It’s one thing to own really nice jewellery that means a lot to you and your family; it’s another to ensure it remains sparkling and keeps its original luster. But how do you properly clean and preserve your precious metal jewellery?
When you have precious jewellery at home, it can be easy to forget about it until you want to wear it or sell your collection to an outlet like Muzeum. As you likely know, you get the most value (and sense of pride) with jewellery that is in excellent condition. If you have valuable pieces, you’ll want to put in the time to maintain and preserve them so that they are ready to sell when you're ready to sell them.
We at Muzeum have a long history of preserving precious treasures and memorabilia. There's a good reason why so many sellers entrust us with their most valuable items when it comes time for them to get some cash for their jewellery.
Utilize our tips on how to best clean and store your bedazzling items to help increase their chances of a long lifespan. Our bookmark-worthy guide outlines everything you need to know about preserving and cleaning your gold, silver and gem-encrusted jewellery.
If you’d like to take your jewellery for a spin, be sure to avoid using harmful chemicals that could damage your necklaces, rings and bracelets. For example, perfume and cologne contain chemicals that could discolour certain precious metals.
If you like to keep your jewellery accessible to wear often instead of tucked away, you should avoid using harmful chemicals that could damage your necklaces, rings and bracelets. For example, perfume and cologne often have chemicals that could change the colour of certain precious metals.
As a column from InStyle writes: “The oils found in perfumes tend to stick to the faceted surfaces of diamonds, dulling their shine. As some of the most beautiful, natural gems in the world, opals and pearls are best not exposed to fragrances, which can cause them to darken or yellow.”
It’s also important to note that cleaning products often contain ammonia, which can be particularly damaging to jewellery, and the chlorine in cleaning products can discolour gold and silver. The latter is especially susceptible to ammonia’s harmful properties. Chlorine has been known to damage certain delicate stones and gems.
Exposure to the elements (water, air, dirt, heat) can have a negative impact on certain types of jewellery. Silver, for one, tarnishes when exposed to direct sunlight, and salt water erodes the finish of many gemstones. Heat can mess up the colouring in certain gems and degrade some metals, so ensure your precious wearables aren’t facing some sudden temperature changes.
While we all recognize how dirt can make your jewellery look less than stellar, if you’re a beach fan, then you should be aware of how abrasive sand is. Sand can have a major effect on plated jewellery, whether it’s gold-plated, rhodium-plated, or vermeil.
You may have come across various “hacks” to clean your jewellery, from vinegar to toothpaste to beer. Yes, beer. While some may work for you, we recommend good ol' soap and water to clean jewellery that may have accumulated grime or smudges.
We tend to paraphrase the KISS principle here – Keep It Simply Simple. It’s recommended to clean your gold jewellery with soap and water and an unbleached white cotton cloth.
Use an unbleached white cotton cloth and a light mixture of soap and water to wipe down your jewellery. Pay particular attention to any areas with marks or tarnishes. It’s not often a good idea to soak jewellery, because leaving metal in water can cause tarnishing or rusting.
You don’t need to apply a lot of muscle to this type of cleaning. Gentler is better. Then lay your jewellery on a towel to dry, and let them dry naturally. Like we noted before, make sure the items aren’t in contact with direct sunlight.
A note on pearls:Pearls often tarnish a bit quicker than other items, so keep a close eye on their condition. We think a great cleaning solution is a fresh make-up brush dipped in shampoo and water. Once you’re done, use a clean damp cloth to rinse them thoroughly.
You should also be aware that Muzeum offers free cleaning services for your jewellery or prized possessions.
One of the major mistakes some novice jewellery collectors make is bagging all their items loosely in a bag or container. It can only hurt your sparkling things if you bag them all together. It's always recommended to separate your jewellery into individual bags or small boxes, such as padded slots for rings. We know many people who use posts or hooks to hang their necklaces and bracelets.
When it comes to silver, a key consideration when trying to prevent silver jewellery from tarnishing is keeping the goodies dry and separated from potentially tarnished jewellery.
If you like, you can store this jewellery neatly in a drawer with several of those silica packets you get when you buy a pair of shoes. If you are feeling more DIY-like, you can use felt or cotton and sew little pouches to store your individual items so you can quickly open them up to see what is inside.
If you travel with your expensive jewellery, you should separate your items and place them in individual plastic bags. That way, any baggage jostling won't damage your collectibles.
It’s important to keep your jewellery storage safe from prying eyes. Some people go the extra mile with safes or lock-and-key boxes, while others keep their precious goods in a room that can only open with a key. It’s up to you how stringent you want to be with your keepsakes, but an easy rule to follow is, “Put your jewellery in a place you don’t think burglars would find them.”
Every home is different so be creative with selecting the right spot to safeguard your gold and silver jewellery.
It’s easy to often forget about the jewellery you own, especially if you don't wear the item often. We recommend checking in regularly with your jewellery to assess its condition and identify any wear and tear.
Watch out for weak clasps and worn strings, tarnished rings and loose gemstones. Ensure that any weaknesses or damage is repaired as soon as possible.
If you wear your items at events and especially outdoors, keep careful watch over how your wearables interact with the environment around you. Necklaces and rings often face the consequences of drink clumsiness, such as spilled wine or even falling down onto something hard, so be extra cautious when wearing your Sunday finest.
By being proactive with cleaning your jewellery, you can keep fresh these collectibles whether you wear them regularly or want to sell your gold for a fair price down the road when times get tough.
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