Caring For Jewellery

There are many factors one must keep in mind when wearing, storing and caring for jewellery. We have come up with a few ideas to keep in mond for each category.

WEARING: Chemicals and cleaning agents can damage the lustre of beads and affect stringing materials so DON’T wear jewellery in the shower, swimming pool or the ocean. Lotions, hair spray, makeup and perfume should be applied before you put on jewellery. When doing household chores especially with chemical cleaning products and water, remove your jewellery or at least wear rubber gloves. Remove your jewllery before going to bed.

STORING: Keep jewellery pieces separate when not wearing them to avoid scratches. Options are having something with separate compartments, pouches or plastic bags for each piece or using a padded jewellery roll. Some plastic bags are now available with a tarnish resistant factor useful if items have sterling or plated silver beads and findings. An advantage of plastic is that you can see what you have without having to open boxes and pouches. There are some lovely jewellery storage cases and chests available on the market but these can be pricey and take up table or floor space that may be at a premium. Whatever you use should have a soft lining. Don’t store gemstone beads or pearls in places exposed to extreme temperature changes or excessive heat

UPKEEP: Periodically, check your jewellery to see if any item needs cleaning and/or restringing. Many beads do not have a smooth drill hole. Overtime the rough edges can fray the stringing material used. Even beads strung on products such as Beadalon (wire encased in nylon) can have the outer coating of nylon fray thus exposing the wire core to water corrosion. A weak spot in jewellery is where the strung beads are attached to a clasp as there is friction at that point every time you put on and take off the item so make a point of checking this spot.

Beads strung with sterling or silver plated findings will need to be restrung when the silver tarnishes if you want to bring back the shine of the silver. The chemicals in most silver cleaning products could damage the beads. If there is a special design to the necklace or bracelet, before taking it apart, take a photo so that you are able to replicate the design. When taking something apart, do it in a tray to minimize losing beads. Pearls, gemstone and glass beads can be cleaned with warm water, a mild soap and if necessary a soft brush but remember if the jewellery is immersed in water, that could affect the stringing material. Silver beads can be cleaned with special silver cloths or tarnish remover. You could also check home made silver cleansers on google using baking soda, foil and boiling water. Some “recipes” call for vinegar and/or salt.

There are a number of commercial jewellery cleaning products available but read the fine print to make certain you are getting a product suitable to your needs.