloth, of course! Chamois or microfiber are good options or a proper jewelry cleaning cloth.
- And a small, soft toothbrush.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR YELLOW GOLD JEWELRY:
A few drops of dish liquid can take care of gold pieces. You can leave it to soak for a bit to really loosen up whatever is lodged or coating the item.
You can use a soft cloth to wash the tarnish from solid pieces, and then the small, soft toothbrush to the chains and crevices, to dislodge trapped dirt. Afterward, make sure you pat it gently and lay on a clean, soft cloth to dry completely.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WHITE GOLD JEWELRY:
White gold jewelry is plated with rhodium, but daily can wear can dull the sparkle over time and expose the natural, yellow-white underneath. In this case I suggest taking it to be replated completely. There is nothing as exciting as picking up your freshly minted jewelry, with its rich white gleam!
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PRECIOUS STONES:
To bring back the sparkle to your diamonds, tanzanites, sapphires, and rubies, you can again use the dish liquid. This time, however, do not use normal water, but rather a little carbonated water. Sound weird? Try it! It really helps to bubble into tiny spaces.
Again, that soft little toothbrush will be a big asset. And always remember, the secret is in the buffing!
Diamond items can also be spruced up merely by soaking in hot water, just for a minute. This helps to dissolve built-up oils from your skin or creams.
Rather let a professional take care of your pearls. These should not be cleaned at home, definitely. And let us add coral, opals and turquoise gemstones to that list. These stones are not tough enough to withstand harsh cleaning agents.
CLEANING PLATINUM JEWELRY:
Platinum is delicate in that it can scratch easily. I do not recommend you ever clean this yourself. This will make it look matte, and over time really detract from its beauty. So really, sometimes you can DIY like with sterling silver, but sometimes it is better to leave it to the pros!
CLEANING ANTIQUE JEWELRY:
You should never clean antique jewelry on your own. These delicate objects often have intricate designs that require an experienced hand so that nothing gets accidentally snagged or moved out of place.
To care for your vintage jewelry, avoid wearing when around harsh chemicals, while bathing, or when doing strenuous activity.
HAPPY NEW JEWELRY!
Are there any jewelry items you have simply let lie there, that you could have rejuvenated? Professional cleaning is also an opportunity to make sure all settings and prongs are impeccable, to ensure you will never lose a precious little stone.
OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AT CAPE DIAMOND EXCHANGE
We have more repairs for jewelry where a stone was lost than any other. It’s better to regularly make sure that the claws are good and strong. Since claws get caught in different fabrics, they slowly open. If the allows the diamond to move, then that diamond moving slowly sands down the claw. It does not happen in all cases but in many.
Another common repair that we get is ring sizing. People put on weight and need to enlarge the ring. This is perfectly normal, but one must know that you add gold when you resize it, and labor goes into it, so please do not be surprised about the price.
We also have a few ladies that come in with a ring that cannot be taken off. It’s because they never took it off their finger for over 30 years, and maybe they put on a bit of weight, joints swell, etc…. While it is romantic and emotional, it also means that the ring was never cleaned or maintained.
It is better to have this kind of sentimental item cleaned and polished, giving you a renewed love and pride for your ring. I personally love to see the face of a customer that brings in a ring and then comes to fetch it after cleaning and polishing. It’s new all over again.
This can be done almost only with gold jewelry. You cannot do it with just any item. Maybe with a home, you can do a big overall renovation, or perhaps furniture, which can be completely reupholstered. But you cannot do it with gifts such as a bouquet of flowers, clothes, shoes or cars.
Jewelry can be easily made new and shinning again. That is why jewelry is the best gift to give and keep, as it goes down through generations and never gets ‘old’. This is where the real value lies.
Talking of the test of time, click here to find out what jewelry is perfect for celebrating anniversary milestones!
If you are in Cape Town, pop into our gorgeous shop, on St Georges Mall, or peruse our extensive window displays. Call for an appointment at 021 4222 350 / 021 424 6125 or out of office hours 061 338 7544. We are always here for you.