Jewelry Care Instruction

Jewelry is often an investment and, for many people, has a great sentimental value attached to the pieces. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your jewelry to make sure they look its best for years to come. Whether you are trying to clean a diamond engagement ring, a cherished pearl necklace, or a gold bracelet, follow our guide and take care of your jewelry with confidence.

Every piece of ColibriGold jewelry is made with care from high-quality precious metals and natural or lab-created gemstones. Our fine jewelry is made of 14k and 18k gold. These metals will not oxidize or discolor with proper care. 

To keep your jewelry’s brilliance, learn what to avoid and how to care for your precious metals, diamonds, and natural gemstones with the following instructions from this document.

The thing about jewelry is that even the most precious of metals will eventually lose their shine. Over time, all jewelry may begin to look tarnished and old-fashioned. Deposits of debris and daily grime can cause gemstones to look dull and dirty.

Following jewelry care, best practices can preserve the life of your jewelry and keep it looking great for many years. 

Here are a few of the jewelry care tips to help you maintain the stunning appeal of your fine jewelry and preserve them in the best condition possible.

Cleaning Gold

It doesn’t take long for gold jewelry to lose its shine. Fingerprints and a daily build-up of dirt can quickly dull even the brightest gold. Thankfully, we have some tips to help you to get it shining once again.

If the gold jewelry has gemstones or pearls, please be extra careful when cleaning the piece. Check out the rest of the guide for how best to clean the individual gems so that you don’t cause any damage to the jewelry.

A cleaning solution designed exclusively for jewelry is a safe option, but make sure any solution is intended for the correct precious metal or gemstone. If in doubt, it is best to stick to using the following steps:

  • Add a few drops of washing-up liquid (or other mild degreasing solution) to a lukewarm water bowl. Extreme temperature changes may damage the jewelry, so avoid hot or ice-cold water.
  • Soak the jewelry for ten minutes to loosen any build-up of dirt.
  • Gently clean with a soft-bristled brush such as an unused toothbrush.
  • Make sure to clean the whole piece of jewelry and get into hard-to-reach places while being extra careful when cleaning fragile parts of the jewelry (for example, at a stone’s setting).
  • Rinse thoroughly in clean water to remove soap residue and any other remnants of dirt.
  • Dry gently with a lint-free cloth or leave on a cloth to air dry.

Gold is a very soft metal that is susceptible to scratching. Remember this fact during the cleaning and drying process and be as gentle as possible.

Cleaning Silver

Silver is subject to tarnishing over time, resulting in dull or even black jewelry. Tarnishing occurs when silver is exposed to oxygen and sulfur in the air. It is unavoidable, but, thankfully, it doesn’t damage the metal and can be removed easily with cleaning.

How to prevent tarnishing:

Simply wearing your silver jewelry will slow the process of tarnishing. Being careful with how you store and wear the silver will also help reduce the speed of tarnishing.

·       Remove silver rings and bracelets when washing your hands. Residue from soap and hand gels can result in a dull surface.

·       Keep silver jewelry in separate airtight bags.

·       Avoid humid environments.

However, when the metal begins to look dull or starts to turn black, it is time to get the cleaning products out to get the jewelry looking like new.

How to clean silver:

The simplest way to clean silver is to buy a specialist cleaning solution or cloth. There are numerous examples on the market. Just make sure that they have been specifically designed for cleaning silver. Silver cleaning cloths should be soft and infused with anti-tarnishing agents.

If you don’t have specialist cleaners at home, then do not fear as there are household options to get your silver shining. A bowl of lukewarm water and a few drops of washing-up liquid will help remove tarnishing.

·       Soak the silver jewelry for ten minutes in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of washing-up liquid.

·       Gently scrub the silver with a soft, clean brush.

·       Rinse in clean, warm water.

·       Leave to air dry.

For more stubborn tarnishing, you can use white vinegar and water mix.

·       Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl.

·       Soak a clean toothbrush in the solution and gently brush the affected areas of silver.

·       Rise and leave to air dry.

 General Care

  • Take your jewelry off if you’re involved in any activity which could scratch, knock or damage it. If in any doubt, take it off and keep it safe.
  • Take it off when you go to bed.
  • Keep it well away from chemicals, especially chlorine. If it does come into contact with chemicals, rinse it in water immediately.
  • Bathe and apply any lotions or perfumes before you put your jewelry on. Organic gemstones like pearls and opals are particularly vulnerable to acids, even perspiration.
  • Store it separately, ideally in a soft-lined box or case, so that your favorite pieces don’t tangle, rub or scratch one another. Pearls in particular should be kept separately as they are easily scratched by hard gemstones.
  • Make sure chains and necklaces are fastened when storing to avoid tangling.
  • Remove jewelry while cooking and cleaning.
  • When storing jewelry, please keep it away from sunlight, excessive heat, or damp conditions.

