Caring for fine jewellery
A well-loved piece of jewellery becomes a treasured thing; treat it well and it can be enjoyed for a lifetime and beyond. Understanding how to care for your jewellery makes it much simpler to maintain its sparkle and shine so that it lasts generations. Though gold is the only precious metal which does not tarnish, dust, pollution, and daily wear can all cause your jewellery to lose some of its gleam and give gemstones a cloudy look over time. If you are wondering how to care for fine gold jewellery, there are a few things you can do to keep your AS29 collection in stunning condition.
Cleaning jewellery at home
While it is usually a good idea to have your jewellery cleaned professionally every once in a while, cleaning it at home is one of the best ways to maintain its beautiful condition and ensure it gleams every time you wear it. It only takes a little TLC to tide your favourite pieces over until they are to be professionally cleaned and caring for your fine gold jewellery does come down to common sense in many ways. Cleaning jewellery at home gives great results and you can expect your jewellery to look refreshed and beautiful with minimal time and effort.
One of the easiest ways to clean your 18k gold jewellery at home is to place necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings into a bowl of lukewarm water with a few drops of mild dish soap and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. A gentle soak in warm water will help loosen any oils, dirt and buildup which is present on the jewellery.
The water must never be hot, especially when cleaning jewellery with stones. Take them out from the solution and use a very soft toothbrush to gently buff the surfaces of each piece. Pay attention to any hard-to-reach spots such as stone settings where dirt can hide. Always use the softest brush you can find and be gentle to avoid causing any tiny surface scratches.
Once you have given each of your pieces a thorough but gentle scrub, rinse them well under clean running water. If you are worried about losing any of your jewellery to the plug hole, place it in a strainer before running the tap. Once you have rinsed away all the soap residue you can then use a lint free cloth designed for use with gold to dry and polish your jewellery so that it gleams.
A pro tip for those looking to clean diamond jewellery is to follow the method we have outlined above, but add seltzer water to the dish soap rather than plain water. Carbonated water helps to loosen any debris caught in gem settings and is much more effective at cleaning the faceted surface of stones. Once the diamond jewellery has soaked for around 10 minutes you can then gently buff it with a very soft toothbrush and then use a lint free gold cleaning cloth to clean and polish it.
A diamond will always sparkle even if it has a little dirt on it, but once it is cleaned up you will remember exactly why you fell so completely in love with it in the first place.This method also works brilliantly for other stones such as emeralds and sapphires.
Specialist jewellery cleaning solutions are some of the best at-home jewellery cleaners you can use, and these are formulated to provide a gentle yet effective clean. When cleaning your AS29 jewellery, look for a cleaning solution which is designed to be used with gold, platinum, diamonds and other gemstones.
Professional jewellery cleaning differs from simple home cleaning methods in that jewellers tend to use more technical methods to remove dirt and grime from jewellery. While you can get very good results at home a professional clean is much more thorough and removes dirt which is invisible to the naked eye or in very hard-to-reach areas. You can also use a 75% alcohol solution to keep the dirt off your gold jewellery.
Many jewellers prefer to use ultrasonic cleaning systems and cleaning agents to gently lift dirt and grime from fine jewellery. It is highly effective and does not harm your jewellery in any way - it simply uses high frequency sound waves and chemicals which are proven to be effective in lifting dirt and pulling it away from the surfaces of the jewellery. If possible, try to have your premium pieces cleaned professionally every 12 months or so to keep them looking their glittering best. There are ultrasonic jewellery systems which are designed to be used at home, but if you plan to clean your jewellery this way you must always use extreme caution.
How to protect fine gold jewellery
As mentioned previously, there are many things your jewellery is exposed to which can cause dullness, scratches, and a build up of dirt. Luckily there are plenty of things you can do to protect your fine jewellery and keep it looking vibrant and polished between cleans.
Store fine gold jewellery separately
Storing jewellery correctly goes a long way to ensuring it is kept in optimal condition and retains its original good looks. Fine gold jewellery should be stored in a soft, lined compartment within your jewellery box and should not be stored with other pieces, especially if they are of different hardnesses. For example, gold of a lower purity can damage the surface of a more pure gold and a hard gemstone such as a diamond can cause scratches on softer stones.
Ideally, fine gold jewellery should always be stored in a lined jewellery box or a jewellery wrap when it is not being worn. Not only does this prevent dust and dirt from gathering on your jewellery, it also protects it from bumps and knocks and makes it much less likely that the piece will be dropped.
Protect your jewellery from chemicals
Though gold does not tarnish, certain harsh chemicals can dull it as they cause a buildup on the surface of the gold. Soaps, cosmetics, moisturisers and perfumes can all have this effect, so your jewellery should be the last thing you put on when you’re getting ready. If you love to lounge by the pool, remember that chlorine is especially damaging for most kinds of jewellery, so take it off and store it properly before swimming.
Don’t sleep in your jewellery
Sleeping in your jewellery can damage your skin, but it can also damage your jewellery too. Avoid sleeping in your jewellery as much as possible, especially earrings and necklaces as these are particularly vulnerable to breaking as you move in your sleep. If you wear earrings while sleeping it can also cause the piercing to enlarge over time. This often results in women having to resew their lobes to repair them. Rings with stones should also be removed at bed time as it is possible to scratch yourself on the settings. Stone settings on rings can also be damaged if they catch in your sheets so it’s best to remove them and place them in your jewellery box overnight.
Know when to take your jewellery off
If you love your jewellery it can be tempting to wear it at all times; there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel glamorous every day, but there are times when your fine jewellery is best removed to protect it and to protect you. When undertaking manual work you should remove your rings and store them, and it is best to remove them when washing your hands or applying lotion. Manual work is especially hard on rings which can suffer from scratches to gems and gold surfaces, and even diamonds can be damaged if they are knocked hard enough.
Earrings should be taken out when you are styling your hair to avoid tangles which can damage the delicate skin of your ear. If an earring is caught in the teeth of a brush or comb it is possible for the post to bend or for the back to come loose. It is surprisingly easy to lose an earring this way so talking them out when styling your hair is very important. Hair styling products are notorious for causing buildup on the surface of earrings, so wear them after you have applied your hairspray and other products.
Jewellery should always be removed before bathing to prevent it from coming into contact with chemicals. Removing your bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces before you take a bath or shower also means you will not risk tangling them in your hair or catching them in your loofah.
Be gentle with fine jewellery
AS29’s curated pieces are designed to last a lifetime, and they absolutely will with some care and attention. Each piece is durable, but the more gently it is treated the less likely it is to become scratched or dulled over time.
To summarise the correct care of fine gold jewellery, you should always store jewellery separately inside a jewellery box, wrap, or pouch, and should remove it when you are working manually or there is a risk it might come into contact with harsh chemicals. Take it off before showering or bathing, and avoid sleeping in it. Try to have the jewellery professionally cleaned once every year or so, and practice cleaning it gently at home.
If you'd like to know more about jewellery, make sure to check out our jewellery guides.