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Wearing Fine Jewelry: Dos and Don'ts

Fine jewelry, like any other prized possessions must be treated with TLC and given the proper maintenance. I am a big fan of wearing jewelry everyday, though there are certain occasions or activities that are better sans jewelry.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • Don't wear rings or long pendants to the gym or to participate in any kind of sports.
  • Don't wear your rings to go swimming. Water shrinks the fingers and while you are having fun, you may not notice a ring slipping off your finger.
  • Don't take any expensive jewelry or any jewelry that have sentimental value if you are going on vacation to an exotic destination.
  • Don't wear rings to do gardening.
  • Don't wear your rings to do housework.

 Some tips in keep your jewelry in tip-top condition:

  • Do keep your jewelry neatly separated in a jewelry box or the harder gems may scratch the softer ones.
  • Don't put a piece of jewelry away without thoroughly cleaning it first if you do not intend to wear it for a while.
  • Do clean the jewelry that you wear on an everyday basis once a week. If you cannot do that, then at least once a month.
  • Don't boil your jewelry to clean them. (refer to our first blog on how to clean jewelry)
  • Do take off all your jewelry before you take a shower or a bath. Soap and shampoo residue will accumulate on your jewelry.
  • Don't sleep with your necklaces or rings. You may break a delicate chain or accidentally hit your significant other when you are dreaming.

And lastly, do get the more expensive pieces appraised for insurance purpose. Consider insuring your fine jewelry if the individual purchase value is more than a few thousand dollars. Go to a reputable laboratory like IGI (International Gemological Institute) or EGL USA Gemological Laboratory. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) does not do appraisal for jewelry. They only issue reports for unmounted gemstones. Talk to your insurance agent if you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance.

 

How to Clean Your Diamond Engagement Ring at Home

This is our first blog entry! Yay!!!

Without further ado let's discuss one of the most frequently asked questions of jewelers: Why doesn't my ring shine anymore?
If you have not damaged the gemstones or the mounting, then the most likely answer is that your ring needs a nice long bath! As a matter of fact, you should clean all the jewelry that you wear on an everyday basis at least once a week.....too often?? Well, think about what your glass table will look like if you do not clean it for a month!


How-to-clean-your-diamond-ring

Left: Before cleaning                  Right: After Cleaning

 

So how did my ring/pendant/earrings/bracelet/necklace get like that?

  • hand lotion (major culprit)
  • soap residue
  • shampoo residue
  • detergent residue
  • flour (if you bake or cook with your rings on)

How do I get the ring on the left to look more like the ring on the right?

  • professional cleaning by a jeweler (at least once every couple of years)
  • home cleaning method
  • I do not recommend the frequent use of home ultrasonic cleaning machine. There is a good chance that with the constant wearing of your jewelry, especially rings, in combination with the vibrations of the ultrasound, some of the gemstones may become loosened and they may risk falling out.

The home cleaning method works if your jewelry is made from:

  • sterling silver (will clean it but will not remove tarnish)
  • gold (any karat)
  • platinum
  • palladium
  • titanium
  • tungten carbide
  • stainless steel
  • diamond
  • sapphire (genuine and lab-created)
  • ruby (genuine amd lab-created, but not glass filled)
  • emerald (lab-created only, not genuine)
  • quartz (amethyst, citrine, clear quartz, rose quartz, smoky quartz)
  • Topaz (blue, white, etc)
  • all of the harder, non-porous gemstones

Do not use this method if your jewelry contains:

  • pearl
  • emerald
  • opal
  • turquoise
  • all softer gems and organic based gems

Here are the things you need to prepare:

  • a short glass cup with handle (non metal)
  • soft toothbrush
  • old washcloth
  • a small or medium size plastic sieve/strainer with handle
  • any ammonia based solution like Windex (if it does not harm glass, it certainly will not harm gems or precious metal)
  • lint free paper (for eyeglasses)

Home cleaning method for your fine jewelry:

  • put your jewelry in the glass cup
  • fill cup with boiling hot water and leave jewelry in there to soak for at least 30min. Longer if your jewelry looks really dirty. Soaking will soften up the residue accumulated for easier removal.
  • take jewelry out after soaking and place it on the old washcloth
  • spray the ammonia based solution or Windex liberally onto your jewelry
  • use the soft toothbrush to clean the jewelry thoroughly, like brushing your teeth. Make sure you brush everywhere, even the underside and the back
  • after you have brushed loose all the dirt, put the jewelry in the plastic sieve/strainer and bring it to the sink
  • turn on the hot water tap only, place the jewelry under the running water until the water runs clear
  • repeat this process if necessary. It will probably be necessary if you have not cleaned your jewelry for a really long time.
  • the jewelry should be very hot to the touch so leave it alone for a few minutes, and also to give time for the hot water to evaporate.
  • now use the lint free paper to soak up any excess moisture.
  • your jewelry should shine and sparkle again!

 Next time, we are going to talk about the Dos and Don'ts of wearing fine jewelry.