Detailed Tips for Care and Cleaning of Fine Jewelry and Watches
Fine jewelry is meant to be worn and passed down to future generations. Taking simple steps to care for and clean your jewelry today, will help ensure that it will remain looking beautiful tomorrow. Each piece of jewelry and timepiece is individual and needs to be cared for differently. Below are detailed tips, broken down by jewelry types, to care for your precious baubles:

Top 5 Tips for Silver Jewelry Care & Longevity

Keeping your sterling silver jewelry looking beautiful for many years is easy if you follow the 5 simple steps outlined below. For more in-depth explanations of these steps, please refer to our other guides.

1. Keep them clean. It is much easier to remove tarnish and soil when it is minimal. If you allow your jewelry to become black with tarnish, it could potentially damage the metal alloy. Remember, the longer you go between cleanings, the harder it will be to restore the piece to its original luster. It’s always better to keep it clean using a polishing cloth periodically and store it in an air tight bag, like a zip-lock bag, to keep the tarnish down. Or, even better, wear your jewelry! This actually helps to retard the
growth of tarnish.

2. Always remove your jewelry before using any household cleaning products that may contain ammonia, alcohol, bleach turpentine or fingernail polish removers that contain acetone. Some of these substances can break down the metal alloys, leaving your jewelry dull or pitting the surface of your gemstones.

3. Clean your jewelry before you store it and store it in the proper manner.
See instructions on the proper storage of jewelry in our other guides. Avoid storing your sterling silver jewelry directly on wood surfaces, because wood usually contains acids that can mar the finish. DO NOT place in a cardboard box or on paper as they contain sulfur producing compounds in them that accelerate the rate of oxidation.

4. Keep tarnish to a minimum by storing your silver properly and cleaning it before they get overly tarnished. When your jewelry needs to be cleaned, follow the recommended cleaning methods outlined in our other guides.

5. Check for loose Stones or parts and have them repaired right away so you donít lose them.
With normal wear and tear, stones may loosen over time. If a stone rock in itís setting, you will need to tighten the bezel around the stone to prevent losing your precious gemstones. You can usually tighten this yourself, if you’re careful while doing it. The back of a spoon works well. Run it along the bezel to press it down on to the gemstone and tighten it again. It is always advisable to consult a local jeweler to tighten the bezel if you’re unsure if you can perform the procedure yourself. The cost to perform this is minimal.

Diamond Jewelry

Do not wear diamond jewelry, especially rings, when doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials in nature, it can still be chipped by a sharp, sudden blow.
Chlorine can damage and discolor the mounting on your diamond jewelry. Keep your diamond away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals. You should also remove your diamond jewelry before entering a chlorinated pool or hot tub.
Clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.
Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry after cleaning and before storage.
Avoid touching your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle clean jewelry by its edges.

Colored Gemstones

Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced from the time they are extracted from the earth by one or more traditionally accepted jewelry industry practices. These treatments and enhancements can affect how you should clean and care for your colored gemstone jewelry. Consult your jeweler for more information on caring for treated or enhanced gemstones.
After wearing, wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will enhance the luster of the gemstones and ensure that your jewelry is clean before storage.
Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches. You should be able to obtain these from your jeweler.
Do not expose your precious gemstone pieces to saltwater or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.
Hair spray, perfume and perspiration may cause jewelry to become dull. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.
Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes.
If you have an active lifestyle, take extra precautions with some types of gemstone jewelry. Emeralds, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or any other activity where the stone could be hit or damaged.
Be extra careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones are fragile and can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. Consult your jeweler for the best cleaning procedure for your particular gemstone jewelry. Your jeweler is also a good source for any information on colored gemstones.
Almost all colored stone jewelry can be safely cleaned using a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush.
Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry after cleaning and before storage.

