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How to Clean Fine Jewelry

Is your jewelry lacking a little luster these days? It’s perfectly normal for pieces to show signs of wear over time. Luckily, it’s super simple and easy to clean your jewelry. With a series of ordinary household items, microfiber napkins, and some patience (and love), you can restore your precious pieces to their former glory. If you want to learn more about how to clean gold and gold plated, silver, and gemstone jewelry, continue reading this article.

In this cleaning and care guide you will discover:

  • How to clean jewelry depending on the metals

  • How to clean gemstone jewelry


 

In this cleaning and care guide you will discover:

  • How to clean jewelry depending on the metals

  • How to clean gemstone jewelry


 

How to clean jewelry according to the metals

As you know there are precious metals (gold, platinum, silver) and non-precious jewelry metals (surgical steel, copper, brass, etc). Each metal has its particularities and properties. Let’s take a look at the most common metals for jewelry and learn how to clean jewelry safely and efficiently.

 

How to clean jewelry – gold and gold plated

It’s simpler to clean your gold and gold plated jewelry than you may think. Specialists recommend you use a soft jewelry cloth without any solution to slowly rub the piece of jewelry on all sides. This gently removes any residue that may have built up over time without damaging or scratching the gold jewelry. Gold plated pieces can be prone to oxidation (AKA rusting), so we recommend removing them before you swim, shower, or apply lotion, makeup, or perfume. To minimize scratches, store your piece in your Ana Luisa pouch or in a separate compartment in your jewelry box.

Most common mistake when cleaning gold jewelry

It’s important to be selective with what you use to clean your jewelry. For example, acids (which can be found in Ammonia solution, soap, and club soda) and abrasives (found in the toothpaste) can remove a substantial part of gold. This is especially dangerous for gold plated jewelry which only has a coating of gold on its surface. By cleaning the jewelry this way you can damage it for good. Another popular method involves cleaning your jewelry with boiling water. Though a great way to kill germs and bacteria, boiling water isn’t necessarily your gold jewelry’s best friend. Hot water can weaken metals and cause them to bend or lose shape. For cleaning jewelry, it’s best to keep it as simple as possible.

 

The first step in cleaning your silver jewelry

Many people love sterling silver due to its luster, versatility, and brilliance. However, silver jewelry will start to tarnish and oxidize if it’s not properly maintained. When oxygen comes into contact with silver, a chemical bond on the surface of the jewelry will start to take place. This will cause the silver piece to appear discolored or dirty. The same thing can happen when silver comes in contact with sulfur. This is totally common and can be prevented or fixed with a few simple cleaning tips. First, let’s start with a few industry terms regarding silver jewelry which can help you determine how easily the jewelry piece will tarnish. Jewelry pieces are not crafted out of pure silver. They are combined with different metals to increase the jewelry’s resistance to mechanic force and oxidation. You can determine the purity of the metal by inspecting the hallmark inscribed on the jewelry piece. For example, 925 sterling silver is 92.5% silver. 950 sterling silver jewelry has 95% silver.  In general, the more silver a jewelry piece has, the faster it will tarnish.

 

First, let’s start with a few industry terms regarding silver jewelry which can help you determine how easily the jewelry piece will tarnish. Jewelry pieces are not crafted out of pure silver. They are combined with different metals to increase the jewelry’s resistance to mechanic force and oxidation. You can determine the purity of the metal by inspecting the hallmark inscribed on the jewelry piece. For example, 925 sterling silver is 92.5% silver. 950 sterling silver jewelry has 95% silver.  In general, the more silver a jewelry piece has, the faster it will tarnish.

 

How to clean your silver and silver-plated jewelry

The best way to clean your silver jewelry pieces is to gently polish them. You can do this with the help of a professional cleaner or in the comfort of your own at home. Make sure to use less abrasive materials like a microfiber towel or a lint-free flannel to avoid scratching your pieces. When you polish the jewelry, use long and gentle back-and-forth motions. From time to time you should shift the cloth cleaning section to avoid distributing tarnish on other parts of the jewelry. 

Most common mistake when cleaning silver jewelry

Just as with gold, you can find many jewelry cleaning guides which use acidic or abrasive solutions. They can be quite effective at first but silver is a soft metal and it can easily scratch. Avoid abrasive solutions, harsh scrubbing, or boiling water when cleaning your silver jewelry. We also recommend you avoid exposing your sterling silver pieces to chlorinated water and to cleaning products that contain bleach

 

How to Clean Gemstone Jewelry

With gemstone jewelry, things get more complicated as not all gemstones can withstand mechanical cleaning methods. As a general rule, when you clean gemstone jewelry, be very careful with the settings. Bezel settings, for example, are less prone to getting damaged than prongs. Use a very soft jewelry brush to clean the setting. If you don’t, dirt will pile up in time and it may loosen the setting. Many gemstones don’t like water too much but you can use a lint-free cloth dipped in soapy water to clean them. Except for pearls, of course. Use a moist cloth dipped in still bottled water when cleaning pearls.

Another important rule when it comes to gemstone jewelry is to inspect the setting periodically. If you notice that the setting is loose or damaged, take your jewelry to the jewelry boutique as soon as possible. A professional jeweler will inspect and repair it before you lose the gemstone.

 

Another important rule when it comes to gemstone jewelry is to inspect the setting periodically. If you notice that the setting is loose or damaged, take your jewelry to the jewelry boutique as soon as possible. A professional jeweler will inspect and repair it before you lose the gemstone. Now you know exactly how to keep your favorite pieces looking their best.

 

Shop our wide selection of silver, gold, and mixed metal jewelry to find the perfect pieces to keep close.

 
 
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