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How do I care for my jewelry?

Most jewelry requires very little care other than cleaning and an occasional professional polishing. To clean your jewelry made of precious metal and stones between professional cleanings, warm soap and water and old toothbrush are the best things to use. Attention should be paid to the backs of the stones and inside where dirt and debris can collect. Nothing stronger than warm water and dish detergent are recommended as certain chemicals can react with precious metals, especially cleaning agents containing chlorine.

Chlorine, like that found in bleach and swimming pool chemicals can react fairly strongly with gold and gold containing alloys. Gold jewelry should be removed when adding chemicals to swimming pools or spas and when swimming in recently shocked pools or hot tubs. Short exposure can turn it different colors, usually resembling tarnish. Long exposure to chlorine can change the crystal structure of the metal, making it much weaker.

 

Exposure of your jewelry to mercury should be avoided. Mercury will attack the gold in gold bearing alloys very quickly and can actually dissolve it. This is not as much of a concern these days as mercury has been all but eliminated from things in our daily lives, but it is still around in such things as thermometers.

 

If your jewelry comes into contact with either mercury or chlorine, bring it in as soon as you can. These chemicals can continue to attack the metal your jewelry is made of long after the initial exposure has taken place. It takes professional polishing to remove the surface layer of metal so that contaminates are completely removed.

 

Pearls should be protected from any kind of perfume and hairspray. These common chemicals contain solvents that will attack the nacre, or coating on the pearls. Pearls are organic in nature; essentially they are a form of sea shell. They should never be exposed to anything harsher than salt water. It is possible to clean strands of pearls with soap and water, but make sure to hang them in the open for several hours to allow the string to completely dry. The string used is usually natural silk, and when exposed to dampness for any length of time will tend to break down and eventually disintegrate. Treat strands of pearls just like you might treat a fine cashmere sweater or silk blouse.

 

Gemstone jewelry requiring special caution include; opals, emeralds, tanzanite, cameos, pearls, coral, and a few others. If you stick with only soap and water, you should have few problems. Avoid wearing jewelry containing these gemstones while doing anything that might expose them to severe temperature changes, knocks or bumps, harsh chemicals, or anything that might require you to wear gloves. Generally speaking, if you can expose your bare hands to it, you can expose your jewelry to it. If there is any doubt, take it off.

 

We recommend that you have your jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected at least once a year, every six months is better. If you ever notice a rattling sound or catching of the prongs, bring it in to us for inspection at your earliest convenience. These are indications of loose stones or broken prongs and should be checked as soon as possible. If you ever have any questions about the care or condition of your jewelry, please let us know. We want your jewelry to be a part of your life for as long as possible.

 

 

 

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