Jewellery damage is incredibly common. It comes under constant threat from everyday situations. Imagine losing the diamond from your engagement ring… or corroding grandma’s heirloom earrings with perfume! Read these 5 expert tips and learn how to keep your prized possessions safe.
1. While cleaning your home
The problem: Household cleaning products can react negatively with a metals and gems. They can stain or corrode them. If you get bleach under your ring and don’t wash it out, it could burn your skin. Not to mention the risk of losing jewellery down a sink.
Expert solution: Remove all extra jewellery while cleaning or wear thick rubber gloves to protect rings. To accommodate larger rings, buy Marigolds one size too big.
2. At the gym or the pool
The problem: Any physical activity where you impact with people or handle equipment can break your jewellery. Lifting weights or playing volleyball can snap a chain or bend the prongs holding your engagement ring’s diamond in place. Water makes it easy for jewellery items to slip off and get lost forever. Chemicals, chlorine, soaps, shampoos and geothermal spa water can damage metals and gems. Pearls should never be soaked in water as they will soften.
Expert solution: Ideally, don’t wear any jewellery to the gym. Take your jewellery off while in water – whether it’s a swimming pool, hot tub, bath or the shower. Sorry, there’s no other way! If you really want to wear your engagement ring to the gym or the pool, consider getting a cheaper imitation made in silver or gold vermeil. No one will notice the difference and it won’t matter if the duplicate breaks or gets lost.
3. In the sun
The problem: The sun can damage delicate jewellery. Silver tarnishes in direct sunlight and heat can fade or change the colour of amethyst, topaz and opals.
Expert solution: Remove all gemstone jewellery when sunbathing. Want to accessorise by the poolside? Choose cheaper costume jewellery for sunbathing and save the real stuff for the evening.
4. While applying cosmetics
The problem: Chemicals in cosmetics and perfumes can react with metal alloys. They can also damage gems beyond repair. For example, this could happen when you put your earrings on before spraying hairspray. Same goes for moisturiser and makeup remover while wearing rings and bracelets.
Expert solution: Always practice the ‘last on, first off’ rule. Your jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing to come off when using cosmetics.
5. While using jewellery cleaner
The problem: If washing jewellery with soap and water, avoid sudden water temperature changes as it can cause certain gems to crack. Ultrasonic cleaners need to be used with caution for the same reason. Never clean jewellery above an unplugged sink as it may disappear down the drain.
Expert solution: Take pearls and any delicate pieces for a professional clean at the jewellers. Read your ultrasonic cleaner’s manual carefully before use. For most other jewellery, a gentle scrub with warm water, soap and an old toothbrush works best. Read our 5 Best DIY Jewellery Cleaning Tips to learn more.