Jewelry Maintenance and Service
General Jewelry Care
- Treat all jewelry with care. Store it smartly, wear it gently, and keep it clean.
- Do not use perfume or hairspray on areas that are adorned with jewelry.
- Do not use lotion or sunscreen near your rings. Lotions will dull the shine of the ring’s gems and metal, and it will be more difficult to clean later.
- Do not wear jewelry while playing sports.
- Do not wear rings while gardening (many a customer will tell you a tale of woe concerning rings bent in half from using gardening shears).
- Do not wear jewelry in chlorinated swimming pools. Chlorine may cause permanent damage to the alloys in your gold.
- Do not wear jewelry while cleaning with household chemicals. Many of these cleaners contain chlorine bleach, which can permanently damage your gold.
- Use common sense when wearing your jewelry. For instance, if you work with young children, it would be inadvisable to wear thin chains or dangling earrings that break easily when yanked.
- Keeping your jewelry clean (with the methods listed below) will help you to notice if anything on the jewelry needs repair (like loose stones, broken prongs, cracks in the metal, etc).
- While it’s best to keep all of your jewelry clean, it is especially vital that you keep tennis bracelets clean. Tennis bracelets have many parts that harbor dirt. Because of this, tennis bracelets can fall apart on you before you know it. As they are expensive items (to replace or to fix), we highly recommend cleaning these frequently, either at home, or by professionals at the jewelry store.
- Regularly bring your jewelry in to a jewelry store to have the piece inspected for problem areas. This will prevent major problems in the future, and at the very least, you will get a professional cleaning. We recommend that you have your jewelry professionally inspected and cleaned every six months.
Platinum is one of the rarest and most durable precious metals. It is resistant to tarnishing and discoloration due to chlorine and other chemicals. These factors, along with its strength and white luster, have made platinum an increasingly popular choice for jewelry, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, platinum jewelry needs proper care.
- Platinum jewelry can be cleaned the same way you can other fine jewelry. TQ Diamonds can recommend a prepackaged jewelry cleaner that works with platinum, or ask TQ Diamonds or a qualified AGS jeweler to professionally clean your platinum pieces. A professional cleaning every six months will keep your platinum jewelry in great shape.
- Store your platinum jewelry separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other because even platinum can be scratched.
- Signs of wear such as scratches can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal's durability there is usually little metal loss from the scratch. If visible scratches do appear, your jeweler should be able to re-polish the piece.
- If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewelry pieces combine platinum with karat gold jewelry. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewelry or consult TQ Diamonds.
Do-It-Yourself Jewelry Cleaner:
You will need an old, gentle toothbrush (or a new toothbrush with soft bristles), and a solution of water and mild, liquid dish detergent (such as Dawn or Joy), mixed in equal proportions. Dip (or soak) your jewelry in the solution. Block the sink’s drain, and gently scrub the item, especially around the gemstones. Rinse the piece and either set it aside to dry, or pat it dry. Under no circumstances should you ever clean pearls, coral, emeralds, tanzanite, or other ‘soft’ gemstones with this method!
If your jewelry just needs light cleaning to restore a little sparkle, it’s easily done! Simply soak your jewelry in soapy water, and scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse well and allow the jewelry to dry. If you do this type of cleaning on a regular basis, more strenuous cleanings will not be as necessary. Do not use this technique on costume jewelry.
Stones that are Safe for Store-Bought Jewelry Cleaner (or Do-It-Yourself Cleaner):
- Lapis Lazuli
Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners:
Ultrasonic cleaners use vibrations to remove dirt from your jewelry. Most that you will find for sale in jewelry and department stores are smaller versions of what professional jewelers use. You do not need a professional ultrasonic cleaner, so this is okay. Generally, you can allow your jewelry to soak in the solution for a few minutes while the cleaner vibrates and warms the solution to deeply clean your jewelry. If you need to, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub the area around the gemstones with the solution. Plug your sink and rinse your jewelry. Then, either air dry or gently pat the jewelry dry. Be sure to check for any loose stones prior to wearing your jewelry again.
We sell ultrasonic jewelry cleaners and steamers starting at $14.95 at T.Q. Diamonds. Please call to inquire about purchasing one of these great cleaning tools.
Stones that are Safe in Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners:
- Be gentle with pearls, both when you’re wearing them, and when they’re stored. When they’re stored, keep them wrapped in a cloth or a chamois bag. Do not keep them in plastic, as they need to breathe.
- After you wear pearls, wipe them down with a soft, clean cloth to remove makeup, dust, and dirt.
- Do not allow other jewelry to rub up against pearls—they will scratch easily.
- Apply hairspray and perfume before putting on pearls. Do not apply perfume to your skin in areas where you will be wearing the pearls.
- If you notice that the pearls can slide between knots on your pearl strand, it is time for a restringing. If you wear pearls regularly, we recommend that you restring once per year. If you do not wear them regularly, just use your best discretion for when you should have them restrung.
- Be sure that your jeweler cleans your pearls when they are being restrung. Do not use regular jewelry cleaner at home. If you want to clean them at home, wash them with mild hand soap and water, but do not soak them. Let the pearls dry for 24 hours on a towel, but do not hang them to dry. You may use jewelry cleaner that has been specifically formulated for pearls.
Remember: When in doubt, do not clean the jewelry yourself! Always bring it in to the jewelry professionals at T.Q. Diamonds to have it cleaned and inspected.
Jewelry cleaning and care tips from “Jewelry Savvy: What Every Jewelry Wearer Should Know,” by Cynthia A. Sliwa and Caroline Stanley.