5 Tips For Keeping Your Jewelry Sparkling

Your fine jewelry pieces are more than just a status symbol, as certain pieces, like engagement and wedding rings and family heirloom, have a sentimental value that is beyond priceless to both women and men. Tasteful pieces of jewelry will outlast fads and trends and some pieces may even be representative of a specific event or commemorate special occasions throughout the years. However, many people make the mistake of damaging their jewelry by using cleaners with harsh chemicals that are abrasive and can harm the finish of their cherished pieces.

Like any treasured possession, your jewelry needs to be cared for and looked after properly. Any piece of jewelry that is worn all day every day will eventually lose its luster and shine, and rings are particularly susceptible to damage from your daily routine. Here are five tips for keeping your jewelry sparkling:

Remove Jewelry
Remove your jewelry before bathing, applying lotion or using any personal cleaning products. While it is important to moisturize your skin every day, body lotion contains several ingredients, such as shea butter, that will cause a diamond to lose its sparkle and some precious metals to lose shine. Typically, it is best to protect all your jewelry from all chemicals found in makeup, personal cleaning products, like shampoo with additives, household cleaners, such as bleach, and even some foods.

Professional Cleaning
A professional cleaning is like giving your jewelry a makeover and is one of the most effective ways to restore its shine to like-new condition. Most jewelers will clean your pieces with a professional jewelry cleaning machine that uses ultrasonic waves to loosen and extract dirt, grime and body oils from every crack and crevice of your jewelry. Your jeweler will also inspect your pieces for any damage, to ensure all the stones are properly secured.

Home Cleaning
Cleaning your jewelry at home is also a very effective way to keep your pieces sparkling between visits to your jeweler. You can soak your ring in distilled water with a few drops of a mild liquid soap and then brush gently around the gemstones with a soft bristled toothbrush. Every few days, thoroughly clean the pieces you wear daily with a couple of drops of clarifying shampoo diluted in 1/2 cup of distilled water and the soft toothbrush. Rinse well and pat dry with a non-abrasive cloth. Never clean your jewelry with toothpaste or harsh chemicals. Alternatively, for a few dollars you can get your own ultrasonic cleaning machine and professionally clean your jewelry yourself, right at home.

Storing Your Jewelry Properly
Always store your jewelry properly, as even the most well-made pieces can sustain damage if improperly handled. As an all-too-common example, if you are in the habit of just throwing your engagement ring in together with your other diamond pieces, such as your tennis bracelet, the diamonds can actually suffer marks and even scratches from rubbing against each other. To protect your jewelry, place each individual piece in its own separate holder, the reason why you should keep the box that your pieces come in.

Refinished
Take your pieces into the jeweler to be professionally refinished, when needed. Despite all the loving care and careful cleaning you can give your jewelry, the day will come when there will be some noticeable wear and tear on your precious pieces. A professional refinishing treatment will remove the blemishes and your jewelry will once again look like it did the day you got it. Bangle-style and wide metal bracelets will especially benefit from a quality refinishing. Because refinishing your jewelry is a quite delicate and specialized process, only entrust your cherished pieces to an expert you trust, and who is insured.

Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in arts and crafts, DIY, and other handmade products. She currently writes for Indian Traders, a leading vendor of pendleton blankets and jewelry.