JEWELLERY CARE

Fine jewellery is a precious possession that is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. However, proper care is required to assure the lasting qualities of your jewellery. The Claytess Jewellers is pleased to offer the following simple guidelines and tips for the care and cleaning of your fine jewellery.

General Tips

  • Store your jewellery in a clean, dry place.
  • Keep your jewellery in a fabric-lined jewellery case, or in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper.
  • Don’t jumble your jewellery pieces in a drawer or jewellery case. Pieces can scratch each other.
  • Be careful when removing your jewellery to wash your hands. Do not leave your jewellery on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.
  • See your jeweller at least once a year to have your jewellery checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear. Visit your jeweller every six months to have your jewellery professionally cleaned.
  • There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean jewellery in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. These machines are called “ultrasonic cleaners” and are available in many different models and prices. They can be a convenient way to quickly clean your jewellery at home. However, ultrasonic cleaners can damage some jewellery. Your local jeweller can tell you if an ultrasonic cleaning machine is right for your jewellery wardrobe and, if it is, recommend an appropriate model.

Diamond

Diamond jewellery is very popular. Some pieces, such as diamond engagement and wedding rings, are often worn 24 hours a day. Even though you may wear your diamond jewellery around the clock, you should give thought to its care. Diamonds are durable, but they still require proper maintenance. Diamonds can get smudged, soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Clean diamonds “glow” because the maximum amount of light can enter the stone and return in a fiery brilliance. It takes just a little care to keep them that way.

Diamond Tips

  • Do not wear diamond jewellery, especially rings, when doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials in nature, a sharp, sudden blow can still chip it
  • Chlorine can damage and discolour the mounting on your diamond jewellery. Keep your diamond away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals. You should also remove your diamond jewellery before entering a chlorinated pool or hot tub
  • Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewellery cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewellery into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting
  • Avoid touching your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle clean jewellery by its edges.

Coloured Gemstones

There are many different types of coloured gemstones, some of which require specific care and cleaning procedures. It would be impossible to enumerate all of them in this brochure. However, there are some general care and cleaning rules that apply to all coloured gemstone jewellery.

Coloured Gemstones Tips

  • Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced from the time they are extracted from the earth by one or more traditionally accepted jewellery industry practices. These treatments and enhancements can affect how you should clean and care for your coloured gemstone jewellery. Consult your jeweller for more information on caring for treated or enhanced gemstones
  • After wearing, wipe your precious gemstone jewellery thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth.
  • Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches. You should be able to obtain these from your jeweller
  • Do not expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones
  • Hairspray, perfume and perspiration may cause jewellery to become dull. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on coloured gemstone jewellery. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration
  • Do not subject gemstone jewellery to sudden temperature changes
  • If you have an active lifestyle take extra precautions with some types of gemstone jewellery. Emeralds, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or any other activity where the stone could be hit or damaged
  • Be extra careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones are fragile and can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. Consult your jeweller for the best cleaning procedure for your particular gemstone jewellery. Your jeweller is also a good source for any information on coloured gemstones.

Caring For Specific Gemstones

Emerald

Because emeralds are oiled and usually included to some degree, this stone should not be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. Emeralds should be cleaned gently with a small brush and lukewarm water. Avoid sudden temperature changes and sharp blows.

Ruby

Rubies are fairly durable stones; however, the filling process often used on rubies requires special care when cleaning the stones. This enhancement technique may wear over time if treated harshly or exposed to strong solvents or abrasives. Avoid direct heat.

Sapphire

Because the heat treating process used is permanent, sapphires are an unusually durable stone. Normal care in cleaning is used but avoid direct heat.

Amethyst

Amethyst, like its cousin, Citrine, are an extremely durable stone that will withstand normal cleaning but avoid direct heat.

Aquamarine

Do not use an ultra-sonic machine; avoid heat as it may cause discolouration.

Aquamarine

Do not use an ultra-sonic machine; avoid heat as it may cause discolouration.

Blue Topaz

Care should be taken when cleaning a topaz of any colour. Do not use an ultrasonic machine. Avoid prolonged exposure to light and heat, as well as sharp blows or sudden temperature changes.

Opal

Opal is a soft stone that requires care when cleaning. It should not be placed in the ultrasonic cleaner, nor should you use an ammonia-based cleaner on the stone. Clean with a soft cloth or occasionally a combination of a mild non-detergent soap (such as Woolite®) and warm water with a soft brush.

Garnet

Garnet is an extremely durable stone and therefore will withstand normal cleaning.

Citrine

As quartz, citrine is able to withstand normal cleaning but avoid direct heat.

Peridot

Do not use an ultra-sonic machine. Avoid sharp blows and sudden temperature changes.

Tanzanite

Clean with mild soap and water; do not use an ultrasonic machine. Avoid sudden temperature changes and sharp blows.

Karat Gold Jewellery

Karat gold jewellery pieces make up the majority of many fine jewellery collections. Gold comes in many different styles and colours, but the care and cleaning procedure remains the same.

