Have you noticed that your fine jewelry is looking a little lackluster lately? Has your costume jewelry seen better days? No matter the combination of metals and gemstones that make up your collection, all jewelry is susceptible to getting dirty and needing repairs over time. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s so important to keep your jewelry clean and have it repaired when necessary.
Why Should You Clean Your Jewelry?
Cleaning your jewelry keeps it looking like new, but it also helps the jewelry stay intact and last as long as possible. Believe it or not, dirt and grime are so abrasive that they can slowly wear down prongs and other structural components of jewelry. This can result in loose gemstones and tarnished metal, which can ultimately ruin the jewelry’s appearance or require costly repairs.
Cleaning Your Jewelry at Home
What causes jewelry to get so dirty over time, anyway? Daily wear and tear is usually the culprit. For example, engagement and wedding rings often become visibly dirty and lose their sparkle because they build up a film that comes from the daily use of makeup, soap, and lotion, as well as natural skin oils.
A thorough cleaning is the quickest and best way to make your jewelry look as sparkling and pristine as the first day you laid eyes on it. It’s vital to avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or chlorine if you choose to clean your jewelry on your own at home. These chemicals can seriously damage and discolor precious metals and gemstones.
When it comes to cleaning your diamond jewelry at home, the safest and most effective method is gently scrubbing the diamonds and settings with a soft-bristled brush and a solution of one part mild dish detergent, one part ammonia, and three parts lukewarm water. When you’re done cleaning your diamonds, carefully dry them with a lint-free cloth or set them out in a safe place to air dry.
Other more delicate gemstones such as opals and pearls should be cleaned at home with a moist, soft cloth and nothing more. Since some of these gemstones are often quite fragile and porous, avoid soaking them in water or cleaning solutions. If you still feel these stones need deeper cleaning, it’s always best to let a professional tackle the job with special solutions and methods.
Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum can be cleaned and brought back to life with the help of special polish and a soft microfiber cloth.
Regardless of what kind of jewelry you’re cleaning at home and what method you use, keep in mind that rinsing your jewelry over the sink opens you up to the risk of losing it down the drain! Use a designated bowl of clean water to rinse it off instead.
Professional Jewelry Cleaning
If your jewelry is in need of deep cleaning or you don’t feel confident cleaning it yourself, it’s always best to schedule a professional cleaning with a jeweler. Depending on what your jewelry is made of, the jeweler may use a professional-grade ultrasonic cleaner that pulls dirt away from the jewelry’s stones and other components. This is usually followed by an intense steam cleaning and buffing as necessary.
Most professional jewelry cleanings involve a detailed inspection that will let you know if any repairs are needed.
Repairing Your Jewelry
Even if you maintain a regular jewelry cleaning schedule and take special care of your jewelry collection, you’re bound to need something repaired at some point. This is especially true for wedding rings and other jewelry that is worn on a daily basis since it has the most potential to get damaged.
Here are the top things to look out for when you’re assessing whether or not your jewelry needs repairs:
- Loose, chipped, or cracked stones
- Worn prongs
- Loose earring backs
- Thinning ring shanks
- Broken or bent chain links
- Loose clasps
As soon as you notice a defect in your jewelry, it’s important to arrange for a professional jeweler to repair it before more damage occurs. Taking care of the problem early on minimizes the risk of losing a stone or having the jewelry become completely irreparable.
If you want to be proactive and make sure your jewelry stays in good condition, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional jeweler on at least an annual basis. Jewelry that you wear daily basis should be inspected every six months or so.
Ready for your jewelry to look good as new again? Our skilled team here at Isbell Jewelers would love to provide you with our jewelry cleaning services, jewelry repair services, and more. We can even work with you to add custom jewelry to your collection! Contact us today.