Karat Gold Jewelry

Remove all gold jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on karat gold jewelry, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film, you immediately reduce the frequency with which your pieces will need to be cleaned.
To clean your jewelry at home, you’ll find many commercial cleaners available. In addition, you will find a soft chamois cloth an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous and shining. Ask your jeweler to recommend both of these items for you.
For certain gold jewelry, especially pieces that do not contain colored gemstones, an ultrasonic cleaning machine may be appropriate. Once again, ask your jeweler to advise you.
Be careful of chlorine. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your gold jewelry. Do not wear gold jewelry while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.
You can remove tarnish with jewelry cleaner, or by using soap and water mixed with a few drops of ammonia. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush. An old toothbrush can also be used. After the brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry. If there is a heavy tarnish on your jewelry, consult your jeweler for the best cleaning procedure. You should also talk to your jeweler before attempting to clean any karat gold jewelry set with colored gemstones, because some stones require special cleaning procedures.
Grease can be removed from karat gold jewelry by dipping the jewelry into plain rubbing alcohol. Again, check with your jeweler about colored gemstone pieces.

Platinum

Platinum jewelry can be cleaned in the same manner as other fine jewelry. Your jeweler can recommend a prepackaged jewelry cleaner that works with platinum, or ask your jeweler to professionally clean your platinum pieces. A professional cleaning every six months will keep your platinum jewelry in great shape.
Store your platinum jewelry separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other, because even platinum can be scratched.
Signs of wear, such as scratches, can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal’s durability there is usually little metal loss from the scratch. If visible scratches do appear, your jeweler should be able to re-polish the piece.
If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful, as these materials can be more susceptible to damage. Some fine jewelry pieces combine platinum with karat gold jewelry. Care for these pieces as you would your gold jewelry, or consult your jeweler.

Cultured Pearls

Apply cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume before putting on any pearl jewelry. When you remove the jewelry, wipe it carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these substances.
You can also wash your pearl jewelry with mild soap and water. Do not clean cultured pearls with any chemicals, abrasives or solvents. These substances can damage your pearls.
Always lay cultured pearl strands flat to dry. Hanging a strand may stretch the threads.
Do not toss your cultured pearl jewelry carelessly into a purse, bag or jewel box. A pearl’s surface is soft and can be scratched by hard metal edges or by the harder gemstones of other jewelry pieces.
Place cultured pearls in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.
Cosmetics, perspiration, oils and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the threads on which the pearls are strung. Bring your pearls back to your jeweler for restringing once a year. Make certain the pearls are strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.

Watches

No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt perform watch repairs yourself. Only an expert jeweler/watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.
Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis, making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the watch face.
A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized dealer and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the timekeeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy.
Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
Have your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized watch dealer replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece. Do not attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. If your watch is water-resistant, a water-resistance test should be performed after the battery has been replaced to ensure that water will not leak into and damage the watch.
Battery life varies considerably according to the type of watch and its functions. Refer to your owners manual for more information.
Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, you can give it a quick cleaning with a mixture of warm water and either a mild soap or a dish detergent. Dry the watch with a soft cloth after cleaning. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch face and not the strap.
If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the piece with a slightly damp cloth and then dry.

What is Rhodium plating ?
Rhodium, definitively, is a metal that is part of the platinum family. Rhodium can be applied to base metals, gold, sterling silver, or some other alloy, to give it a shiny white surface like platinum. However, because rhodium is not plentiful, the process of rhodium plating on jewelry can be expensive.
Nonetheless, rhodium plating provides protection for our sterling silver and white gold jewelry, coating it to help prevent tarnishes and scratches. A rhodium finish, however, is not impervious to the effects of everyday wear and abrasion. To limit wear, one should avoid household cleaning, gardening, and other activities that can quickly destroy the rhodium plating, thus exposing the slightly yellow tint of the white gold underneath.
If wear does occur, most jewelry can be re-plated with rhodium at a local jeweler for a minimal cost. The plating on pendants and earrings lasts longer than on rings, as they are not exposed to friction. Here are some tips for keeping your rhodium plated jewelry looking its best.

