3 jewellery-care tips

July 29, 2015

Rings, cameos and other jewellery are often some of our most cherished possessions, and are part of the legacy we hand down. It takes just a little care and know-how to keep your precious pieces in pristine condition.

3 jewellery-care tips

1. Polish your jewellery

  • Most modern jewellery can be safely cleaned using a mild soap-and-water solution and a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth (even soft brushes can cause scratches on silver).
  • Don't use hard water, though; it can cause discolouration or leave mineral deposits.
  • Make sure to clean jewellery over a mat or a towel so that it will catch any stones that may come loose. Antique jewellery should never be cleaned with water.
  • Rather, use a soft, dry paintbrush or chamois to remove dirt and dust. Heavily-soiled jewellery should be professionally cleaned.

2. Keep claw settings away from water

  • Do not wet rings or other pieces of jewellery with claw settings.
  • Claws are tiny prongs that hold a stone in place, and on pieces with claws, water can seep into small crevices and cause corrosion.
  • Many antique jewellery pieces with claw settings also use adhesives to set the stones; immersing them in water can soften or disintegrate the glues, resulting in lost gemstones.
  • Have loose stones reglued by a jeweller.

3. Condition a cameo

  • As shell cameos age, they can develop cracks or discolouration due to changes in the weather or very dry conditions.
  • But you can keep your cameos in great shape by moisturizing them once or twice a year.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the cameo in warm water mixed with a bit of mild soap (such as Ivory liquid).
  • Rinse immediately and thoroughly pat dry.
  • Once the residual water has evaporated, apply some oil of wintergreen or mineral oil to the cameo using your finger, a soft cloth, or a cotton swab.
  • Be sure to coat both the front and back surfaces. Let the oil soak in for several hours or overnight; then wipe off any excess.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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