How To Maintain Your Gold Jewelry
Your gold jewelry is of crucial importance to you for both its market worth and its sentimental value. Therefore it’s vital to care for it so that it will stay in good condition for your lifespan and as heirlooms for generations to come. Here are some tips to make sure your jewelry remains as new as it was when you brought it home.
When protecting your jewelry, it helps to prevent damage in the first place. You can do this by removing it before doing potentially damaging tasks such as bathing, showering, gardening, cleaning, or playing sports. You might think that showering would be harmless, or even helpful to keep your pieces clean, but the chemicals and soap can result in duller gold over time. The chlorine in swimming pools can also discolor gold, so it’s important to remove your items before submerging.
To shine up your gold periodically, it’s easy to buff it with a chamois cloth. Don’t use tissue paper or paper towels, as these can cause scratches. Cleaning is simple with a small amount of mild dishwashing detergent and warm water. Hot water should be avoided, as it can cause a reaction with cleaning agents and cause discoloration. Using ammonia to clean is somewhat controversial, with different sources having opposite opinions. Dish detergent is generally agreed upon as an acceptable choice. Don’t clean damaged jewelry, or pieces in need of repair, as this can exacerbate existing problems. Dip each item into the soapy water, one piece at a time. Rub it gently with a very soft cloth. If it is heavily ornamented and has many nooks and crannies, you may need to use a soft-bristled child’s toothbrush to get into them, but be sure to do this carefully and slowly. Rinse your gold gingerly with warm water until the water runs clear and there are no more visible suds. Polish and buff your item with a soft piece of fabric (such as chamois) before putting it away or wearing it.
Storing your pieces is also important for maintenance and preservation. As scratches and abrasions are commonly harmful to gold, it’s vital to store items separately so that they don’t rub up against each other. The best option is fabric lined jewelry boxes, but a shoebox lined with fabric can also work. Anti-tarnish strips placed among your items can help prevent damage by tarnishing. Keep a running list of your pieces and their value in the event of theft or loss.
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Chloe is has over 25 years of experience dealing with precious metals and stones. You can find her thoughts at: livejournal blog.