The biggest thing you have to remember when you clean your own jewelry is that each piece may require a different type of cleaning. For example, hand forged Damascus isn't going to require the same type of cleaning as sterling silver. Even various gemstones have their own needs depending on how hard or soft they are. Here you can learn some of the basics when it comes to cleaning your jewelry so you don't accidentally create flaws, which can lead to a decrease in value.
Check for Breaks
Before you even start getting the cleaning supplies out, check for any breaks in the bands or links of metal pieces. Next, inspect pendants, rings, and other settings for any kind of loose prongs. A loose prong can cause you to lose a gem during the cleaning process. If you see any indication of any of the issues mentioned here, take your item to a professional to be repaired. On the positive side, jewelry is normally cleaned when it gets repaired, depending on the type of repair.
Know Your Metals
Different metals respond differently to chemicals and equipment. Gold for example, is a soft metal, so you want to avoid using any kind of abrasives on it. Platinum is harder, but still requires some consideration. Both of these metals can be cleaned in warm water with a bit of dish soap. Silver is a whole other story.
When it comes to cleaning silver, you'll need something to remove the tarnish. You can buy chemicals made just for that, or you can use some common kitchen items.
- Line a bowl with aluminum foil.
- Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Pour boiling water over the mixture.
- Drop the item in the mixture and allow it to cool.
- Remove the item and pat it dry.
Some jewelry doesn't even need to be cleaned because it's an ongoing process. Consider pearls and mother of pearl. The more you wear them, the cleaner they become. Unlike other items that need to have your body oil removed from them, pearls do better with it. Combine the friction of your skin touching the pearls with your body oils and you'll get a polished pearl that never needs to be cleaned in any other way.
William Henry has taken on the task of turning tools into jewelry. It all started when the first pocket knife design came out looking more like a piece of art than a tool. Now William Henry provides men's jewelry as well as functional decorative items. Visit the official William Henry site at: www.williamhenry.com.