1. Wrap each piece individually in a soft velvet pouch; that way, hard stones like diamonds and sapphires won't scratch softer ones like turquoise or opals.Related: Tips For Organizing Your Favorite Accessories
2. Use a cleaner formulated for delicate jewelry, like Connoisseurs Revitalizing Delicate Jewelry Cleaner, to maintain sparkle. Don't be tempted to use vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or ammonia; these solutions can dull the luster of precious stones and remove the natural aged patina from vintage of heirloom pieces. Household products can be used to clean silver and gold. If your gold or silver jewelry contains porous gemstones, such as emeralds, pearls, or amber, follow the cleaning method for the gemstones and not the metal.
3. Water can be jewelry's number one enemy. Excessive or trapped moisture can cause the metal to rust, tarnish, or pit. Wipe delicate pieces with a damp soft cloth or use a make-up brush dipped into foamy dishwashing liquid soapsuds (dip in the suds only to prevent a soapy film) to bring back the shine.
4. Dry carefully with a soft cloth, not a scratchy paper towel and let rest face down on a cloth so any residual water can drain out of the setting. Don't rush this step by exposing treasures to the sunlight. The light can fade richly colored stones like amethysts and sapphires and the heat can loosen glue that holds some stones in place in a brooch or bracelet.
Related: The Scoop on Gold Jewelry
5. Before you wear them, especially if it's been a while, inspect pieces for loose stones, faulty clasps, and broken threads. If you find any, have them repaired before you wear them...don't risk losing them.
What are your questions about jewelry care? Let me know in the comments!
- by Christina Peterson
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