Store your jewelry in a clean, dry space

This seems like an obvious tip, but at the end of the day, we’ve all been guilty of tossing our jewelry in a drawer or on the nightstand. It’s best to keep your jewelry in a fabric-lined case that has compartments and dividers for your jewelry. If you don’t have a jewelry case, make sure to wrap each piece of jewelry in soft tissue before placing it in a drawer. This will prevent scratching and tangling. For sterling silver jewelry, get an anti-tarnish bag or cloth to limit exposure to air and moisture. 

Avoid damaging chemicals

Hairspray, lotion, and perfume can be damaging to certain types of metals and colored gems. Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum are especially susceptible to discoloration from these everyday care products. When getting ready in the morning or preparing for a night out, set your jewelry aside, or better yet, leave your jewelry in its case until you’re ready to wear it. 

Use mild cleaners for regular cleanings

One of the best jewelry cleaning methods involves warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft brush. However, ultrasonic jewelry cleaning has become popular for jewelry lovers looking for a more thorough approach to cleaning their jewelry. 

If you’re considering ultrasonic cleaning, it’s best to leave your jewelry in the care of trained jewelers who understand how to use this technology safely. Ultrasonic cleaning can sometimes shake gems loose or chip gemstones if used incorrectly. Plus, organic gemstones like pearls, coral, ivory, and amber should not be cleaned ultrasonically. The same applies to gems impacted by heat and temperature changes like tanzanite, moonstone, opal, turquoise, and topaz. 

Use Home cleaning products

Your jewelry will age and tarnish naturally so if you want to keep your pieces in pristine condition, clean your jewelry regularly, using a professional jewelry cleaning product or polishing cloth provided. You can purchase these or similar home cleaning products from any jewelry shop or online. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning products. Whilst basic cleaning can be done at home, we recommend having your jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected (check your stone settings regularly) every 6 months or depending on the need. Home cleaning products do not replace professional cleaning.

When in doubt, take it off

The swimming pool isn’t an ideal place for your fine jewelry. Never go swimming wearing your jewelry, as chlorine in swimming pools can cause damage to all metals and will erode gold jewelry. Neither is the gym. Even when preparing a meal or doing household chores, it’s a good idea to store your jewelry in a safe place. Not only will this protect your treasured pieces from harsh chemicals and debris buildup, but it will also help you avoid losing your jewelry. Retrieving your ring from the bottom of a pool drain is a nightmare you should never have to experience. It is important also to take off your jewelry at night to avoid any tangle or pressure from the bedding. 

Be Mindful of Jewelry Friction

As a part of care instructions for jewelry, I want to make a special note about friction. For example, if you layer necklaces or wear rings on multiple fingers that are touching, the friction between the pieces can wear the finish off quickly. We have no control over how the jewelry is worn. Scratches and knocks are part of normal signs of everyday wear. 

Stone Sets

Stone set pieces may become loose over time with the ring either changing shape from wear and tear or the claws can lift from being snagged. Claw set pieces MUST be worn with care! If you are wearing knitted clothing or fabric gets caught between the claw and the stone it may lift the claw causing rattling of the stone. If you notice that your stone is loose or you have lost an accent stone please get in contact with us to discuss repair options. Gemstones are all on a different hardness scale. Depending on the gemstone, some can be more sensitive to scratches. Diamond is the strongest followed by sapphire and ruby. If a minor scratch does occur, it can be polished out in most cases. The gemstone’s hardnesses are classified based on Moh’s Scale. Read more about understanding the durability of gemstones. Do not clean pearls with any chemicals. 

Gemstone Cleaning

Gemstones are bought for their sparkle and color, so it’s essential to keep them looking their best. However, it is important to know what type of gem you are cleaning and how to get it back to looking like new.

For nearly all colored gemstones cleaned with warm water, a couple of drops of washing-up liquid and a soft brush will be more than adequate. Make sure to avoid hard and rigid brushes. A toothbrush is usually an excellent tool due to its head size and flexibility. If using a toothbrush, it is important to buy one labeled with a soft or extra-soft brush.

When cleaning malachite, use cool water as it is particularly sensitive to heat and hot water may damage the gemstone.

Ensure your jewelry

Accidents happen. It’s impossible to predict when disaster will strike, whether a burglar cleans out your jewelry box or a fire rips through your home leaving nothing behind. That’s why it’s always a good idea to insure your jewelry. In the tragic event something happens to your precious pieces, you have peace of mind knowing your investment is protected. A jewelry appraisal is typically one of the first steps to insuring your jewelry. You’ll need to visit a certified appraiser who can determine the value of your piece or collection. Hands Jewelers offers jewelry appraisals, and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) can also help you find a certified appraiser.