Finding your perfect engagement ring is a journey, a bejewelled adventure full of colour, glamour and endless possibilities. Once you have found the perfect ring, you will want to keep it safe. When it comes to jewellery cleaning, care and maintenance, there are definite do’s and don’ts that ensure the longevity and aesthetic quality of your pieces.
Our loyal clientele knows that in Adelaide, jewellery is about style, self-expression and sentimentality. Below you will find the James Thredgold Essential Guide To Jewellery Care.
The General Rule Of Thumb
Remember the 4 S's: Sleeping, Swimming, Sweating and Showering. These are instances in which you should avoid wearing your jewellery completely. That way, you will keep them perfect for pairing with any outfit or for any occasion.
Do Not Compromise The Surface Areas Of Precious Stones Or Metals
Wearing jewellery while swimming (or showering) is not recommended. Chlorine, saltwater and natural hot springs are all harmful to a variety of softer stones, as well as all silvers, gold and copper.
Never wear jewellery when applying hairspray, hand sanitiser, perfume, sunscreen, hand lotion or other cosmetics. Before you put on your jewellery, be sure that whatever you have applied has completely dried or been absorbed.
Even everyday household chemicals can damage or discolour precious metals and gold alloys and may harm delicate and coloured gems. Pearls or other porous gems become less durable once their surfaces have been compromised.
Store Your Jewellery With Care
You need to store your jewellery safely when you go to sleep. Cotton bed sheets may wear down the prongs on your ring over time, as cotton is a natural buffer for precious metals.
Jewellery should rest on a satin cushion, stored in a satin pouch, kept safe within the box you received it in, or hung separately on a jewellery rack. Never store your jewellery on countertops, in drawers or in a jewellery box piled together with other jewellery.
What Makes Proper Jewellery Care So Important
When a stone is referred to as "hard" or "soft," it is typically in relation to its rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale. The Mohs hardness scale is a quantitative measurement that indicates how resistant a stone is to scratching. Harder stones can damage and scratch the surface of softer stones.
Stones classified as "hard" are those that rank in the upper half of the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds have the highest score on the scale. Other stones, including both precious and semiprecious stones, range from 9 (very hard) to 1 (very soft, e.g. soapstone or talc).
Because the Mohs hardness scale only measures scratch resistance, it is important to remember that the Mohs scale does not reveal a stone's other attributes, such as natural impurities or its softness or porousness.
Understanding The Properties Of Precious Stones And Metals When Cleaning
Even if not visible to the naked eye, stones like pearl, opal, turquoise, amber, coral and onyx reveal a porous surface when examined under the microscope. For this reason, stones need specialised or professional cleaning and polishing; soaking them in water results in residue build-up. Over time residue may cause stones to fracture.
Understanding the properties and characteristics of precious metals and stones is imperative to understanding how they should be cleaned. For that reason, cleaning and polishing should usually be left to an expert, or at least as per the advice and consultation of a professional jeweller.
But, of course, home care is still possible and necessary. The safest home cleaning practice is using a jewellery polishing cloth to gently clean any tarnish or visible residue.
Professional Jewellery Maintenance And Repair
Lastly, if you notice missing or lifted prongs or find that jewellery or stones seem to be catching on clothing, this is a good indication that there is an imperfection that needs to be seen to.
James Thredgold is a leading South Australian jeweller specialising in individually handcrafted custom engagement rings, as well as remodelling, maintenance and repairs. For Adelaide jewellery design or repair, get in touch with our Norwood Boutique. For all enquiries, contact 08 8431 9141.