Here are some tips to help you keep your fine diamond, metal and gemstone jewelry clean, sparkling and in good condition. Though this guide covers day to day situations, we recommend you consult a gemologist or jeweler for the best cleaning procedure for your particular gemstone jewelry when purchasing.
General Care Tips
Be sure to visually inspect your gemstone jewelry before cleaning to be sure all stones are secure in their mountings. If in doubt, have your local jeweler inspect the piece and perform any necessary maintenance.
If cleaning jewelry over a sink or lavatory, be sure to close the drain before beginning. Almost all colored stone jewelry can be safely cleaned using a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush. Commercial jewelry cleaners are safe for most stones, but be sure to read the label carefully before using any commercial cleaner, especially on delicate stones such as pearls or opals. Also remember that gold and silver are soft and can be scratched, so always polish with a clean, soft cotton cloth and never use abrasive cleansers.
Be extra careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones are fragile and can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, and a stone that is not secure in its setting could come out during the cleaning process. Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry, then polish with a soft cloth after cleaning and before storage.
If your all-metal piece becomes badly tarnished, it may also be cleaned with commercial silver jewelry cleaner or any traditional silver cleaner. Do not use commercial silver cleaners on gemstone pieces, as they may damage the stones. Use a silver polishing cloth only. If your silver and gemstone jewelry becomes badly tarnished and will not clean up with a silver polishing cloth, it may require professional cleaning.
Wearing Your Jewelry
Apply all cosmetics, perfumes, lotions and hairspray before putting on gemstone jewelry. This is especially important for delicate stones, such as pearls. Remember, “last on, first off.”
Don’t wear your gemstone jewelry while swimming, and either remove jewelry before using household cleaners, or wear rubber gloves. Saltwater and chlorine, as well as other harsh chemicals, may slowly erode the finish, polish and possibly the color of gemstones.
Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes. Consider your gemstone jewelry during your daily activities. Some stones are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or any other activity where the stone could be hit or damaged. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.
Storing Your Jewelry
After wearing, wipe your gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth and polish with a soft, dry cloth. This will enhance the luster of the gemstones and ensure that your jewelry is clean before storage. Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches to prevent scratching. You may prefer to store pendants hanging on hooks in a jewelry box or lay them flat in a drawer or jewelry roll to prevent tangling.
Insuring Your Jewelry
Did you know that most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t properly cover their fine jewelry? Insurance laws vary from state to state and country to country, so it is important that you speak to your insurer and find out exactly what type and how much coverage you have on your fine jewelry and gemstones before a loss occurs.
Proper coverage begins with a proper appraisal. You should seek out a gemologist appraiser who has the training to write an appraisal that accurately describes your item, because that description is what the insurance company will look at in the case of a loss, not just the appraised value.