Rubies-An Overview
Rubies, which are the birthstone for July, actually fall into the family of minerals. Other closel...
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How to Care for Jewelry

The purchase of fine jewelry is an investment and as such should be cared for carefully. While some commercial jewelry cleaners are fine for certain types of jewelry and gemstones they are not appropriate for all types of jewelry. Before making a mistake that could result in severe damage to your fine jewelry be sure to find out how specific types of gemstones and jewelry should be cared for.

Diamonds are one of the most durable of all gems; however, you need to make sure you care for them on a routine basis to make sure they maintain their brilliance. Avoid any products containing chlorine when wearing diamond jewelry as it is known to discolor and damage the mounting. Diamond jewelry can be cleaned with a commercial jewelry cleaner.

Pearls must be cared for like the precious jewels they are. Be aware that pearls are naturally very delicate and as such are very susceptible to damage. Always make sure you apply cosmetics, perfume and hair spray prior to putting on your pearl jewelry. As it is impossible to keep some of these substances from transferring to your jewelry while wearing it, when you remove it, make sure you wipe it carefully with a soft cloth.

Peals can be cleaned with water and mild soap. Be aware that pearls should not be cleaned with any type of chemicals, solvents or abrasives. This can result in damage to your pearls. Pearls should also be handled carefully to avoid damage. The surface of a pearl can be very easily scratched. When not in use, store your pearl jewelry in a soft bag or wrap them in tissue. You should also know that simple ordinary wear can result in stretching or weakening the threads on which your pearls are strung. Once a year your pearls should be brought to your jeweler for restringing. A knot should be placed between each pearl to prevent loss of the pearls in the event the string does break.

Opal jewelry must also be carefully cleaned. Commercial jewelry cleaner should not be used on opals. You should also avoid any chemicals or harsh abrasives. Ideally, opal jewelry should not be subjected to or placed in water. Remove your opal jewelry when bathing, showering, swimming and doing the dishes. Water, over time, can damage your opal and cause it to lose its fire. The best way to clean your opal is to rub is carefully with a soft toothbrush (no toothpaste applied) and follow-up with a dab of olive oil. The oil will prevent your opal from drying.

Emeralds are also very susceptible to damage and should be cleaned carefully to avoid any problems. Emeralds should not be subjected to any chemicals, including hair products such as perm solution or hair spray. Make sure you apply cosmetics and hair products before putting on your emerald jewelry. Furthermore, emeralds should not be subjected to extreme temperature changes, particularly cold temperatures. A good quality commercial jewelry cleaner can be used on emerald jewelry as long as the emerald is soaked for only a very short period of time. The emerald should be dried carefully and wiped with a soft cloth.

Over time, silver jewelry can oxidize. If you take the time to properly maintain your silver jewelry it will only improve with age; however. Silver should be cleaned using a solution of water and mild soap, then patted dry. If you have difficulty removing dirt, only a commercial jewelry cleaner specified for silver should be used. You can help to reduce tarnish on your silver jewelry by storing it in a location that is cool and dry. It is also a good idea to wrap your silver jewelry in a soft piece of cloth or even in a special tarnish-preventive jewelry bag. Do not allow your silver jewelry to be exposed to air and light as this can result in tarnish.

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