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Simon Curwood Jewellers: Jewellery care guide

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Simon Curwood Jewellers: Jewellery care guide

At Simon Curwood Jewellers we want your jewellery to last a lifetime – that’s why we’ve provided the following tips on care, cleaning and maintenance to help keep your special jewellery pieces in great condition.

General care

All fine jewellery, and especially rings with delicate stone settings and bands, should be worn mindfully to protect them from damage such as knocks, scrapes, and catches on clothing and edges.  Even relatively small knocks can cause metal to bend and distort, potentially dislodging your gemstones from their settings; and create scratches and scrapes on the metal or gemstones.

To prevent damage and loss of gemstones, we recommend that you take care otherwise do not wear your fine jewellery whilst doing housework, manual labour such as gardening and DIY projects, or while exercising with weights, swimming, or playing sport.  

All precious metals and even non-precious metals such as titanium, zirconium and stainless steel can be easily scratched, and it is common for rings, bracelets, and bangles to get scuff marks, dents, and surface scratches through everyday wear. Common dirt and dust can easily scratch precious metals, and even rubbing with paper can cause scuffs and scratches. Fortunately, all precious metals can be polished and re-finished by a jeweller to restore their lustre.

We also recommend avoiding contact with chemicals such as make-up, bath soap, body lotions, hair products, perfumes, and harsher chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, and general cleaning products. These can cause your jewellery to become dull; they can erode gemstones and sometimes tarnish the metal.

Gemstones should be protected from prolonged exposure to direct heat and light, as this can cause them to fade or lose their intensity of colour. Brittle gemstones such as emerald, tanzanite, topaz and opal should only be cleaned using gentle methods, and never in an ultrasonic cleaner.

We recommend that finer link chains and bracelets be removed before sleeping, to avoid catches and pulls which can cause the links and fittings to stretch or break. To help protect your jewellery and gemstones from scratches and scuffs, we recommend that each piece be stored separately in its original box, or in a soft fabric-lined jewellery box that has a dedicated compartment for each piece.  Metals can scratch other metals, gemstones can scratch metal and other gemstones, and diamonds can scratch almost everything – so it is best to store them all separately from each other. 

General cleaning

Simon Curwood Jewellers recommend that all fine jewellery be regularly cleaned to maintain the lustre of the metal and brilliance of the gemstones. Fine jewellery and gemstones are natural attractors of oils, dirt, and dust. This means that your natural body oils and acids can ‘coat’ your gemstones and metal, which causes dirt and dust to build up and make the jewellery look lifeless and dull.

For most jewellery, a simple 5-minute soak in lukewarm water with a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent can brighten the metal and gemstones; and may help loosen debris caught in the gemstone settings and the undercarriage of rings. A soft baby’s toothbrush can be used to gently dislodge stubborn oils and debris trapped within the harder-to-reach areas. Rinse the jewellery with clean lukewarm water and allow to air-dry if possible, before polishing with a soft dry cloth.

An interesting point to note is that common dirt and dust can scratch some gemstones that are lower on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, so gemstones should be washed before gently polishing with a cloth. An exclusion to the water-washing method is any jewellery set with opals, pearls, and other porous gemstones – these should be gently wiped clean with a soft cloth only. We recommend having your jewellery buffed and/or cleaned ultrasonically in-store at least every 3 months to keep it looking its best.  This is a complimentary service for our clients at SCJ. 

Maintenance

It is recommended that you have your jewellery inspected every 6 months for signs of wear, damage, or loose gemstones; this applies especially to fine stone settings or filigree details, chain links and clasps. Stone settings like claws can easily become bent or worn down over time so regular inspection is necessary to prevent further damage or loss of gemstones.

Clasps and fittings on chains and bracelets can also become worn or bent with normal wear and should also be checked often. Our master jeweller can also inspect, perform maintenance repairs, and professionally polish your jewellery in our workshop to restore its original shine and sparkle. 

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