Fine jewelry is quite an investment. Good pieces often cost a great deal of cash, but they also hold a ton of value — both monetary and sentimental.
Thankfully, you can enjoy your jewelry for many years to come if you take care of it well.
General Care Guidelines
- Keep your jewelry in the provided jewelry box, or in a lined box with compartments and dividers.
- Don’t jumble your jewelry pieces in a drawer or jewelry case, to keep them from scratching one another.
- Avoid exposing your gold, silver, or gemstone jewelry to harsh chemicals including alcohol and perfume. Take off your jewelry when applying these substances.
- You can use a polishing cloth designed for both gold and silver items to remove tarnish and restore shine. Works like a charm!
- Avoid exposing your jewelry to moisture or chemicals to keep the gold plating from fading.
- Take off your jewelry when washing your hands.
- When the plating fades, you can get your ring replated or have it cleaned so it goes back to its original silver color.
Remember that gold plating is not a permanent treatment, so expect it to fade in time. Eventually, your piece will start to show its natural silver color. At this point, you may decide to have it polished back to silver, or get it freshly dipped in your choice color of gold.
Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness
The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness goes from 1-10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
Some gemstones are very sensitive and require special treatment. They may be very soft, and therefore easily broken or scratched. The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness is an excellent tool for determining whether a gem requires additional care.
We recommend that all gems with a hardness ranking below 7 be handled with caution (and worn infrequently, if possible). On the other hand, gems with a ranking of 7 or higher are considered suitable for everyday use.
Below are some common gems, ranked from hardest (more suitable for everyday wear) to softest (not for everyday wear).
|Corundum (Sapphire – Blue & Other Colors, Ruby)||9|
|Topaz, Beryl, Emerald, Spinel, Morganite||8|
|Quartz (Citrine, Rose Quartz, Amethyst), Garnet, Zircon, Tourmaline||7|
|Apatite, Moonstone, Labradorite, Jade||6|
Caring for Soft Gems
Moonstones and opals are very soft stones (Mohs ranking 2); they can be easily scratched or broken. This is the reason we often opt to use adhesive to attach moonstones and opals to their settings, instead of enclosing them with prongs. Avoid hitting them on hard surfaces or dropping them.
Tourmalines and garnets can also be sensitive and brittle. Although much higher up the Mohs scale compared to moonstones and opals, our experience dictates that tourmaline and garnet gems are sensitive as well.
Tanzanites, feldspars (sunstone and moonstone), fluorites, iolites, kunzites, lapis lazuli, malachites, topaz, turquoises, and zircons are sensitive to heat. We usually do not recommend resizing jewelry containing the said gems because they may break under the heat of the jeweler’s torch.
Pearls have a low Mohs scale ranking (2.5-4) and must be stored away from harder stones or sharp objects to keep them from scratching. Pearls must also be kept moist; otherwise they may dry up and crack. We recommend that pearls be wiped frequently with a soft and damp cloth to remove oils and grime, and to be “re-hydrated” as well.
You should not use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean soft gems.
Caring for Hardy Gems
Hardy gems such as diamonds, moissanites, and sapphires (Mohs scale 9 and up) can withstand everyday use.
Although these gems can withstand the occasional drop or accidental impact, they are not entirely immune to scratches, chips, and cracks.
Under the harshest of circumstances, they can and will get damaged. Getting a replacement will surely cost a lot of money!
To avoid such an inconvenience, avoid wearing your jewelry while exercising, gardening, washing dishes, or doing repair work. Do not sleep in your jewelry, as this may cause prongs or settings to get deformed. If this happens, you may end up losing your stones.
Now and then, you may scrub your diamonds, moissanites, or colored stones with a mild soap and water solution. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work a lather on your gemstone, making sure to reach all nooks and crannies of your jewelry.