The Mohs Hardness Scale and Scratch Tests

In 1812, an Austrian mineralogist named Friedrich Mohs created the Mohs hardness scale to rank materials in order of hardness. He chose ten minerals that were readily available at the time to create his scale; however, other materials (from fingernails to glass to iron and steel) can also have hardness ratings. In this case, hardness is measured by a material’s ability to be scratched by another material. The materials with lower numbers are “softer” than (or can be scratched by) the materials with higher numbers.
The Mohs scale is relative; diamond, which is a 10 and at the top of the Mohs original scale, is four times harder than corundum (sapphire), only one spot under it at 9, and corundum is twice as hard as topaz, ranked just one step below at 8.
While more modern and scientific methods exist today to measure a material’s hardness, the Mohs scale is familiar to many jewelry makers and is a good basis for quick comparison of metals. This chart will give you an idea of how the common minerals on the Mohs scale compare to metals and other found objects you might use in jewelry making (such as shells, glass, and old skeleton keys) and other common materials–as well as the metals that your jewelry-making tools are made of and how they all compare.

Cubic Zirconia or Lab Gems
Why Cubic Zirconia or Lab Gems in Silver Jewelry. Why not precious stones ?
Since past 5 years fashion for silver jewelry has been on continuous rise world wide. Since it is comparatively much cheaper than Gold or Platinum jewelry it is
Not considered as a valuable ornament but more as fashion jewelry which is suppose to be changed on regular basis as per the moving trend.
Silver Jewelry can also be Gold plated which can last as long 2-3 years if taken good care. Lab gems look as real as precious gems which makes the entire ornament look as quite valuable as gold jewelry.
What is Cubic Zirconia ?
Cubic Zirconia (or CZ) is extremely rare in nature but is widely synthesized for use as a diamond stimulant. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic Zirconia has remained the most geologically and economically important diamond stimulant since 1976.

How to Care for Your Fine Pearl Jewelry

Throughout the ages, fine pearl jewelry has been prized for its deep luster and natural beauty. Pearls do require care to preserve their appearance. If cared for properly, cultured pearls can be treasured for a lifetime.

Since pearls are organic gems, they are sensitive to chemicals and harsh environmental conditions. Also, because pearls are soft compared to other jewelry, they should be stored and handled carefully. If you follow the tips below, you can help your fine pearl jewelry remain beautiful for many years to come:

Store your fine pearl jewelry in its original packaging, not loose in a jewelry box. This packaging will help protect your pearl jewelry from being scratched by other jewelry in your collection.
Avoid storing your pearls in extreme heat or in airtight places like safes that are not regulated to provide humidity. Do not store your pearls in plastic bags for very long periods of time. Pearls benefit from the moisture in the air. If they are deprived of it for too long, they can become fragile or their color may change.
Keep your pearl jewelry away from chemicals. Pearls are sensitive to chemicals such as detergents, bleach, and some kinds of soap. It is best not to wear your pearl jewelry when washing dishes, swimming or engaging in similar activities. When applying cosmetics, remember the rule ìlast on, first off.î Put your pearls on last after applying hairspray, perfume and other makeup, and take them off before using makeup remover.
To clean pearls, simply wipe them with a soft cloth, which can be either dry or slightly damp. If using a damp cloth, lay the pearls flat to dry. Do not use liquid soap or another chemical product to clean your pearls unless it is specially designed for that purpose, and do not clean your pearls with a toothbrush or other abrasive materials.

Jewelry Gemstone Treatment Methods

Heat Treating, Irradiating:? This method usually darkens a crystalline stone.

Dyeing:? This is done to enhance the color.? Howlite is a white stone that can be dyed to resemble turquoise.

Coating:? This will make a stone have iridescent effects and brilliant colors.

Impregnation, Filled:? If a stone has a surface reaching fracture, it can be treated with cedar wood oil, linseed oil, Canada balsam, wax, plastic, polymers, resins, glass, etc. to fill and strengthen the fracture.

Reconstitution:? After the large jewelry-quality stones are cut from a large natural stone, there remain many smaller pieces.? These are ground done to powder, mixed with resins and poured into molds.? They are genuine stones, but usually are unnaturally smooth with no natural markings in the stone.

Oiling:? Deepens the color and protects the stone.

Bleaching:? Making the color even and lighter.

Lasering:? Stones can be lasered to add a design, logo or trademark.

Jewelry Gemstone Treatment Methods

Heat Treating, Irradiating:? This method usually darkens a crystalline stone.

Dyeing:? This is done to enhance the color.? Howlite is a white stone that can be dyed to resemble turquoise.

Coating:? This will make a stone have iridescent effects and brilliant colors.