How to care for your jewellery
It is advisable to remove jewellery before doing anything which may damage it, such as DIY or gardening. One of the main causes of damage to rings is vigorous clapping when you have rings on both hands, especially if the rings have twisted round, leaving the stones on the inside. Jewellery which is not being worn should be stored carefully in a jewellery box with separate compartments. When jewellery is stored in a jumble, gemstones and metals of different hardnesses can scratch each other, chains can become knotted and clasps and stringings are more likely to get broken. To separate individual pieces, jewellery can be wrapped in tissue paper.
Silver jewellery will tarnish over time as the air reacts with the surface of the metal. However, a quick dip into a silver cleaning preparation and a rinse under the tap will quickly remove this tarnish.
With the exception of jewellery set with opals or pearls, most jewellery can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. The toothbrush will help you get into the settings of the piece and remove the accumulated hand cream, pastry, or whatever else has built up in the nooks and crannies.
Jewellery cleaned with soapy water should be rinsed thoroughly and left to dry naturally. Although many people swear by vodka and gin to clean their jewellery, there is little evidence that these methods produce a better result than a simple bowl of soapy water.
Pearls are usually held in their settings by glue and this bond is weakened in water. Opals are porous and should not be soaked in water containing detergent. Both pearls and opals can be wiped with a damp cloth and patted dry.
Certain gemstones such as opals and emeralds should never be placed in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner, designed to vibrate accumulated dirt from jewellery. Such stones are brittle and putting them in an ultrasonic cleaner could cause them to crack. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to clean gold jewellery set with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. On occasion, these cleaners can be so effective at removing the dirt that has built up behind stones that the stones fall out – this is because the settings had worn thin over time and all that was really holding the stones in was the accumulation of pastry and hand cream!
Soft jewellery cloths can be used to polish gold, silver and platinum but the shine of a brand new piece of jewellery cannot be achieved using a cloth. This is because, at the jewellers, pieces are polished using a polishing motor fitted with mops which spin round very quickly. A fine polishing paste, known as jewellers rouge, is also used and this combination gives the jewellery a very high shine. At Nicholas Wylde, our workshop is equipped with all the best ultrasonic and polishing equipment. We are happy to clean your jewellery for you for a small charge – saving you the trouble of soapy water, toothbrushes and cloths!
We also sell a range of Hagerty branded cleaning products, including Silver Dip, Jewel Clean and gloves to wear whilst polishing silverware.
At Nicholas Wylde, we offer to clean and polish any item of jewellery you buy from us for free – simply pop in whenever you are passing the shop. Whilst we are cleaning the item we will also check it over for you to help you keep your jewellery in good condition.
If you have any queries regarding the cleaning of metals or gemstones please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on (01225) 462826 and we will be happy to answer your questions.