| With proper care, precious jewellery should last for decades and bring you years of pleasure. The following tips list practical steps for you to achieve this:|
1. Beauty products can affect jewellery. That little spray of perfume or hairspray can discolour gold or make pearls turn yellow. Put jewellery on after you have used your cosmetics and sprays.
2. Take off your jewellery, especially rings, when doing household chores or gardening. They could become damaged by knocking out stones or coming into contact with abrasive materials, which discolour metal.
3. Settings can get clogged up with soap and hand cream. Take jewellery off before washing hands and using cream.
4. Heat and hot water can loosen settings where an adhesive has been used. Pearl rings, earrings and pendants have this type of setting so be careful with them.
5. Don't wear too many chains at any one time, they will tangle and rub off one another causing damage.
6. Wear jewellery as much as possible as this keeps the metal bright.
7. Clean your jewellery periodically. An old soft toothbrush is ideal to get into any difficult nooks and crannies with warm soapy water or purchase jewellery cleaning fluid from your jeweller. See 'Cleaning' below for detailed information.
To minimise jewellery rubbing against each other, use a jewellery box with different compartments or better still, keep them in their individual boxes. Diamonds scratch jewellery, so keep individual pieces wrapped up or separate them. Chains constantly knot together but don't tug them. The best way to detangle them is to use a pin and be gentle when separating them.
Regularly clean your jewellery to keep it in tiptop condition, at least once a month. When cleaning jewellery use the proper manufactured solution which can be bought from most jewellery outlets or dip them in a bowl with warm soapy water giving them a gentle stir and finishing off with an old soft toothbrush. Dry them with a soft cloth. Do not poke about under stones as this can dislodge them from settings. Hard stones (diamond, garnets, sapphires, rubies and amethysts) can be dipped and scrubbed with a toothbrush. Amber can be cleaned as long as it is dried straight away. Pearls, jade, jet, lapis, emeralds, opals and turquoise soak up liquid so they should not be dipped.
Many jewellers offer cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner - a metal tank containing cleaning liquid with an electric charge passed through it, vibrating the trunk, thus shaking out dirt and debris.