Advice & Guides
All jewellery needs a bit of TLC from time to time, and certain pieces will require a little more careful consideration. We’ve created a guide on how to care for your jewellery, including how to clean your precious pieces, where to store them and how to prevent them from damage. In no time, you’ll understand how to encourage your jewellery to truly sparkle and stand the test of time.
The best thing you can do for your jewellery is clean it regularly, as with anything else, maintenance is key.
A way of bringing a new lease of life to all your jewellery favourites is to use good old fashioned lukewarm fairy liquid water and a toothbrush with soft bristles so not to scratch soft metal or stones. This is an effective way to relieve any piece of jewellery of built-up dirt in the settings and bring back its beautiful sparkle.
Drying your jewellery after it’s been cleaned is also important, and should be done with care. A soft cloth is ideal, especially on embellishments, or a hairdryer on a low heat setting can also work wonders. Drying it properly will prevent water marks forming on the metal or stones.
Everyone has been guilty of throwing their jewellery on the dressing table at the end of the day. But to prevent damage or scratches, jewellery should be stored away safely. Pearls and opals especially tend to draw in moisture from the air, so need to be stored in a cool dry environment. The soft cushioned boxes that jewellery comes in is an ideal storage option, however, if you no longer have the gift box then a beautiful jewellery box to house all of your pieces is a worthwhile investment.
Light and heat can have a negative effect on gemstones. For example, gems like opal can darken when exposed to too much light, and both amethyst and topaz can fade if unprotected from direct sun. This is why it’s important your jewellery is not stored out in the open in direct sunlight, like on the windowsill.
Checking the claws of your jewellery is very important, especially if you have large stones. Over time, everyday life can naturally take its toll, and cause claws to lift slightly, making stones loose, or worst case, lost. A way to check the claws of your treasured pieces is by sweeping your finger across them - if it feels smooth your claws are secure, and vice versa: if they feel raised, they may require tweaking by your jeweller. Note, if your jewellery piece features softer stones like emeralds, it’s also important that the claws are not too tight.
White gold is made from yellow gold with added alloys of palladium for a whiter gleam, and rhodium plating gives a dazzling silver mirror-like look. It’s important to remember this if you treasure a beautiful white gold piece of jewellery, as over time the rhodium plating will fade to reveal a yellowish tinge. This, however, can easily be fixed by having your piece replated every two years, or when necessary. Find out more about metal in our precious metal guide.
If your ring is set with diamonds or gemstones, you should handle with care and pick it up by the shank. This will stop the natural oils from your hands building up in and around the stone’s setting.
It’s also good to be aware that diamonds can chip. To prevent this, take your diamond jewellery off when doing manual chores like heavy lifting as this can bend the stone’s setting. The pressure of such activity can also change the shape of a ring’s shoulders and shank. For softer gemstone jewellery, it’s best to leave them safely at home if you know that you’ll be taking part in physical tasks.
If you’re ever unsure of the condition or care of a jewellery item, it’s worth taking it in jewellers for a yearly ‘check-up’. They’ll be able to evaluate the condition of everything, from the claws to the mount, to make sure the jewellery is in its best state. .
Where possible, it’s important to keep your jewellery away from chemicals to avoid discolouration. These chemicals include everyday self-care products like hairspray, perfumes and lotions, which can react to your precious pieces, especially pearls. So it’s good to store them in a jewellery box and also avoid wearing them when applying products. Also, chemicals like those in household cleaning products, including bleach, should be avoided when cleaning jewellery as it can damage some metals and dull gemstones. Chlorine is also a damaging chemical, so it’s best to avoid swimming with your jewellery on.
It’s likely that your gemstone will be heat or chemically treated in order to promote the colour and clarity. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of heat, steam and various solvents as they could affect your gemstones sparkle. There’s usually information on this provided when purchased.
If you make yourself aware of all of these jewellery care steps, your precious pieces can sparkle forever more. At Browns, we offer a free cleaning service, so don’t hesitate to bring back your beautiful purchase for some extra TLC. And don’t forget, we’re here to help if you need any advice on how to maintain your precious jewellery.