Although most of us never want to sell our Jewellery and would have to come on tough times to do so, looking after it is essential to secure that it remains as brand new irrelevant of resale (if ever). Here are some top tips for looking after your Jewellery.
It is important to store jewellery properly, whether it is expensive or not, so that it does not get damaged.
Keep chains flat, either lie them down or hang them up. Always leave them done up. This should prevent tangling and scratching.
Keep all jewellery in a dry room, neither excessively hot or cold, to avoid moisture, rust, warping and discolouration.
Keep jewellery out of direct sunlight. Especially opals, pearls and coloured stones, as they may discolour or even crack in extreme temperatures.
Keep jewellery separated. If it is mixed up together it is likely to become damaged. Diamond is an exceptionally hard material and could easily scratch or chip anything else you have in your jewellery box.
Store in either soft cloth pouches, acid free tissue paper or untreated cotton or silk. The jewellery boxes that you purchased the items in are ideal but can be bulky en masse. Get creative! For example get a ribbon to hang somewhere that you can put earrings through, displaying and protecting them at the same time.
Different kinds of jewellery needs different types of care.
Jewellery should be the last thing that you put on, the the first thing you take off to avoid contact with harsh surfaces.
Check your jewellery regularly. Check that the clasps are strong, that links are not worn and that jump rings are not pulled open. If you feel that a piece of jewellery is becoming worn it is advisable to take it to a jeweller to be given professional advice, especially if you wear it frequently.
As jewellery is easily scratched, it is inadvisable to wear it whilst at the gym, playing sport or doing housework. Opals can crack if put into water.
Put on all cosmetics, including perfume and hairspray before you put your jewellery on. Cosmetics can damage stones and cause discolouration.
Wear your jewellery regularly. The continual movement against your body should help to rub off tarnishing.
Clean with mild soap like washing up liquid and warm water. If a piece is particularly tarnished it may help to soak it for a while first. A soft toothbrush or make-up brush is ideal for cleaning. Be aware, particularly with older pieces and ones with delicate settings (like a four claw setting for example) that the dirt may be helping to hold stones in place, so consult a jeweller if you are in any doubt at all.
Threaded jewellery should not be put into water, if it needs cleaning use a slightly moist cloth and make sure that it lies flat and straight to dry as the thread may stretch.
Silver jewellery cloths are great for cleaning most jewellery and are easily available. They will remove tarnishing and return the jewellery to its original lustre.
Tarnishing is caused by humidity, chemicals, oils and oxygen. Sterling silver is alloyed with copper in order to make it stronger; copper tarnishes very easily so it is likely to need regular cleaning.
If something is exceptionally tarnished it may need to go into silver dip. Be warned that this removes a layer of metal from the item, so it is best to do this as few times as possible. After dipping it make sure that all of the dip is washed off, dry it and then rub it with a soft cloth to bring back its shine.
You cannot put all stones into silver dip; the ones to avoid are opals, pearls, amber.
Surprisingly, a lot of people do not know these basic tips, even in a time when a quick web search can bring up the best method to clean any type of metal or stone jewellery.
And finally, handle it with care. It’s expensive and in some cases sentimental!
Author Profile: April May is a buyer of vintage jewellery for Find Jewellery. She spends a lot of time valuing items for resale and knows how to avoid devaluing them.
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