We all love to add gemstones to our jewellery collection and gemstone pieces can last a lifetime, or even longer. However, we probably all have gemstone jewellery that we have loved to pieces, literally. There are a few things to bear in mind when wearing and storing your gemstone and sterling silver pieces. Here are some handy do’s, don’t’s and tips that will ensure you can go on wearing your favourite jewellery for longer.
General Care Tips
- Avoid stretching your jewellery or putting it under too much force or strain.
- Do not spray perfume or hairspray onto or near your jewellery. Keep it away from strong detergents, bleach or chlorine. Remove jewellery before swimming or cleaning.
- Protect your jewellery from moisture. Do not soak your jewellery, don’t leave it in the bathroom, or store in damp conditions.
- Most gemstones can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush or cloth, then carefully dried. Never soak them.
- Ideally, jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.
- Where possible, store your jewellery in the box or pouch it came in. Chains are best stored hanging or draped around card.
For most gemstone jewellery this is all you need to keep in mind but there are some special care gems…
Opals have magic hidden right inside them. Sure, there is some sciencey explanation for all that colour and sparkly but it sure looks like magic to me. To keep this magic alive it is best not to soak opals. You can clean them, as described above, but avoid prolonged contact with moisture.
Pearls are probably the most delicate material used in precious jewellery. Unlike other gems, they are not a stone but are made up of layers of a natural substance called Nacre.
Pearls look better when they are worn frequently. The oils from your skin nourish the pearls and enhance their lustre. Wear them and enjoy them to keep them beautiful.
Avoid scratching pearls and try not to get them wet. They may come from the sea but pearls are porous and can be damaged by moisture. Avoid all contact with perfume and hairspray.
Abalone (Paua Shell)
Just like opals, abalone shell also contains magic, putting on a flashy show of colour and shine. Similar care should be taken to avoid getting abalone wet as it will dull its sheen and could cause delamination and that would be such a shame.
Most gemstone treatments are hardy and will not effect how you care for the gemstone. Try to avoid scratching treated gemstones and follow the general care tips above and your treated gem should remain looking as good as new (even the ancient ones).
Caring For Sterling Silver
- Silver may tarnish over time – use a soft silver cleaning cloth to clean it. Avoid soaking in silver cleaner, use a cloth instead.
- Wearing silver will help prevent tarnishing.
- Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal and can weaken or break if the necessary care isn’t taken.
- Modern sterling silver can usually be identified by a .925 stamp, often on the clasp, which refers to the purity (92.5%) of the silver. Fine Silver (usually 99% purity) is often softer and should be cared for in the same way.
Place the tangled chain in the palm of your hand (or other flat surface) and use your fingers to gently loosen any knots or tangles. You may find this easier if the clasp is undone. Do not pull too hard and do not hold the chain up until it is untangled as gravity will worsen knots and tangles.