Care for Gemstones and Jewellery

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Cleaning your fine jewellery at home might seem a little daunting at first, but it’s not as difficult an undertaking as you might think. In fact, most people already have the cleaning items that they will need in their household. And since everyone wants their jewellery to look its best, we’ve provided some pro tips to keep your fine jewellery looking shiny and bright like it should.

Cleaning and polishing the metals

Some of the most popular precious metals used for jewellery are gold, silver, platinum and titanium. The proper method for cleaning fine jewellery made from these metals is described below:

Gold – Mix a little bit of mild soap and a little warm water and then soak your gold jewellery for 4-5 minutes. Gently go over the crevices with a soft toothbrush to remove the dirt and grime that sometimes collects in these areas. When you’re finished, take a dry, soft, and lint-free cloth and carefully buff the jewellery piece dry. Note: If your gold jewellery has begun to tarnish, you can make a mixture of lukewarm water, mild soap and just a few drops of ammonia and carefully use it to clean your jewellery. However, use this mixture sparingly, as overusing on jewellery pieces with gemstones that are embedded in the gold, can cause their settings to loosen.

Silver – Like gold, silver can be cleaned by soaking it for a few minutes with a little mild soap and water. After you’ve soaked it, rinse with cool water. For jewellery pieces with heavier tarnishing, use a soft cloth dipped in a mixture of 3 parts baking soda and one part water to gently clean the jewellery. When you’re finished, take a dry, soft, lint-free cloth to buff and dry the jewellery.

Platinum – Again, a little mild soap and a little warm water can be used for cleaning jewellery made from platinum too. When the jewellery is finished soaking, rinse with warm water. You can remove more stubborn dirt by gently scrubbing the metal with a soft toothbrush. Dry and buff with a lint-free, soft cloth.

Titanium – The same mixture can also be used for titanium jewellery. Rinse with warm water and be sure to buff dry with a soft, lint-free cloth as well. If you don’t do this step, you’ll get unsightly water spots on your jewellery. If need be, you can also use ammonia (or even Windex, which contains ammonia) to remove more stubborn dirt.

Cleaning and polishing the gemstones

Diamonds – While diamonds are stronger and harder than other gemstones, they can still be damaged if not properly cared for as well as lose some of their gorgeous lustre. To clean diamond jewellery, soak it in a mixture of warm almost hot water and mild washing soap. The diamond itself can soak for 20-30 minutes. Once it’s finished soaking, remove the jewellery piece from the soap-water solution and gently brush it with a soft toothbrush, making sure to use the bristles of the toothbrush to work loose all the dirt and grime under the stone setting. Use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to dry the diamond, and don’t forget this step or you’ll end up with water marks on your beautiful gemstone.

Pearls – To clean pearls, which are more easily damaged than diamonds, a different cleaning regimen is required. Contrary to what you might think given the origin of pearls, you shouldn’t use water to clean them. To properly clean pearls, you’ll need a chamois cloth, preferably one that is recommended as safe for cleaning pearls. If the pearl or pearls are very heavily soiled, you can slightly dampen the cloth in a bowl of lukewarm water containing just a touch of mildwasher soap, but do not actually soak the pearl. Gently dry with a soft, lint-free cloth when finished.

Other soft gemstones – Soft gemstones such as amber, coral, ivory, lapis, opals, and turquoise also require a very gentle cleaning regimen. These stones should only be exposed to water if they are very dirty. In this case, use a slightly dampened cloth to clean them, but never soak them in water, as this will likely cause damage.

Ultrasonic Jewellery Cleaners

For people that possess a lot of jewellery and wear it frequently, an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner might be the best option for cleaning their jewellery. Ultrasonic cleaners simplify the cleaning task because the jewellery doesn’t have to be disassembled to be cleaned and it allows for cleaning several pieces at the same time. When you invest in an ultrasonic cleaner, you can also end up saving money as jewelers often require a fee for jewellery cleaning services, especially if the jewellery that needs cleaning wasn’t purchased at their store. Ultrasonic cleaners work by creating waves that then create bubbles. When the bubbles break they release energy that collides with the jewellery and knocks the dirt, grime and oil off of the jewellery and out of all its nooks and crevices. The result is clean and brand-new looking jewellery.

A word of caution: It’s extremely important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your jewellery piece in an ultrasonic cleaner, taking care to follow specific instructions for specific metals and gemstones. And while most types of jewellery come out beautifully after being in an ultrasonic cleaner, some types of gemstones shouldn’t be cleaned this way. For example, don’t use an ultrasonic cleaner for softer gemstones such as opals, pearls, coral, amber, lapis lazuli, emeralds and turquoise. Gemstones whose colour has been enhanced through heat treatment should also not be cleaned by an ultrasonic cleaner.

Cleaning at Le Craftsmen

One of the most difficult aspects of cleaning fine jewellery is cleaning the little nooks and crannies where dust and grit tend to collect. At Le Craftsmen, we design our jewellery with this issue in mind, taking care to design models that are not only beautiful and comfortable to wear, but that can also be easily cleaned and polished. We also provide free lifetime cleaning services to your jewellery purchased from us.

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