Karat Gold Tips

  • Remove all gold jewellery before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on karat gold jewellery, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film, you immediately reduce the occasions your pieces will need to be cleaned
  • To clean your jewellery at home, you’ll find many commercial cleaners available. In addition, you will find a soft chamois cloth an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous and shining. Ask your jeweller to recommend both of these items for you
  • For certain gold jewellery, especially pieces that do not contain coloured gemstones; an ultrasonic cleaning machine may be appropriate. Once again, ask your jeweller to advise you
  • Be careful of chlorine. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolour your gold jewellery. Do not wear gold jewellery while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub
  • You can remove tarnish with jewellery cleaner, or by using soap and water mixed with a few drops of ammonia. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush. An old toothbrush can also be used. After the brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry. If there is a heavy tarnish on your jewellery, consult your jeweller for the best cleaning procedure. You should also talk to your jeweller before attempting to clean any karat gold jewellery set with coloured gemstones because some stones require special cleaning procedures.
  • Grease can be removed from karat gold jewellery by dipping the jewellery into plain rubbing alcohol. Again, check with your jeweller about coloured gemstone pieces.

Platinum

Platinum is one of the rarest and most durable precious metals. It is resistant to tarnishing and discolouration due to chlorine and other chemicals. These factors, along with its strength and white lustre, have made platinum an increasingly popular choice for jewellery, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, platinum jewellery needs to be properly cared for.

Platinum Tips

  • Platinum jewellery can be cleaned the same way you can other fine jewellery. Your jeweller can recommend a prepackaged jewellery cleaner that works with platinum, or ask your jeweller to professionally clean your platinum pieces. A professional cleaning every six months will keep your platinum jewellery in great shape.
  • Store your platinum jewellery separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other because even platinum can be scratched.
  • Signs of wear such as scratches can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal’s durability, there is usually little metal loss from scratch. If visible scratches do appear, your jeweller should be able to repolish the piece
  • If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful, as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewellery pieces combine platinum with karat gold jewellery. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewellery or consult your jeweller.

Sterling Silver Jewellery

Platinum is one of the rarest and most durable precious metals. It is resistant to tarnishing and discolouration due to chlorine and other chemicals. These factors, along with its strength and white lustre, have made platinum an increasingly popular choice for jewellery, either on its own or as the setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones. However, despite its durability, platinum jewellery needs to be properly cared for.

Sterling Silver Tips

  • Clean your silver jewellery with a mild soap and water solution, allowing the water to bead up, and then patting dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, use a jewellery cleaner designed for silver use.
  • Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish-preventive bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Store pieces individually so that they don’t knock together and scratch
  • Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt.
  • Tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibres in these products.
  • Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage – this can cause silver to tarnish. And don’t wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals.

 

Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such.   They’re also the products of living creatures. Cultured pearls are formed when an irritant is introduced into a mollusc. The mollusc secretes a substance called nacre, which covers the irritant and produces the pearl. Nacre gives pearls the rainbow of colours and lustre that makes these gemstones so treasured, but its delicate nature also makes pearls particularly susceptible to damage. For this reason, you should be extra careful with your cultured pearl jewellery.

Cultured Pearls Tips

  • Apply cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume before putting on any pearl jewellery. When you remove the jewellery, wipe it carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these substances
  • You can also wash your pearl jewellery with mild soap and water. Do not clean cultured pearls with any chemicals, abrasives or solvents. These substances can damage your pearls.
  • Do not toss your cultured pearl jewellery carelessly into a purse, bag or jewel box. A pearl’s surface is soft and can be scratched by hard metal edges or by the harder gemstones of other jewellery pieces.
  • Place cultured pearl jewellery in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.
  • Cosmetics, perspiration, oils and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the threads on which the pearls are strung. Bring your pearls back to your jeweller for restringing once a year. Make certain the pearls are strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.

Watches

Watches need the same amount of attention as fine jewellery. Fine watches are sophisticated and precise pieces of equipment; the price often reflects the skilled workmanship that goes into a fine timepiece. In order to get the most satisfaction out of your watch, you should follow some simple care and cleaning guidelines.

Watch Tips

  • No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt “do-it-yourself” watch repairs. Only an expert jeweller/watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.
  • Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis; making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the watch face.
  • A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweller/watchmaker or an authorized dealer and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
  • Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the time-keeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy.
  • Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
  • Have your jeweller/watchmaker or an authorized watch dealer replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece. Do not attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. If your watch is water-resistant, a water-resistance test should be performed after the battery has been replaced to ensure that water will not leak into and damage the watch.
  • Batteries run for about two to three years. Those in some less expensive, multi-function digital watches have shorter lives, as little as six months. Using extra features such as a calculator or game can shorten battery life
  • Oils from your skin can build upon a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, you can give it a quick cleaning with a mixture of warm water and either a mild soap or a dish detergent. Dry the watch with a soft cloth after cleaning. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch face and not the strap.
  • If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the piece with a slightly damp cloth and then dry.

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Metal Education

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Wedding Ring Guide

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Engagement Ring Guide

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