Diamonds may last forever, but every piece of fine jewelry can use some special care to stay looking brand-new!

General Care: Make It Last!

Be sure to remove your pieces before participating in heavy physical activities such as sports, gardening, cleaning the house or using chemicals. Even lotions, perfume, hairspray, perspiration, and swimming pool chemicals can damage and discolor some gemstones and precious metals, such as gold, silver and platinum. Many household cleaners contain ammonia and other ingredients, which may be harmful and can permanently damage gold alloys and precious gems.

Keep it safe from scratches, storing your pieces in velvet-lined jewelry boxes or pouches will prevent scratches on your gems, silver and gold.

Extreme heat or extreme cold can fracture a gem. While not wearing your jewelry, keep your items out of direct sunlight. High heat and ultra-violet rays can both easily remove the natural moisture from some gems (such as opal, emerald, amber, pearls, amethyst and kunzite), causing them to crack or discolor. For instance color-fading may occur if left out near a daylight window.

Sterling Silver

When not being worn, keep your Sterling Silver in an air-tight plastic baggie to prevent tarnishing. The item should be thoroughly dry, and any excess air should be expelled from the baggie before sealing. This is the best prevention against tarnish, which is the natural oxidation of silver reacting to the air (oxygen, sulfur, and pollution). Even sterling silver with rhodium plating will eventually tarnish. Anti-tarnish tissues or pads can be added to the baggie for even better results. Avoid ammonia and chlorine; these chemicals will advance the tarnishing reaction.

Tarnish can be removed with a mild “silver” cleaning solution. We carry the Connoisseurs brand, designed especially for jewelry. Keep in mind — the solution will only remove tarnish, it will not polish your pieces. You will need to use a polishing cloth for this. A good polishing cloth will polish both gold and silver, and will have two sides: a “coarse” side to remove light scratches and tarnish, and a “fine” side to brighten your silver or gold.

Most sterling items can be submerged right into the silver cleaning jar, and you will be able to see the tarnish disappear after a few seconds. If you have a stubborn tarnish stain, use a cotton swab to rub it off. NEVER leave your jewelry in any cleaner for more than a few minutes. ALWAYS rinse in water to neutralize the solution, then pat dry before storing your items.

Please keep in mind — some gemstones can be permanently damaged by silver cleaning solutions, such as pearls, opals, amber, mother of pearl, shell, peridot, and others. If you aren’t sure, Please simply give us a call! Our courteous and professional staff will be happy to help with your questions.

Pearls, Pearls, Pearls

First things first: pearls are one of the most delicate gems, because they are composed of organic materials. They should be the last thing you put on, and the first thing you take off. Hairspray, perfume, makeup, and perspiration can harm, or even destroy the nacre (luster) of pearls. Once the natural nacre has worn off, the pearls cannot be restored.

Pearls are strung on thin silk strands which can weaken, stretch, or discolor over time. Consequently, anyone who wears pearl strands regularly should, in fact, have them restrung every two years. To clean pearls, gently wipe them with a damp cloth and pat dry. NEVER soak a pearl strand in water; this will stretch out and weaken the silk cord.

Sands Company Jewelers has been caring for jewelry for over 28 years. If you have any questions about cleaning your jewelry, please give us a call.

And remember, we will professionally clean and inspect your fine jewelry absolutely free.