To look its best, jewelry should be kept clean. It also should be stored properly. Jumbling it together in a box or jewelry case invites damage. A diamond will easily nick and scratch other gems as well as metal settings. If you haven’t a proper box, wrap each piece in tissue paper.
Care should be taken also when you are wearing jewelry. Leave your good rings and your watch at home when you play tennis or golf. Screw earrings in tightly to avoid dropping them, possibly on a cement pavement. Have the settings of valuable stones and the strings of good necklaces checked periodically by your jeweler as a precaution against loss.
The cleaning of jewelry depends upon the materials of which it is made. Valuable jewelry, of precious metals and stones, loses its sparkle if it is not kept clean. Soap and dirt collect quickly on the backs of all stones and around mountings, dimming their brilliance. For cleaning, outstanding jewelers recommend hot sudsy water and a little brush. A little ammonia helps loosen dirt, but should be omitted for pearls. Scrub and pat each piece with the brush so that the bristles get into every part of the setting. Rinse in clear hot water and dry it with a soft bit of cloth or tissue paper.
Gold jewelry can be rubbed up gently with a soft piece of chamois, but go softly on gold-plated articles or the metal will be worn off. Such pieces can be replated at a moderate price when they begin to look shabby. Wash silver jewelry with soap or detergent and hot water, polish it with a good brand of silver polish, wash it again and rinse well or the tarnish will reappear quickly. Polish dry.
Stone bead necklaces (of topaz, amethyst, crystal, etc.) should be restrung frequently, especially if the beads are heavy or have sharp edges.Some experts advise having this done once a year. Investigate having them strung on fine chain.
Costume jewelry is cleaned with soap or detergent and water also, but use lukewarm water instead of hot to avoid cracking rhinestones, tinted glass, etc. Rinse in water of the same temperature. If desired, settings can be given special attention by tipping a toothpick with cotton, moistening this with alcohol and going over the stones. Work quickly. Too hot water or too long a soaking may loosen cement. Sponge plastics with mild lukewarm suds, rinse with a cloth dampened with clear lukewarm water and wipe dry. (No soaking, no hotwater, no alcohol or ammonia! )
Wooden jewelry may be wiped with a soft cloth, wrung out of cool water. Polish by rubbing it gently with the palm of your hand.
A tip from a friendly jeweler is to clean stone beads and lightly tarnished metals with dry baking soda on a brush. (This is sometimes sold as jewelry polish. )
Diamonds and pearls, among the jewels, require special attention and are treated in their own right.
Chestnut Moore, Alma. How To Clean Everything. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1952. Print – Paper Back Pg. 111
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