The World's Most Useful Gem & Jewelry
Monthly Newsletter November, 1999
Happily written by Carolyn and Fred Doyle for customers of The Dorado Company,
and other visitors to the azgem website who subscribe..
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Make Fine Jewelry Cleaner At Home
I've known several people with favorite ways of cleaning their fine jewelry. I've known people who swear by Windex straight out of the bottle. I've even known people who used Alka Seltzer in a glass of water. My favorite cleaning solution for gold, silver, and faceted gems other than emeralds is…
- 1 tablespoon of 409 or similar chlorine free cleaning product
- 1 tablespoon of household ammonia
- 3 cups of warm water… bottled, distilled, but chlorine free
Mix the ingredients well in a bowl or jar. If you are going to save and reuse the solution, use a jar that can be sealed tightly. Put a bold and secure label on the jar for safety's sake.
Special Care for…
…special jewelry. Some jewelry can be harmed by chemicals or sudden temperature changes.
- Pearls should be gently wiped clean with a soft, damp cloth. Avoid getting hair spray, perfume, or cosmetics on your pearls. Put your pearls on last.
- Use the damp cloth method for emeralds, too. Also use this method for jewelry made with wood, bone, and porous stones.
- Jewelry made with hair, feathers and similar materials should not be wetted, even with a damp cloth.
- Opals should be cleaned with a room temperature, soft, damp cloth.
Gentle Cleaning for Fine Jewelry
Start by preparing a working space. Spread a towel on a countertop near a sink, but not so close that a loosened stone could bounce into the drain. You would be surprised how far a tiny gemstone can bounce.
Soak jewelry in warm cleaning solution for 5 - 10 minutes. It's o.k. to swirl a piece of jewelry around in the solution between your fingers, but don't put it in the solution jar and shake it up. You could chip stones and otherwise damage your fine jewelry that way. After soaking, check for loose stones. Then use an old toothbrush to gently brush the piece over the towel. Try to get to the backs of faceted stones where a film seems to collect which dulls the color and sparkle of the stones. Rinse the piece in a container of warm, clean, chlorine free water. Place on the towel to thoroughly dry… or do like I do and put your wedding rings back on and go!
If you notice a stone that moves, worn prongs, or hair, fibers, or the toothbrush bristles catching under prongs, have the piece checked by a jeweler.
Keeping It Clean
You can extend the time between cleanings by…
- Not putting your finger on top of the stones when removing your rings. Grasp the ring on the sides of the shank.
- Taking your rings off to wash your hands. Some of that film comes from soap, and some from plain water.
- Taking your rings off to apply lotion. Yep, that film again!
Chlorine is bad for the metals alloyed with gold. Avoid having your jewelry come into contact with chlorine. The idea that wearing your jewelry while you work with bleach or household cleaners, swim, or enjoy the hot tub will help clean your jewelry is wrong.
We'll cover this subject in more detail next month, so until then…
…please, visit me anytime at http://www.azgem.com/coloredstones.html for a great selection of colored gems at great prices, or at http://www.azgem.com/BirthstonePromo.html for the best deal in a birthstone earring gift.
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Azgem.com is the Web presence of:
The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232
Last Updated: Wednesday, 27-Feb-2002 09:42:09 GMT-7 kjb