Jewellery Care and Cleaning Tips

Nothing quite sparkles like a jewel. A well-maintained jewel becomes a vintage keepsake. La Joaillerie St-Onge would like to share their advice on how best to protect your jewels.

Weekly

Wearing jewels on a daily basis means that you must take care of them. Daily exposure to the elements, i.e. perspiration, oils and salts can dull your jewels in no time. Furthermore, hand soap used on a daily basis easily embeds in the lower part of your jewels and even remains after rinsing in water.

So as to ensure that your diamonds shine at their best, we suggest you spray them with a degreasing detergent and delicately brush them (such as with a toothbrush). This cleaning process is recommended on a weekly basis. This will help alleviate the build-up of soap, dirt and dust. Subsequent to brushing, all you need do is rinse the jewel in clear water and dry it with a soft cloth. This technique is not recommended on organic stones, such as amber, pearls, coral, jade, lapis-lazuli, opals and turquoise.

If your jewel is causing runs in your stockings or if you see that a gem is loose, this means that the posts which secure each gem have moved and are no longer secure. Should this be the case, we recommend you not wear your jewels until you have them checked in our laboratory. We will then be in a position to rectify and recommend a solution.

Yearly

In order to give your jewels their original sparkle and brilliance, we suggest you come in once a year so that we may optimally clean them, remove impurities and polish them. We offer polishing and repairs right in our laboratory. When you come in for your consultation, we will ensure your jewels are still in their original state and should they be damaged, we will replace or repair the defective parts.

Gold & Platinum

Even though gold and platinum are dense metals, their wear is less than 5 on the mineral hardness scale. This means they can more easily be scratched. To maintain the shine of your jewels, it is recommended they be cleaned at least once a week with a degreasing detergent. This process will eliminate the accumulation of soap and dirt. Once your jewel has been cleaned, all you need to do is rinse it in clear water and dry it with a soft fabric cloth.

Silver

The most recommended way to clean silver is with a soft brush, soap and water followed by rinsing in clear water and dried with a soft cloth. Not wearing your silver jewellery will enhance tarnishing and oxidization. Commercial cleaning products are also available be they polishing cloths imbedded with anti-tarnishing chemicals, liquid detergents, paste or mousse applied on silverware.

Diamonds

On a scale of 1 to 10, a diamond is rated 10 for its durability. Only a diamond can scratch another diamond. One should also be aware that diamonds can damage other precious stones such as pearls and metals. Best you store your jewels individually in a soft fabric bag. Dirt and hand cream can also temporarily affect the sparkle of a diamond. By delicately cleaning your jewels with a soft brush and a degreasing detergent will ensure your diamonds retain their brilliance. Rinse in clear water and dry with a soft fabric cloth.

Pearls

Pearls are an organic product and properly maintained, they can last a century. Cultured pearls are soft and require proper care. The pearl layer is porous and can easily deteriorate. They are sensitive to oils and perspiration. Thanks to the contact with your skin, by wearing your pearls on a regular basis will keep them hydrated. Worn on a daily basis, a pearl necklace should be re-strung on a yearly basis or as soon as there are signs of wear and tear. You can clean your pearls by gently wiping them with a soft fabric cloth. To keep them protected, your pearls should be stored in a soft fabric bag away from light.

Emeralds

Due to its inclusions and fissures, an emerald is probably the most delicate precious stone. One must therefore avoid any abrupt impact, extreme variations in water temperatures and heating elements. An emerald should not come into contact with detergents as it could lose its colour and lustre.

Rubies

Rubies are not particularly fragile. In terms of hardness, they are second to diamonds.

Sapphires

Sapphires are not particularly fragile. In terms of hardness and just like rubies, they are second to diamonds.

Ultrasound Machines

It is not recommended to use an ultrasound machine for home-use. Only a professional can determine if their usage will not harm your jewels. It is imperative not to soak diamonds or precious gems which may have scratches or inclusions (most particularly emeralds) in an ultrasound machine.

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