5 Tips for Cleaning and Taking Care of Your Fine Jewelry

When you purchase a piece of fine jewelry, you expect it to last a lifetime. And, it should. We’ve been in the gemstone business for more than 20 years and we’ve asked our resident expert Don O’Connell, chief operating officer and senior vice president of supply chain, to provide some helpful tips on how to take care of your fine jewelry.

Tips to making your jewelry and gemstones last a lifetime:

1. When in doubt, take it off. 

Fine jewelry, especially engagement and wedding rings, are designed for everyday wear. Moissanite, for example is measured at 9.25 on the MOHs hardness scale, which means it will resist scratching and daily wear and tear. In comparison, the hardest mineral on earth, diamond, is measured at a 10 on the MOHs hardness scale. Some gemstones, like emeralds and sapphires, are more susceptible to damage, while certain metals are softer than others. 

Like softer gemstones, certain malleable metals are more likely to retain damage due to daily wear. When performing certain activities that involve heavy labor such as DIY home projects or working out, you should remove your gold rings or bracelets to avoid risking any scratches or dents. If you plan on spending a relaxing day poolside, leave your fine jewelry at home. In addition to running the risk of losing your beautiful piece, chlorine and salt water can damage precious metals.

Gemstones are exposed to many different elements when you wear them. Because of this, an organic build-up or “film” can occurs on near-colorless gemstones such as moissanite. It is not harmful to the gemstone, but it cannot be removed with over the counter jewelry cleaner or with a jewelry store cleaning. This film can be easily removed with a sunshine cleaning cloth. Another option is to use Haggerty’s Silversmith Polish or any silversmith polish that can be found in your local hardware or grocery store.

While gemstones like moissanite and diamond are extremely sturdy, settings and prongs can be damaged, causing the stones to become loose or even fall out. Nobody wants to see a scratch on their jewelry, but keep in mind there are many aspects to each piece of jewelry and each should be considered before making your purchase.

2. Clean your fine jewelry professionally once per year. 

Getting your fine jewelry deep-cleaned at least once per year can help extend the life of your piece as well as ensure the shine is as brilliant as the day you bought it. If you have an intricate piece with more details that you wear regularly such as an engagement ring, we suggest at least two professional cleaning appointments per year.

3. Use the correct jewelry cleaner for your metal and gemstone.

If you’re cleaning your fine jewelry at home, know what gems and metals you’re dealing with.

  • Never clean your fine jewelry with harsh chemicals as this can lead to corrosion on your settings.
  • Instead, you can clean most fine jewelry by soaking it in a bowl of warm water with dishwashing soap. Scrub with a soft toothbrush, then lay out to dry. For pearls, use a soft makeup brush to scrub.

Know your metals- Before you clean your fine jewelry at home with a professional cleaning solution, we suggest you verify the type of metal your ring is made of, whether its silver, gold or platinum. Each metal is unique, therefore they can react differently to different cleaning products. If you are unsure of your metal type, take your piece to a professional jeweler.

If your jewelry is made of sturdy metals and durable gemstones such as moissanite or diamonds, you have the option of ultrasonic cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaning uses ultrasound (or sound waves) and a cleaning solvent to loosen dirt particles that accumulate on the surface of jewelry. This cleaning method uses bubbles induced by high frequency pressure to agitate the liquid inside the machine, meaning any soft and porous gems will incur damage.

4. Storage is important.

The way you store your fine jewelry can lead to long-lasting pieces that look just as beautiful as the day you bought them.

  • Do not place all your jewelry in one spot because hard stones like moissanite and diamond can damage other pieces of jewelry.
  • Instead, store your fine jewelry in a fabric-lined compartmentalized case or drawer. This will reduce the risk of damage and prevent the inevitable frustrating task of untangling jewelry!

If your piece is made of sterling silver, it should be stored in an anti-tarnish bag. Additionally, if your jewelry contains certain gemstones such as opals or pearls, they need to “breathe,” so don’t store them in anything airtight.

5. Get it insured

Insuring your fine jewelry can help deter any stresses of losing your precious jewelry. This can sometimes be offered as an extension to your homeowner’s insurance, or there are several providers that offer individual policies specifically for fine jewelry.

Taking care of your fine jewelry is important for retaining its sparkle and extending its lifespan. For more information on repairs and care of Forever One moissanite, please visit our facts page