Caring for your jewelry properly is key to giving it a long and beautiful life. But what should you do to keep gems, chains, rings, and even costume jewelry in good condition? Here are a few easy things every jewelry owner can do.
1. Be Wary of Chemicals. Many porous gems and metals react badly over time when exposed to chemicals. What types of chemicals could your home jewelry touch? There are many chemicals and inorganic compounds in sunscreen, makeup, lotion, shampoo, hairspray, and hair products. Apply these chemicals first, then wait until they're dry or absorbed before putting on jewelry carefully.
2. Keep Out of Light. Sunlight fades many colors and fabrics over time, and it can damage jewelry too. In addition to the UV rays in natural sunlight, unnecessary heat and cooling damages certain sensitive jewels. This includes pearls, opal, ivory, and amethyst. Keep jewelry carefully stored in a protective case away from direct sunlight sources.
3. Use Dedicated Storage. When possible, keep the pouches or boxes that good jewelry comes in. These packing materials are specially designed to protect the pieces, so they're the perfect storage medium. When you store things in your own cases, look for padded slots for jewelry and rings to keep them from scratching each other. And use necklace and bracelet storage that hangs each piece separately so it doesn't become entangled.
4. Clean Carefully. Clean jewelry at least twice a year at home. Lay out a towel and use a soft cloth, warm soapy water, and makeup brushes to gently clean pieces individually. Test stones and settings to ensure that they're all solid rather than loosening. Rinse jewelry in a glass of water just in case any gems have become loose during cleaning. Finally, dry things thoroughly on a soft towel in natural air.
5. Make Repairs Early. Fixing small problems with older or well-worn jewelry is vital. Check settings to look for loose parts, broken or missing prongs, tarnishing, and cracks in stones. Get any of these problems professionally repaired as soon as you notice them, and avoid wearing pieces until they can be checked out. Being proactive in jewelry repair prevents you from losing stones, breaking chains, or further damaging broken settings.
As you do follow these few care tips, your jewelry will surely shine brighter and add more vibrancy to all your outfits. And you can enjoy it for many more years to come.