Jewelry Care and Cleaning
Taking care of gemstone jewelry can be pretty simple. Most gemstone jewelry cleaning can be done at home. Before you clean your jewelry yourself, inspect the jewelry to make sure that there are no loose stones. If you find any loose stones, do not clean the ring. Put the ring in a safe container and bring it in to a jeweler you trust. Cleaning a ring with loose stones may make the gemstones even looser and may result in the gemstones coming out of the ring.
Jewelry stores usually have the same type of cleaner that is sold or given to their customers. It is a basic soapy solution without alcohol, or ammonia. Simply allow your jewelry to soak in the solution for a few minutes. If the you are unable to see the gemstones from underneath the ring, you may want to let the ring soak for a few minutes longer. This will allow the items that may be hard to clean out of the ring to soften enough to be brushed out with a soft brush like a tooth brush. Ruby, diamond, and sapphire (remember red, white and blue) jewelry in platinum or any color gold can stay in a basic cleaning solution for a long time (over-night). All other stones are considered too porous to remain in a cleaning solution for too long. Rinse the jewelry in room temperature water and re-inspect the jewelry. Stones may have been loose before it was worn and got dirty. The removal of the dirt can leave spaces where the stones may be loose. It is best if the cleaning solution and the rinse water are both room temperature. If the jewelry has scratches that need buffing, it is recommended to allow a professional jeweler to polish those areas out. Depending on what metal your gemstone jewelry is in, may require a professional jeweler more often. Yellow and rose gold jewelry are solid through the entire product. White gold, usually requires an additional step called rhodium to add the bright white luster associated with white gold. Some antique white gold jewelry will not require rhodium, as it was made with more nickel. Today, we limit the amount of nickel in jewelry due to allergic reactions. Platinum is not plated but its unique characteristics require a professional jeweler to polish the scratches out.
Depending on the gemstones in your jewelry, it may be time to replace some of the gemstones. Rings and bracelets with gemstones get more wear and tear than other types of jewelry. If you were them often and you have had them for many years, it is possible that some of the gemstones will show sign of wear on the facets and the top most part of the gemstone. If it is a large gemstone, it may be possible for it to be polished a lapidary. This is far less expensive than replacing some larger gemstones. The smaller gemstones are the ones that may need to be replaced.
Over time the metal prongs holding the gemstones in a ring will start to wear down. Most people will get the tips redone after 10 years.
Earrings are usually cleaned at home with very little need to take them to a jeweler.
Pendants are usually cleaned at home with very little need to take them to a jeweler. Pendants usually have wear and tear on the chain. If the pendant is about 10 years old, it may need repair work in the bail, where the chain slide though. Depending on how thin the chain is, it may stretched. This is very common. It may be time to replace the chain.
Larger necklaces may be harder to clean at home. It may be necessary to bring it to a jeweler because they will have larger cleaning containers.
Depending on the style it may need specific repairs. Some bracelets will need the clasp tightened after wearing a few years or longer. Gemstone link bracelets may have wear or stretching in the pins that connect the links. The links that are closest to the clasps are usually in need of repair first.