Jewelry and gem careis a timely subject to review just after many have received jewelry gifts
Jewelry and gem care techniques
and machines vary... depending on the metal - and the gems - in the jewelry piece.
While these new pieces will not require cleaning for a
while, proper handling and storage should always be practiced.
Your other jewelry pieces should be cleaned at home on
occasion, and professionally cleaned and inspected periodically. How often? The
more you wear them, the more they need cleaning.
For gold pieces with diamonds...
The most common method is to use a commercial jewelry
soaking and cleaning solution such as Hagerty or Connoisseur.
These blue, green, or pink cleaning solutions are generally available from a
local jewelry store.
Jewelry and gem care solutions
like these usually come with a soaking tray and a soft bristle brush. Be sure to
read and follow the direction that accompany the solution. When brushing a
piece, do it over a towel on the counter. You don't want to drop a loose stone
down the drain.
Some people make their own solution. You can read more
about that in My
very first newsletter. Some people advocate using products such as denture
cleaner, Alke-Seltzer, or Windex.
Jewelry and gem care solutions
that are advertised as environmentally friendly "green" have appeared
on the market In recent years
Jewelers routinely use an ultrasonic cleaning machine (top
photo), and then a steamer. Home-use steamers are now available
The iridescent nacre (outer) layer of a pearl is soft, and
requires gentle cleaning and handling.
Clean pearls with a soft, lint free cloth and a solution
of warm water and mild soap (no ammonia or detergent).
Put your pearls on last. Makeup, oils, creams, and perfume
can damage pearls. Store your pearls so that they do not come into contact with
Amber, opal, jade, and other porous stones
These stones can be cleaned using methods
similar to pearls. Turquoise, lapis, onyx, and probably coral also fall into
Some colored gems are sensitive to ultrasonic
machine cleaning. Apatite, aquamarine, emerald, diopside, kunzite, and tanzanite
are the most common in jewelry. You will find a more complete listing on the Gem
Care Guide page.
We have written several newsletter articles
on this subject in the past that you may want to review for additional tips and
The Chlorine Attack article is interesting and important.
Chlorine can eat and damage metal. This can degrade the appearance of your
jewelry... and can cause gems to
become loose, or even lost.
I do not recommend storing your jewelry in a jewelry
chest... it seems to be a ready-to-go package for a thief. I like a drawer as I
describe in the Jewelry Storage newsletter.
You can wrap silver and other pieces that rend to tarnish
in jewelers (anti-tarnish) tissue, available from jeweler supplies houses. As
you can see, it comes in long rolls.
A Google search using the search box below
and the keyword phrase jewelry cleaning supplies
will show you a number
of links and ads.
Gem Industry News...
Retail Jewelry Gloom
2008 will be remembered as the year the world economy spiraled down tin a
"crisis of confidence" as the months went by.
A number of major retailers have elected to go our of business as a result of
having seen their expenses swell, and their cash flow wither.
Retail jewelry chains and long-established family jewelry stores are not
immune to this business environment. Many will hold farewell GOB's (Going Out of
Business Sales) now that the Christmas season is over.
We Thank You
In contrast we've had a good season, and a successful year.
Our ability to buy gem rough directly from the miners and aggregators allows
us to have the gems cut and offered to our customers at exceedingly low prices.
We appreciate your patronage!
Our thanks also goes to our dealers. Your success brings success to all of
Now is the time to take a week to recharge... before you begin thinking of
replenishing your depleted inventory.
And then the Tucson Gem Shows are only a month away.
Also, Valentine's Day is coming.
If this business wasn't so enjoyable, it could turn into work.